The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn is a tale of horror and mystery that left me creeped out to no end, especially when I read the book right before bed. In fact, one night I thought about sleeping with the door open and the hall light on because I was left with the heebie jeebies on a night when I was home alone.
The story centers around a 10-year old boy named Stevie whose cousin goes missing from their hometown, Deer Valley. Normally a cowardly boy who is tormented by nightmares and hallucinations, he bravely spends his days searching for his cousin. Around that same time, Stevie begins to pick up on strange incidents in Deer Valley, such as the alarming rate at which pets go missing and strange sounds and sightings in his backyard. A terrifying undercurrent of violence and evil begin to unfurl as Stevie investigates more and more into his cousin’s disappearance.
While I won’t divulge important details that will spoil the plot, I will say that the sections of the book that chronicles the story behind the local terror were riveting and were what kept me up at night. Ania does a great job of detailing a unique and grotesque little world inside Deer Valley. It’s one of those types of plots where I sit back and think (admiringly), “How do people come up with such scary shit, and do they keep themselves up at night??” So in terms of the creepiness factor, very well done!
My only complaint with this book was that I felt too much time was spent in Stevie’s head. I feel like more time was devoted to describing the minutiae in his life and in his head than was needed and that it sometimes made the book feel very slow. If the whole book had moved at the pace seen in the sections of the backstory, I think I would have been as much engaged in this book as I was Ania’s book Brother.
Overall, I did enjoy this book and I do love Ania’s writing style. This is the second book that I’ve read by the author, and I would like to read all of her books. I do believe she is my new favorite author!