Cover image for Disappearance at Devil's Rock : a novel
Disappearance at Devil's Rock : a novel
Tremblay, Paul, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]

Physical Description:
327 pages ; 24 cm
When her fourteen-year-old son disappears during a summer sleepover at Devil's Rock, Elizabeth and other residents of the town begin to see his ghost throughout the town, which leads her to believe that he is dead. She tries to maintain a sense of calm to help her younger daughter, Katie, but her anxiety builds when she begins to find crumpled pages of Tommy's journal which contain disturbing connections between Tommy's father's death, a stranger named Arnold, and a macabre folk tale.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A family is shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy in this eerie tale, a blend of literary fiction, psychological suspense, and supernatural horror from the author of A Head Full of Ghosts.

"A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I'm pretty hard to scare," raved Stephen King about Paul Tremblay's previous novel. Now, Tremblay returns with another disturbing tale sure to unsettle readers.

Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her thirteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a local park.

The search isn't yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her young daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend Tommy's disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration: the local and state police have uncovered no leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he vanished, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil's Rock.

Living in an all-too-real nightmare, riddled with worry, pain, and guilt, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadow peering through their windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy's journal begin to mysteriously appear--entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connects them.

As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy's disappearance at Devil's Rock.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* During a summer sleepover, Tommy and his two friends sneak out to visit Devil's Rock. It's there that Tommy decides to run into the woods, scaring and confusing his friends. They return home to wait for Tommy, but he never arrives. Soon after, Tommy's mother, Elizabeth, sees a dark shape in the corner of her room and begins cultivating an obsession that Tommy has died, and she has witnessed a ghostly visitation. Residents of the small town begin to see dark shapes of their own, strangers passing across lawns or staring into darkened windows in the middle of the night. When the crumpled pages of Tommy's journal begin appearing with disturbing information, Elizabeth begins to piece together what may have happened to him in the forest. In this follow-up to the excellent Head Full of Ghosts (2015), Tremblay does a masterful job of creating two worlds often at odds with each other the world of a single mother struggling to stay afloat and the world of her young teenage son struggling to identify his role among peers. This tense, quick-moving story, part mystery and part folktale with a dash of police procedural, moves between points of view that offer tantalizing clues and moments of discomfort. The result is a satisfying piece of fiction that shifts genres underneath the reader.--Ciesla, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Intense emotions of fear and alienation carve direct paths to the supernatural in this tightly plotted and atmospheric novel. Young Tommy's disappearance in Borderland State Park, Mass., near haunted Devil's Rock, throws his mother, Elizabeth Sanderson, into a maelstrom of guilt. Townsfolk start seeing shadows at their windows, and Tommy's friends Josh and Luis grow anxious, reluctant to discuss the night when he vanished. Meanwhile, Elizabeth encounters Tommy's ghost in her bedroom and receives mysterious notebook pages that reveal sinister connections among Tommy's father's death, a stranger named Arnold who Tommy met at Devil's Rock, and a macabre folk tale. Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts) uses concise prose and smooth storytelling to evoke raw emotion in this tale of love, loss, and terror. Sympathetic characters and heartbreaking struggles replace genre stereotypes and tropes. The menacing atmosphere captures small-town isolation and hopelessness. This stunning and tantalizing work of suggestive horror is sure to please admirers of Stephen King and PeterStraub. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Literary Management. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Beware the ringing phone in the middle of the night. Elizabeth, single mother of two, enters her worst nightmare when she answers a call and learns that her teenage son, Tommy, is missing. What secrets does Devil's Rock hold, and who (or what) took the boy away in the middle of the night? -VERDICT An enticing supernatural story that will fill readers with trepidation as they wait to discover what happened to Tommy. (LJ 4/15/16) © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.