Reddit horror sensation Dathan Auerbach delivers a devilishly dark novel about a young boy who goes missing, and the brother who won't stop looking for him.
Eric disappeared when he was three years old. Ben looked away for only a second at the grocery store, but that was all it took. His brother was gone. Vanished right into the sticky air of the Florida Panhandle. They say you've got only a couple days to find a missing person. Forty-eight hours to conduct searches, knock on doors, and talk to witnesses. Two days to tear the world apart if there's any chance of putting yours back together. That's your window.
That window closed five years ago, leaving Ben's life in ruins. He still looks for his brother. Still searches while his stepmother sits and waits and whispers for Eric, refusing to leave the house that Ben's father can no longer afford. Now 20 and desperate for work, Ben takes a night stock job at the only place that will have him: the store that blinked Eric out of existence.
Ben can feel that there's something wrong there. With the people. With his boss. With the graffitied baler that shudders and moans and beckons. There's something wrong with the air itself. He knows he's in the right place now. That the store has much to tell him. So, he keeps searching. Keeps looking for his baby brother while missing the most important message of all. That he should have stopped looking.
“An atmospheric and unsettling novel.... Auerbach’s portrait of an after-hours grocery store - as benign a setting as one could imagine - takes on an aura of almost Gothic menace. Most importantly, his ability to convey the grief, guilt and sense of loss that fuel Ben’s fixation gives the book a resonant emotional center. With just two novels, Auerbach has established himself as a significant figure in the post-King generation of horror writers.” (The Washington Post)
“Auerbach cleverly weaves in the horror trope of creepy kids amid a vibe that’s best described as Stephen King meets Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.... The novel is wickedly effective in creating a feeling of doom.... Bad Man delivers an unexpected gut punch and saves its darkest deeds for an unnerving end.” (USA Today)
“If you think The Shining set in a grocery store, you’re not far off.... Auerbach is magnificent with atmosphere, able to conjure dread from a huge array of normally nonthreatening places. This is a horror author to watch very, very closely.” (Booklist)
“Dark and disturbing.... Readers will be reminded of the young Stephen King.” (Publishers Weekly)
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This isnt a horror novel. Its barely a thriller. A little bit of suspense and a lot of facepalming are the only thing you can get out of this book. Im a little bit disappointed because the book looked promissing.