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Disappearance at Devil's Rock

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  5,555 Ratings  ·  939 Reviews
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.

Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her fourteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by William Morrow
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Paul Ack, yes the diary notes are super important. I've sent a note to my publisher about this. Try reading and enlarging on your phone if you can. (that…moreAck, yes the diary notes are super important. I've sent a note to my publisher about this. Try reading and enlarging on your phone if you can. (that worked for another reader in the mean time)(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best horror category 2016!

 photo IMG_9679_zpsfv3spb9c.jpg

after reading enough* books by an author, usually you learn to anticipate their beats, you have certain reasonable expectations and you know the general path they're going to follow.

not so with paul tremblay.

he plays all sides of the tonal field, from the over-the-top-grotesquerie of Swallowing a Donkey's Eye to the ambiguity and restraint of A Head Full of Ghosts.

this one is much closer to the slow-dread unfolding of A Head
Barely 2 stars . . . I almost gave it 1

It's just blah. No suspense, lots of monotonous, pointless, and repetitive dialogue. Some places where you think something exciting and interesting will happen . . . and it doesn't. No climax, no payoff, not really any resolution.

They talked about a lot of modern pop culture stuff. Sort of sounded like the author went to the mall, listened to what kids talked about, and then shoved it into the story so that it would seem modern. Instead, it just got in the
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full Disclosure: I still need to read A Head Full of Ghosts which I’ve heard amazing things about. Due to this I cannot compare the two. My excitement to get my hands on it has only increased..for what that is worth.

So completely atmospheric, creepy, and page-turning. If I had to pick three words to describe this book, these would do the book justice. Paul Tremblay sets a tone maintaining it well while giving off an eerie vibe. He teeters over that line of the supernatural keeping you guessing
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappearance at Devil's Rock had me twisted around its little finger right up until the last two chapters. Then I was saddened by the fact that it was over.

Elizabeth gets that dreaded middle of the night call from one of her son's friend's asking if her son was home. Of course, he wasn't and so begins the masterful telling of this taut, mystery thriller. Where was Tommy? He ran into the woods, but to where? Why are there so many reports of "shadowmen" in their small town of Ames? Are they relat
Jack Tripper
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, mystery-crime
It's 1:50 PM here and I just now woke up, thanks to my having stayed up all night to finish this eerie, disturbing (and at times profoundly moving) gem. Other books don't interest me anymore. I want to read more of this one. Full review to come.

Update 7/17/16:

While billed as a horror novel, Disappearance at Devil's Rock is actually more of a mystery/thriller, with ambiguous undertones of supernatural goings-on. This story of a missing teenage boy, lost in the immense woodlands surrounding his N
Jan 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. A really big understatement. I don't know if there are adjectives strong enough to describe how I feel after reading this book, so we're gonna go with disappointed just to keep things mild and family-friendly.

A Head Full of Ghosts was awesome. It was a breath of fresh air into the ghost story genre that was actually scary and thrilling and exciting and all that. I was so anxious to read this book, man. It started out just fine, too. I mean, t
Ellen Gail
IMPORTANT PSA: Please, for the love of tiny grasshoppers and baby hedgehogs, DO NOT under any circumstances get the Kindle edition as it currently stands. It's terrible. It makes crucial parts of the story unreadable, and unless you can zoom and enhance times infinity, you will not be able to read it.

*Thankfully, this has been corrected in updates on the Kindle edition! Yay for readability!*

Please learn from my mistakes. I struggled through 2/3 of the Kindle edition before giving up and getting
Kindle version is $1.99 at Amazon US today!

This is a slower paced mystery about a missing 14-year-old boy, his devastated mother and his heartbroken sister. It is a good story but it is not a horror novel. Do not be led astray like me.

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.

I think I missed the supernatural horror bit
Jul 24, 2017 marked it as to-read
The Kindle edition is currently on special offer - $1.29 in the States and 0.99p in the UK. It's the same price for A Head Full of Ghosts, too.
Glenn Rolfe
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Goddammit. This book could have been so much better. I absolutely loved Tremblay's previous work, A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS, but this one fell flat for me.

