Page Count 240
Publication date September 2022
Publisher Head of Zeus
-Renowned academic Dr Sparling seeks help with his project on a remote Irish village. Historical researchers Ben and Chloe are thrilled to be chosen—until they arrive…
The village is isolated and forgotten. There is no record of its history, its stories. There is no friendliness from the locals, only wary looks and whispers. The villagers lock down their homes at sundown. A nameless fear stalks the streets…
Nobody will talk—nobody except one little girl. Her story strikes dread into the hearts of the newcomers. Three times you see him. Each night he comes closer…
That night, Ben and Chloe see a sinister figure watching them. He is the Creeper. He is the nameless fear in the night. Stories keep him alive. And nothing will keep him away.
I’ve been patiently waiting for the next A M Shine novel since adoring The Watchers last year. Shine writes an almost tangible atmosphere that makes you want to check over your own shoulder whilst reading in the safety of your home. I was looking forward to more of this upon reading the synopsis for The Creeper.
It may come across hypocritical now for me to say, but I felt this novel was perhaps too similar to The Watchers. The premise is very much the same; someone or something constantly stalking the characters. If you’ve seen the movie It Follows, that’s the kind of vibe- a relentless entity of impending evil without cause. Once again the darkness is it’s realm, a temporary safety is alluded to during the daylight, a feature used in both Shine novels.
Regardless, the writing itself is excellent, the perfect balance of action, dialogue and description that kept a consistent pace and held my interest throughout.
We’re back in Ireland, of course, and the setting whilst not as beautiful is still remote (a favourite horror trope of mine), this time following two characters on an excursion to identify the folklore of an unknown incestuous tribe, hidden for over 200 years and frozen in time.
Written in third, we switch between an archaeologist, a historian and the strange, wealthy intellectual that hired them.
I wanted a lot more from The Creeper. There were many intriguing aspects mentioned but never expanded on. Not a purposeful ambiguity, more as though pieces of plot had been chopped out. The ending was abrupt and unfulfilling leaving me disappointed overall.
I wish I could recommend this book, instead I suggest you pick up The Watchers for which i gave full marks. I still look forward to the next Shine novel with the hope that The Creeper was just a blip for me. If I had no prior knowledge of Shine I’d have scored this book average so that’s where I’ll settle.