J. P. Willie
Blood in the Woods
First of all, many thanks to the author for reaching out and offering me a copy of ‘Blood in the Woods’ in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
“Rural Louisiana country life is peaceful,
idyllic, and sanguine. One bucolic town leads to another in an endless series
of southern country life. Yet beneath the tranquil surface lies another story.
A story of the south which hasn’t been told only hinted at.
As 26 -year -old Jody stands on the cracked, aged driveway of his childhood home, a black mass settles itself on his chest. A sense of fear is manifesting around the edges of his psyche as unmentioned memories flood back to the last time he stood on this spot years ago. There is an empty space where the trailer once stood. The place he called home; thought of as his refuge together with his mother and younger brother, but all was ripped apart along with the innocence of childhood.
Growing up in the late eighties and early nineties in the small town of Hammond, Louisiana, with his best friend Jack, was full of wonderful memories. Their lives on Rhine Road are typical for boys their age. Time is spent playing in the woods, shooting pellet guns, blowing up mailboxes, fighting at school and the beginnings of interests in girls. Their lives are what you would expect from children with no responsibilities or worries beyond the next pop-quiz or getting to second base.
As they grow older together and experience the joys and pains of life, love, family and friendship, they discover a meddlesomeness borne of lazy summer days, boredom and childhood rebellion. Through idle curiosity, they stumble upon something horrific in the woods one evening and their lives quickly take a turn.
They soon become hunted by an unspeakable evil and the hunting ground was home.”
A Louisiana coming of age novel with a twist of horror.
This was a very engaging read from the start. The author has done a wonderful job of laying the foundations of a beautiful and harrowing tale of childhood friends Jody and Jack. We are taken though the story of their lives, living carefree in the town of Hammond, getting up to all the usual mischief, followed by the terrifying story of what lurks in the woods.
This is a chilling read. I was emotionally invested from the get-go. This novel has it all, emotion, laughs, tears, chills and scares. It is one hell of a ride.
A great debut from J. P. Willie, An author I hope to see more from.