Let's start with what I did like. The story itself was pretty good. Teenage son, Tommy, and his friends meet a twenty-something whom they begin hanging out with at Devil's Rock ( a spot within Borderlands State Park). When Tommy runs into the woods and disappears, his family and friends are left with nothing but questions. This mystery, much like
This is my Book Of the Month- August2016, with GR group- Horror Aficionados

I am not even going to classify this as horror because it is more of a psychological thriller with small elements of paranormal added in it.

This is an OK read and I felt myself dragging through it. Something interesting happened and then it went into the same slow paced routine......

The thing is all that happens till 50% of the story is already in the blurb. The story-line does not diversify much and nothing much happen
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, which promptly landed him on my “I must read more of this author!” list. So when I found out about his new book Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, I simply couldn’t resist checking it out.

Now that I’m finished reading though, I feel torn. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t think the book was bad, but I also definitely didn’t think it was as good a
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Paul Tremblay is fast becoming the name to recognize when it comes to psychological suspense and horror. We received a generous taste of his talent in last year's A Head Full of Ghosts. Yet his latest novel reveals that last year's book was only the tip of the iceberg.

The plot of Disappearance at Devil's Rock centers around a fairly typical suburban family consisting of Elizabeth Sanderson and her two children, 13 year old Tommy and 12 year old Kate. Tommy is spending the night with his two fr
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
A good ending (though it was kick-my-ass sad) brings this one up to 3 stars. Rating only and thought I'd talk about something else.

I watched Joe Hill last fall, via a live online book signing, to promote his latest book, Strange Weather. (Sidebar: I totally have a copy). And right about now you may be wondering what in the sam hill does a Joe Hill promo have to do with a Paul Tremblay book. Well, Tremblay was conducting the interview. This was not professional gig by any means, which turned out
Space Out With Sci Fi in June The Haunted Reading Room

I have heard so much positive praise of the author's A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS [2015] so I was eager to read his newest. Every expectation was fulfilled. DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK is an exceptional novel, unforgettable--and a strong Best of 2016.

Beginning with a knock-out reader's hook--the dreaded after-midnight phone call that is every parent's nightmare, the action and emotional impact is literally non-stop. Instead of immediate closure (
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. So very thankful I received a copy of this title. I couldn't have been more happy to have read this!

I have to say what a wonderful job the writer did. He keep me on the end of my seat till the very last page. I didn't want to put the book down at times but life calls. The thriller/suspense in this book is amazing. As I mentioned before I had to keep knowing what was going to happen! Disappearance at Devil's Rock has an ending that was suspenseful and
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic follow-up to the amazing and unsettling A Head Full of Ghosts. Since I read an advance copy of Disappearance at Devil's Rock, I won't go into anything spoiler-y because the less you know about this book beyond its short plot summary, the better.

Like A Head Full of Ghosts, Disappearance at Devil's Rock is a really compelling mystery/thriller with some horror elements; there's just enough of the weird to make you wonder if what's going on can be explained with reason and logic or i
Nancy Oakes
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, crime-fiction
I seriously believe that I must have been the only person on this planet who wasn't a huge fan of Tremblay's first book A Head Full of Ghosts. This one, Disappearance at Devil's Rock, while not perfect, was much more to my liking. Let's just get this out of the way up front -- I am not a huge fan of what I call "teencentric" novels so I didn't love this book. However, to be very fair, it turns out when all is said and done to be suspenseful, atmospheric and tragic all at the same time. Aside fro ...more
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss, own
Paul Tremblay's A Headful of Ghosts was a 5-star read for me last year, so when I received an ARC of Disappearance at Devil's Rock, it immediately jumped the queue and went to the top of my TBR pile. I should have left it at the bottom. Disappearance at Devil's Rock was so disappointing that I hate to see it shelved next to its fabulous predecessor.

