Disclaimer: I have been provided this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
On the eve of her resignation, Sheriff Sterling Marsh prepares for a bleak winter in Drybell, Connecticut, after a string of bad decisions leaves her life in shambles. Two weeks before Christmas and expecting a long night of paperwork and quiet celebration with the friends she’s grown to know and love, she’s surprised when an unnerving stranger appears in the form of a witch.
A silent, menacing figure, the witch appears to be ripped straight out of a fairy tale, complete with a tall, pointed hat, and black clothing. But when strange things begin happening all over town, Sterling begins to suspect that there may be more to the witch than meets the eye.
As she works to maintain order as the world crumbles around her, the witch’s mysterious presence throws her world into a frenzy, threatening to send the sleepy town spiraling face-first into the darkest night it’s ever seen.
OMG! This story is creepy! I have been jumping at nothing for days now, all because I read this book. My husband loves horror movies, and used to drag me to them regularly. It’s been several years though, and apparently, I was missing it.
The Witch is definitely the scare factor in this story. She does a fine job all by herself. She doesn’t even have a lot of dialogue. Maybe a few lines, and they come at the end of the story.
Sheriff Sterling Marsh is the protagonist in the story. She is Sheriff in a small town called Drybell. The Chief is away on vacation, and has left Sterling in charge. Sterling has decided to resign from the police department and move on. She’s had some personal issues, and things have happened in life, and she’s ready to move on.
Max, I would say is another key character. He is a child, and the son of two of the other characters. His role comes in to play more at the end though, maybe the last 25% of the story. Until then, he’s just this kid stuck on the station with everyone and his Dad, who is another officer there, because of the storm outside.
The story takes place in Drybell, and mostly at the police station. This setting alone would not be scary, especially considering the only prisoner we learn about besides the witch is actually a seemingly nice gentleman.
The plot is assisted by the illustrations within the pages of the book. One in particular I found very creepy and the illustration itself gave me the creeps and freaked me out.
I was totally thrown all over the place. One minute I had one hypothesis as to what the witch was after, then something happened and I developed a different hypothesis in line with what the characters were thinking, only to be thrown backwards when the real reason she was in the town was revealed.
I would recommend this for any lover of horror, and for those wanting to dip their toes in. This is all the horror, without too much gore. (There were moments.)