Tremblay has quickly become one of my go-to authors. From his writing style to his unique takes on what might otherwise be genre cliches, he tends to approach things with a fresh perspective which is something I always look for. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, about a missing child, unfortunately fell a little flat for me.
I’m still trying to determine what exactly was missing that kept me from being fully engaged in this story. There’s a lot of time spent with the mother and sister through their grievance process, most of which I found uninteresting. I didn’t care enough about the characters yet and the amount of detail it went into just felt overdrawn. Without going into spoilers, there are characters that become central to the story introduced much too late, and the “mystery” of Tommy’s disappearance was far too straightforward for my taste.
Ultimately I think this novel had a bit of an identity crisis, not really knowing what it wanted to be. A drama / tragedy about the loss of a child and what that does to a family? A horror novel with mysterious stalking shadow people and dips into the occult? A coming-of-age tale where choices and consequences finally come to a head? But for me the individual parts didn’t add up to anything greater than their sum.
I’m definitely not in the majority on this one as Disappearance is picking up some great reviews, so check it out and let me know your thoughts. Would love to see where I went wrong on this one.