Lovecraft and Newspapers
Normally I don't check the genre that a book is lodged under, to be honest most of them tell you in the tagline for the book these days (especially if you buy online). However, after finishing this one I have to say that personally I would have filed this one under Horror and not Crime, Mystery, Thriller (or whatever order they are in). It is exceptionally creepy and quite fantastical in it's construct; in fact it all comes across a little bit Stephen King (compliment there - I am a huge and long term fan of Mr King).
The book basically follows the lives of 2 main characters:
Jon - Bit of a loner at High School, the highlight of his daily life is the delivery of the Telegraph, so much so he asked for a subscription from his parents as a gift - not normal teenage boy behaviour. He has one friend, Chloe, and doesn't seem to particularly gel with his parents either. Jon also struggles with bullying and so takes the forest route to school, this proves to be his downfall when he is kidnapped one morning on his way to school and disappears without trace. Four years later he re-appears and he is changed - tall and muscular but still with the mindset of a 13 year old and in possession of a copy of HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and a letter from his kidnapper telling him that he is improved. This is where things get very, very strange indeed.
Chloe - Jon's only friend from High School but has a group of friends of her own. Chloe really struggles to cope when Jon goes missing and turns to her art as solace, constantly drawing Jon's face and especially his eyes. Try as she might she cannot forget him and when he reappears she rushes from a Pool Party to be with him. Chloe does manage to more or less hold her life together, going to art college and then settling down in New York to become an artist, leaving a very public social media trail so that Jon can find her, if he wants (and how badly she wants him to).
We then have a secondary character who is a major part of the story:
Eggie - Providence cop who is starting to wonder at the sudden upswing in young people dieing of heart attacks completely out of the blue. Married with a severely autistic son we get to find out a lot about the state of his marriage to Lo, his disconnect with his son and his obsession with work. An obsession that almost proves fatal.
Wonderfully constructed tale that has solid, believable characters that you don't always like. The concept of the book is sufficiently strange to keep you engaged - even though we, the reader, know the truth of what is happening it honestly doesn't detract from your enjoyment. Maybe, it makes it all the more compelling because this is a secret we share with Jon and Jon alone. Each of the 3 character's voices is strong and individual - even if the chapter didn't have the narrator's name in it you would immediately know from the tone of the writing.