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All booksHorrorThe Shadows
The Shadows by Alex North
Horror

The Shadows

Repeat author
Alex North is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include The Whisper Man.

by Alex North

Quick take

Ever repeat “Bloody Mary” in the mirror three times? This is the creeptastic thriller for urban-myth-believers.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit

    Detective

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Scary

    Scary

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SuburbanDrama

    Suburban drama

Why I love it

Sara Haines
Co-host, “GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke”

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams: why they’re significant, whether they’re insights into our subconscious or reflections of our imagination… you name it. Which is why I was drawn to The Shadows, a book that explores the power (and potential dangers) of lucid dreaming, those rare occurrences when you’re aware that you're asleep and can exercise control over your mind.

The Shadows centers around Paul Adams, who reluctantly returns home after 25 years to aid his ailing mother. At eighteen, Paul fled his small town because of a gruesome murder enshrouded in mystery. Now, Paul is forced to confront his past and greatest fears—a sinister teen named Charlie Crabtree and a demented theory about dreams.

I had unrealistically high expectations following North’s debut, but I’m happy to share he did not disappoint. Like the ambiguous nature of lucid dreams, The Shadows teeters the line between the supernatural and natural. You’ll untangle a mystery entrenched with dark subversions, messy family dynamics, occult twists, and complicated teenage relationships. The suspense will incite you to breeze through the pages, but be prepared for some nerve-shredding moments that’ll force you to pause and quiet your heartbeat.

Be warned… if you’re like me and enjoy reading before bed, you may need to sleep with the lights on. But if you’re seeking a brief respite from the world, look no further than the enrapturing pages of The Shadows.

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Synopsis

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 senile, 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. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. 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...

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of The Shadows.

Member thoughts

All (17843)
All (17843)
Love (7830)
Like (8532)
Dislike (1481)
18087 ratings
  • 43% Love
  • 47% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Cedar Grove, WI

    I was not expecting the plot of this at all. There is a complex story line that was thought out really well. I loved the twists and that it kept me guessing. Overall⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️really enjoyed this read.

  • Pittsburgh, PA

    Good read. Love the author . Spooky, came from left field. Would definitely recommend. Too scary for scary cats. A (spooky Dook!). (Look it up). phrase my family has used.????????????????????????????????????????

  • Philadelphia, PA

    It’s a more developed version of the author’s previous book, The Whisper Man. It’s a great example of how an author’s writing & storytelling can improve from book to book. Love a good detective story.

  • Madison, WI

    This book surprised me. It was a slow read for me in the beginning but then you hit that climb to the climax of the story and can’t put it down. This author has a way with thrillers, that’s for sure!

  • Reston, VA

    At first, I thought I’d have to chalk this one up to a “like,” but just as in Whisper Man, Alex North came through with twists and compelling and creepy narrative. I ended up finishing it in one go!

  • Prestonsburg , KY

    “The shadows” is a novel that surprised me. The plot twists, thrilling clues, and dream like fascination, made it hard for me to put the book down. I highly recommend this novel, one of my favorites!

  • Newton, AL

    I really enjoyed Alex North building on his same investigator character from “the Whisper Man”. I thought I knew where the story was headed and then I’m happily surprised with an original ending. :)

  • Media, PA

    Creepy, full of atmosphere so well written that you can practically taste and feel it, hinted with a bit of “is this human or supernatural?” Not as bombastic as “The Whisper Man,” but still solid.

  • Catawba, NC

    This book is way better than his first book.. I couldn’t put it down!! I love the way it’s broken up in the present and the past and between a couple of perspectives.. I recommend this book to anyone!

  • Holladay, UT

    Loved the way the author paced out the suspense without overhype. A great ready for those fascinated by serial killer stories and urban myths! Also loved the easter egg type nods to North’s other book

  • Saint Charles, MO

    I love the way Alex North writes a mystery! Reliving a horrific murder of a “friend” with Paul pulls you in. The flip of the story makes it even harder to out the book down until you can finish it!

  • Palm Harbor , FL

    I originally was not going to get this book because i’m not big into gory horror books but this story is not like that at all. Its more about sadness and loneliness and how characters get through that

  • Montgomery, AL

    “The Shadows” is a murder mystery spanning 25 years comprised of 8 different but related murders. It starts slowly & doesn’t pick up until the middle of the book. There are surprising plot twists.

  • Holiday, FL

    Loved this book - I totally enjoyed the dreaming aspect of this book as I am a sleep tech IRL. It’s was super interesting and had some spooky parts along with a decades old mystery to solve. Loved it!

  • Mebane, NC

    The Shadows was even better than Whisper Man, loved both! I would recommend reading the Whisper Man first to further identify with the detective’s background but its not neccesary to enjoy this book.

  • Grand Rapids, MI

    I think I love Alex North’s books. I wanted to be more scared, but it was great either way. I was so thrown off with Jenny, disappointed in the kid’s dad, but thought Carl was a great full circle.

  • Waco, TX

    I really liked The Whisper Man so I had fairly decent expectations for this one...but they were BLOWN out of the water. I LOVED this book so much. Didn’t really know what was going on til 200 pgs in.

  • Beaufort, SC

    All I can say is WOW ... well done. My heart is still racing. Its very hard to put this book down. Once you think you have everything figured out, it all gets tossed upside down again. I loved it!

  • Mount Ephraim, NJ

    Although this book starts off vague,the story is able to pull you in and before you know it, parts are being filled in that you forgot were even mentioned.A great read, keeps the reader on their toes.

  • Waco, TX

    Man this book had me riveted. I was filled with love for the protagonist, suspense for the truth, and i found myself as worried and in fear as the main character as I read seeking the truth amazing !!

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