Horror in the dark woods
It's been eight years since artist and single mom Rebecca Underhill was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started but failed at.
How is he going to get to Rebecca?
He's going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.
Horror in the depths
Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.
But the Skinner is watching Rebecca's every move.
The horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?
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"It's your corn, your memories."
Rebecca Underhill still lives in the old remote amily house from which she and her sister were abducted eight years before. Her twin is now dead, as is their torturer, and, too, her husband Michael. She and close friend, Robyn, bring up their two children, a boy and girl, together. All is well until the children start to claim to see a boogieman standing in the cornfield behind the old house.
Although the second in a trilogy, it is completely unnecessary to be familiar with book one. And is a standalone, any past information necessary being skilfully woven into the early stages of the book. It is a very creepy story, far more dependent on growing fear rather than visual blood and gore, though there is some of the latter. The narrator, Evie Cameron, has a pleasant, easy to hear voice and she reads with a steady passion but without over dramatisation, which increase the creepiness overall. Much of the book is presented in the first person, from Rebecca's point of view, and the impression is one of a woman still damaged by the past events but trying, understandably, to bury them. And when past fears burst into the present, she reacts with anger, not submission.
Mr.Zandri is a master at summoning up atmosphere with few words, leaving his readers to use imagination. And with Ms.Cameron's narration, the book becomes almost hypnotic. I was gifted The Ashes by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. It is not my usual genre of reading but, although not really tempted to now read book one, I am very much looking forward to the final story of the Rebecca Underhill trilogy, especially if it, once again, read by this narrator.
- Norma Miles