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Disappearance at Devil's Rock

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  13,085 ratings  ·  1,842 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 w…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)
Renee S. DeCamillis Yes, as everyone else has commented, the pages definitely say, "Don't leave. . . . I'm still here." That is what killed me at the ending. Even in deat…moreYes, as everyone else has commented, the pages definitely say, "Don't leave. . . . I'm still here." That is what killed me at the ending. Even in death, Tommy is trying to keep his family together. He is desperately clinging to the life he's lost. Elizabeth knows exactly what is written before she reads the pages, and that is why she doesn't want Kate to go into the house with her or to know why she is going into the house. Kate wouldn't be able to handle it, and she wouldn't want to leave the house, but it has already been sold. I don't know how Elizabeth is able to leave the house after finding out Tommy is still there. Then I have to remind myself, "This is fiction." Ha! Yes, this book is so great it feels real. (less)

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Average rating 3.60  · 
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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
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best horror category 2016!

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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 He
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
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
Jack Tripper
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sadie Hartmann
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
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. ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 happ
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/07/27/...

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
Dannii Elle
This transformed from a mystery thriller, to supernatural horror. From a chilling story of child abduction to a fantastical tale where nothing can be trusted as real. And this ever twisting beast combined into an ending that defied classification, just like the rest of it.

Whilst I did enjoy my reading of this, the myriad of questions it raised consumed and haunted me, which mirrored the plot and enhanced my overall reading experience. I can now see why Tremblay is such a beloved author as he is
Johann (jobis89)
"But Tommy isn't a ghost. He can't be, because right now Tommy is the opposite of a ghost. He is nowhere."

Disappearance at Devil's Rock tells the story about a family's ordeal following the mysterious disappearance of thirteen-year-old, Tommy Sanderson. Creepy occurrences follow as his mother, Elizabeth, and his sister, Kate, try to unravel exactly what happened out at Devil's Rock...

After seeing Paul Tremblay all over bookstagram with rave reviews, I have been eagerly waiting for one of his boo
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.
I can't get too much into this one since I don't want to spoil, but what a great book this was! This is my first Paul Tremblay and it definitely will not be my last. I saw that some reviewers complained about this one since it wasn't "real horror." I disagree. I got a sense of unease while reading and kept jumping a few times when the book transitions over to Tommy's diary/writing and the picture he drew. Last night I refused to go to sleep until I had started a romance novel to cleanse my palat ...more
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
Nov 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
Cobwebby Reading Reindeer Remember Ukraine 🇺🇦

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 (
Nancy Oakes
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction, arc
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: own, edelweiss
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
Alondra Miller
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This author really blew me away with his previous novel. This book is also good, but not as good. The disappearance in this story reads a bit like a mystery with some supernatural elements woven in. I would classify this as a crime novel and not a horror novel.
The story builds with a good, even pace and the tension ratchets up nicely. Once again it is the kid-horror genre, except this would be more like kid-crime lit. The central characters are well developed and the plot progresses at a mild p
The Sassy Bookworm
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this one, and it had me totally creeped out! I was up until almost 2 am finishing it last night, and I was not disappointed.

Tommy Sanderson goes missing one night, and his mother Elizabeth is thrown into a nightmare that no parent ever wants to imagine. Tommy's friends claim that he ran off into the woods, but they aren't telling the whole truth, and Elizabeth slowly starts to discover the horrible events that took place that night at Devil's Rock.

Tremblay masterfully weaves sup
Ms BookAholic
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
Ashley Daviau
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was beyond brilliant! I’ve seen a lot of great reviews but I still wasn’t expecting it to be THIS good. In fact, I think I might have found a new author to add to the favourites list! This book just has so much going for it; thriller, ghost story, horror, it’s a bit of everything and I couldn’t have loved it more. The characters were beautifully written, I found myself completely enraptured by them and it’s a big part of what made this book so enjoyable. I loved the setting and the cla ...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 has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the author of The Pallbearers Club (coming 2022), Survivor Song, Growing Things, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Los ...more

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