The Shadows: A Novel - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Celadon Books
  • Published : 28 Sep 2021
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN-10 : 1250318041
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250318046
  • Language : English

The Shadows: A Novel

"This is absorbing, headlong reading, a play on classic horror with an inventiveness of its own... As with all the best illusions, you are left feeling not tricked, but full of wonder."
The New York Times

The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper Man

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile--always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it's attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet--and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree--and his victim--were Paul's friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and suffering from dementia, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It's not long before things start to go wrong. Paul learns that Detective Amanda Beck is investigating another copycat that has struck in the nearby town of Featherbank. His mother is distressed, insistent that there's something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn't just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again...

Editorial Reviews

Praise for THE SHADOWS

"This is absorbing, headlong reading, a play on classic horror with an inventiveness of its own... As with all the best illusions, you are left feeling not tricked, but full of wonder."
The New York Times

"If you liked The Whisper Man, you'll love this. Alex North has crafted a second novel which is just as gripping as his first and even scarier. Hugely atmospheric and deliciously creepy, it's about how the past encroaches on the present, and how dreaming influences reality, until in the frightening world of The Shadows, it becomes harder and harder to tell one from the other... and the nightmare takes over."
– Alex Michaelides, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Silent Patient

"North follows up his sensational debut, 2019's The Whisper Man, with another terrifying spine-tingler... This heart-pounding page-turner is impossible to put down."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Expect to be electrified by the author's total mastery of misdirection. This second stunning thriller firmly establishes North as a rapturous teller of tales."
Booklist (starred review)

"Before this twisty story ends, there are many surprises....a successful, creepy thriller. If you like Stephen King, you'll probably like North's new thriller, too.
Library Journal


"Works beautifully… If you like being terrified, The Whisper Man has your name on it."
The New York Times (Editor's Pick)

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Poignant and terrifying…Take a deep breath before diving into this one."
Entertainment Weekly

"Brilliant…an affirmation of the power of the father-son relationship…will satisfy readers of Thomas Harris and Stephen King."
Booklist (starred review)

"A terrifying page-turner with the complexities of fatherhood at its core."
Kirkus Reviews

"A powerful and scary story that will haunt readers long after the final page is turned."
Library Journal

"First it's spooky. Then it's scary. Then it's terrifying. And then… well, dear reader, proceed at your own risk. An ambitious, deeply satisfying thriller―a seamless blend of Harlan Coben, Stephen King, and Thomas Harris. My flesh is still crawling."
– A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Readers Top Reviews

The Shadows is written by Alex North, author of the amazingly terrifying book The Whisper Man. That being said, I had high expectations for The Shadows. The novel has nothing to do with the The Whisper Man, and Alex North starts the novel with great potential. However, it lacked the creative, twist turning plot that I expected out of it. To me, it was a bit bland and I was slightly dissapointed.
Magenta Cameron
Also known as The Shadow Friend, The Shadows follows Paul Adams who has returned to his home town to see his dying mother. He hasn’t been home since two of his friends brutally murdered their classmate 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Amanda Beck, a detective from a nearby town of Featherbank, is investigating a murder which is eerily similar to the murder from 25 years ago. Her investigation leads her to Charlie Crabtree, the one who taught Paul about lucid dreams and physical manifestations. I really enjoyed Alex North’s previous book, The Whisper Man, and while I enjoyed this, there was something about it that made it just not as good. I felt like that the ending twists were good, however they were too rushed. Everything came together really quickly and all at once. I did really liked the characters and seeing how cleverly everything had been tied together. I enjoy Alex North’s writing and look forward to his next work!
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Whisper Man', so it was disappointing to find how far short of that novel this one fell. The writing over the first half is flat and the situation all too familiar. Over the final section, North finds some of the tightness of writing that was so compelling in the earlier novel. Here, The author shows that he really can write, and although the book never really lives up to the promise of the Prologue, it finishes with a dynamic conclusion. I'm afraid 'chilling' and 'haunting' are not words that spring to mind in describing 'The Shadows', but even here there is promise of what North can achieve at his best. I am looking forward to his returning to his best form in his next offering. This is well short of 'The Whisper Man' but there's promise of better things to come given more original material.
cat lover
This is my second book by Alex North. Last year I read (and reviewed) "The Whisper Man" which was a blast, and honestly, I was afraid to be disappointed because of the high hopes I had for this one. Well, let me tell you I was certainly not disappointed. Actually, "The Shadows" is very original. This is not a scary book, but it has a haunting quality to it. It is quite descriptive with a unique atmosphere, without being too wordy. This is not a classic horror novel, it is a blend of a good thriller with some supernatural elements that only add to the special ability of the short chapters to draw you in, the story moves between "Then" (25 years ago) and "Now". This is a story of a notorious murder case that haunted Paul Adams for 25 years, a story of missed chances, lifelong loneliness, and dealing with unbearable guilt. Now Paul's ill mother has taken a turn for the worse, and he comes back home to be with her and maybe try to come to terms with what he had done all those years ago.... This book is recommended for those who liked "The Woods" by Harlan Coben and "The Chalk Man" by C. J. Tudor. Both are my all-time favorites.
John E. Mack
Three quarters of the way through this book I was ready yo give it a five. Then the ending sort of Petered out. Worse, it didn't resolve a central mystery - why there were red wanderings all over the place. Perhaps I missed something, but the book was not good enough to re-read to try to see what I missed. North does throw several clever twists in his narrative, the best one involving his. girlfriend Jenny. But on the other hand, the supernatural element doesn't work very well. The bird about sharing dreams and making them work in the waking world is clever, but not much comes of it. And why Paul's mother and Carl don't want him around doesn't make much sense. All in all, a book with a lot of promise that doesn't quite live up to it.

Featured Video