From the beginning, Tremblay made some stylistic choices which I found at first annoying and then downright irritating. First were the chapter headin
Sadie Mother Horror
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book. *sigh* I don't want to give too much away. Paul Tremblay breaks all the rules here. He breaks technical, writing rules with head hopping, weird dialog tags and some other literary tricks. But it's fine with me, he can do what he wants-I'll read all his books. He also breaks genre rules. Is this a paranormal thriller? Ghost story? Horror? What is it? I'll tell you all the things he did right: Tremblay can write teens. He's got them down. I loved all the teens in this story so hard. I l ...more
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Readers
Shelves: books-i-own, mystery
*Won this on Goodreads Giveaways!! Excited and ready to read it. **

3 Stars (edited; 3.5 stars would be quite generous)

I think this was okay, if it was touted as a mystery of the disappearance of a teen boy named Tommy. Instead we get the blurb "psychological suspense" and "supernatural horror." I think not. There wasn't even any creepiness, until we meet "Arnold." It is only because he is an absolute creep and loser.

If this was put out the way it was meant to be, I may have enjoyed it more for
Ugh... Never thought there would come a day when I would give another 1-star rating to a book, but here it is. After reading the blurb I thought this novel would be a real treat. Little did I know that not much else was to happen beyond what was already exposed on the back of the jacket. A boy mysteriously disappears and his family is struggling to cope, and yeah... not much else.

I think this book failed due to wrong marketing and loss of identity. I was told this would be a horror novel. Not ev
Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
WOW was this an amazing book...


The writing was flawless. The mystery and the way it played out had me turning pages like a mad woman. It was atmospheric, it was creepy, it was heartbreaking.

Definitely one of the best book I have read this year.
Carol Irvin
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like psychological thrillers with a twist of horror, like I do, you have got to read Paul Tremblay's new thriller! Paul can really write and had me in suspense til the very end!! Guess what? I want more!! This book will definitely stay with me for a very long time!!

P.S. Here are some great examples of his writing- "He sits up straight, as tall as he can, pressing himself into the seat back, and closes his eyes, squeezing them shut, the lids crushing into asterisks"- how cool is that? And
Abby (Crime by the Book)
I'd give this book somewhere between a 3.5-4 stars. It's super engrossing & addictive, and has plenty of chills!! That being said, it's definitely not the most complex writing. This is a dessert kind of book - aka book to pick up when you just want a treat! The ending was a bit disappointing to me - that definitely lowered my rating. Full review to come on CBTB!
The Behrg
Apr 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Tremblay has quickly become one of my go-to authors. From his writing style to his unique takes on what might otherwise be genre cliches, he tends to approach things with a fresh perspective which is something I always look for. Disappearance at Devil's Rock, about a missing child, unfortunately fell a little flat for me.

I'm still trying to determine what exactly was missing that kept me from being fully engaged in this story. There's a lot of time spent with the mother and sister through their
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
3.5 stars--somewhere between liked/really liked it. This book started out spooky and ended up really, really tragic. I liked it, but would have preferred something more supernatural. (view spoiler)
Thomas Wagner
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
There is surely nothing more devastating to a parent than the loss of a child, but when that loss is shrouded in the unknown, the sense that no resolution might be forthcoming, or even that having a resolution will leave so many unanswered questions, it must be infinitely overwhelming. That's the crisis at the heart of this eerie suburban gothic. Disappearance at Devil's Rock works better, perhaps, as a case study in emotional family turmoil than as a mystery or thriller. But Paul Tremblay gets ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
What did I think about Disappearance at Devil's Rock? Goddammit. I... I don't know.

I was not a fan of Tremblay's Head Full of Ghosts, but I decided to give him another chance, because Stephen King recommended this book. He said it scared the shit out of him. Scaring the shit out of the King of Horror? I had high hopes.

By the time I was 40% in, I was skimming it.
Three main things that ruined this book for me:
#1: The writing style. Tremblay has this weird-ass thing with dialogue where instead o
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Paul Tremblay is the author of DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK and the award-winning A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. His other novels include THE LITTLE SLEEP (Henry Holt), NO SLEEP TILL WONDERLAND (Henry Holt), SWALLOWING A DONKEY'S EYE (Chizine Publications), and the YA novel FLOATING BOY AND THE GIRL WHO COULDN'T FLY (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones, as P. T. Jones).

He is the author of the short sto
More about Paul Tremblay

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“All cats are assholes. It’s what makes them so cool.” “True.” 4 likes
“Maybe the people who go away are the ones who are not afraid, not sad, and not alone. Maybe there’s a place where they gather and say things like What is to be done with all the silly people we left behind?” 1 likes
More quotes…