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Starred Review. In her second novel, Langan delivers a powerhouse creepfest that recalls, in the best way possible, the early work of Stephen King. Corpus Christi, Maine, was once a town of affluence, but since the mysterious paper mill fire in the neighboring town of Bedford (depicted in last year's well-received debut, The Keeper) released dense sulfuric clouds that killed the surrounding forest, Corpus Christi has been in steady decline. When fourth-grade teacher Lois Larkin takes her class on a field trip to the now-abandoned Bedford, they're exposed to a deadly virus that transforms the infected into ravenous, flesh-eating monsters. Rather than stick to zombie lit convention (mindless undead, endless chases), Langan invests her plague with a sinister intelligence of unknown origin, maintaining a skin-crawling tension as the vivid cast of characters succumb to murderous insanity, hunting down and tearing apart animals, neighbors and loved ones. Langan has the control of a pro, parsing just enough horrific details to allow the truly gruesome scenes to play out unbound in the imagination; this solid sophomore effort proves that The Keeper's disturbing ability to burrow into readers' heads and stay there was no fluke. (Oct.)
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“Langan has the control of a pro….” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“A genuine creepfest that recalls, in the best way possible, the early work of Stephen King” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Langan has crafted a grisly horror story that will keep you out of the woods for years to come.” (BookPage)
“Langan has a sharp eye for the small vivid details of American life, and her characters are utterly believable.” (London Times on The Keeper)
“...innovative, sharp, and absolutely chilling...” (Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Ghoul and Dead Sea)
“THE MISSING is reminiscent of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot with wicked drops of Koontz, Barker, and Straub.” (J.C. Patterson)
“[THE MISSING is] as engrossing as a dagger poised at one’s throat.” (J.C. Patterson)
“An astonishing first novel...chilling, haunting, and so smartly written that the pages fly by like the wind.” (Ray Garton, author of THE LOVELIEST DEAD)
“THE KEEPER kept me up, late into the night...I’m hoping for a whole shelf of novels by Langan.” (Kelly Link, author of MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS)
“[A] brilliant debut, heralding the arrival of a major talent.” (Tim Lebbon, author of DUSK and BERSERK)
“A smart, brand-new take on the haunted house story…hard to believe this is a first novel.” (Jack Ketchum, author of OFFSPRING)
“[A] distinct and juicy flavor all its own. THE KEEPER begins what should be a very fruitful career.” (Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author of IN THE NIGHT ROOM)
“A dark and bracingly bleak tale of supernatural terror.” (Ramsey Campbell, author of SECRET STORY)
“Akin to the more ambitious work of Stephen King...this effective debut promises great things to come.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Deft and disturbing... twists expectations into surreal surprises... hypnotic reading - an assured and impressive debut.” (Douglas E. Winter)
“Echoes of Stephen King resound...the first fruits of a most promising career.” (Washington Times)
“...The new author on the block is definitely a keeper...” (-Edward Bryant, Locus)