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The Tear Collector

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  95 reviews
The misdeeds of our ancestors can be like shadows, lurking and waiting to reveal the sins of the past. For the residents of Harper Pass, that time is now.

After an autistic classmate goes missing in the small Appalachian community, young Brooks Raker and his friends stumble into the middle of the police investigation. As the dark secrets of the town’s past start to unrave
Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published December 2nd 2019 by Rhetoric Askew, LLC (first published November 25th 2019)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I’ve seen others say that The Tear Collector has a feel of Stephen King with the story being centred around four boys, you’ll probably know The Body better as the film Stand By Me. In a way I would agree, we get to see the boys’ friendship and their bond grow through out as well having some very horrible bullies who are out for blood. Other than that though, this is an author who very much has his own voice.

The writing has a simplistic feel to it, making it easy for me to fall right in and get h
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tear Collector is Shawn Burgess's debut and a cross between a thriller and a horror novel with elements of the paranormal, mystery and even a young adult feel at times. It is also the first in a series, and if this is anything to go by the sequel is going to be intensely gripping. I rarely read horror and find that it appears to be a neglected genre with very few horror books being published. I am pleased I picked this up as it sounded like a homage to the one and only Stephen King, and it w ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the pacing, lots of things happening with little down time, plus the author definitely knows how to write the personalities of boys in the age range of 12 to 14. The writing is good, except for parts where I found it a little melodramatic and redundant. Otherwise, worth the read.

Thanks, Shawn.
Jeremy Stewart
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I was sent a copy from Shawn in exchange for my honest review*

This is his debut novel. This book is classified as a young adult thriller.

I was absolutely invested in this novel from page one on. The writing of this author is absolutely spectacular. He did an amazing job of keeping me on my toes while delivering a spooky yet astoundingly thrilling novel. There were a few times that I jumped out of my seat while reading this. By far one of the best debut novels I have ever read. when I saw the co
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow!! I didn't expect to like this book so much. No offense to the author.

The book started with the main character Brooks and his friends being bullied. Then came a missing girl, a so called mad professor, a weird man, a dead body, and a murderer.

My first book by author Shawn Burgess, and what an unexpected read it was. Man, I was sucked in... No idea if it was the writing or the strange characters in the book!! Just kidding. Got to be honest, the writing was quite different for me to get the vi
Jill Squire
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Mr. Shawn Burgess’s “The Tear Collector”, for me, proved to be a riveting and fun read regarding coming of age and horror.

Mr. Burgess captured with uncanny certainty the angst of adolescence awkwardness, sharp pain of loss, the need to belong, loyalty born of pre-adulthood and inner strength for teens. He weaves these facets through his beautifully paced and chilling tale of horror & mythos in such a way that the
For those who enjoyed Stranger Things, this one's for you. I for one thought it read like a YA novel but some of the gory scenes probably pushed this one in the adult section. Burgess is a good author but I think the editing falls a bit short where words and expressions are repeated throughout. That said, the story is a good one and the pace is good. Just too much fist-bumping among teenagers for me. A generous 3*. ...more
Steve Stred
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

‘The Tear Collector’ is my first go-around with Mr. Burgess and what a great introduction to his writing. The synopsis itself and the cover had me massively intrigued and I’d seen some really good reviews about this around its release date.

What I liked: This story hums along and the principle plot behind it is right up my alley. Grief Hollow is a section of woods near a small town that everyone avoids. People go missing, odd things happen etc
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tear Collector is a fast paced horror-thriller that captured me in a number of ways, many of them unexpected.

The book's opening sequence is not only heartbreaking, but also introduces the mystery surrounding Harper Pass. The following chapters then introduce the reader to Brooks and the gang, who are the focus of the story.

A group of boys drawn into the horrifying secrets of a town is nothing new to the horror genre, but Burgess handles the tale
with skill. Brooks and his friends are well dra
Cassondra Windwalker
Readers of Shawn Burgess's online work have been eagerly awaiting the release of The Tear Collector, and they will not be disappointed. Technically in the horror genre, The Tear Collector is much more than a tale of terror and gore - although I definitely recommend reading it in the daylight hours. Deft prose combined with thrilling, pell-mell action carry the reader page to page, wild anticipation stronger than the undeniable dread. A band of young boys, brought together by camaraderie in the f ...more
Susan Hampson
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-reads
If you enjoy books by Stephen King then this book is probably up your street. Set in the small town of Harper Pass, deep in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America, everyone knows everyone else and their business as families have lived there for generations. So when a young autistic girl goes missing it affects the whole community but strange sightings of her are very disturbing.
This is a horror, thriller, mystery read that made my eyes read on when my brain was shouting look away! A
Skip Schmidt
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a preface to Robert Burns' poem, "Tam O' Shanter," Gawin Douglas wrote: "Of Brownyis and of Bogillis full is this Buke." For his thrilling debut horror novel, The Tear Collector, Shawn Burgess brings forth a Bogeyman to end all Bogeymen - and does so in as exciting and well-crafted a manner as is possible. At the same time as a local autistic girl, Margo Combs, is discovered to have gone missing in the woods around the small town of Harper's Pass, her classmate, Brooks Raker, stumbles on a my ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to be given an advance copy of Shawn Burgess's debut novel in exchange for an honest review, and Shawn did not disappoint. Although the horror/science fiction is not my normal "go-to" I enjoyed this book and tore through it in one sitting. The story is fast-paced, tightly plotted, and creepy as hell. As others have mentioned, the plot is reminiscent of Stranger Things and Steven King in that it involves a group of young boys solving a gory mystery of supernatural origins i ...more
Robert Rodenkirch
Make this one into a movie already!

This thriller moves quick! I was hooked by page 3 and when I got to end, I wanted more. While taking breaks from reading to do things like, go to work, I found myself thinking about the book and trying to figure out where the story was going – I was not successful.

Shawn Burgess delivers a captivating and well written story that made me laugh out loud, angered me and occasionally made me ask ‘what the bleep’? This story follows a group of young boys through the
Jennifer Soucy
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Horror stories with kids as the protagonists have been popular since Stephen King's It and The Body (to name a few). We've also seen this over the years with Spielburg and now The Duffer Brothers. And guess what - it's still a trope worth exploring, as Burgess proves here.

The Tear Collector features child heroes, but this is not a kiddy story - almost as gruesome as the darkest of contemporary fairy tales. Something bad is happening in Harpers Pass, radiating from the creepily named Gri
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The mystery of Grief Hallow consumes you from the very beginning and takes you on a chilling, suspenseful ride with Brooks and his friends as they try to figure out what is plaguing the quaint town of Harper Pass.

Thrillers and mysteries are my favorite genres and The Tear Collector, Shawn Burgess’ debut novel, did not disappoint. All the twists and turns throughout the story - many of them leaving me with my heart racing and my mouth ajar – kept me wanting more. Along with the strong story line
Jessica Belmont
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sucked into The Tear Collector from the beginning. I was absolutely excited by the plot and I had a lot of trouble putting this one down. This is my first read from Shawn Burgess and you can be sure it won’t be my last. The writing…the characters…yeah, this was awesome.

I love horror. It might be my favorite genre (shh, don’t tell Fantasy that). When it is done right, the story seeps into you, and makes it difficult for you to stop thinking about it long after you finish reading.

This also h
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shawn Burgess is an author to watch. If his next works are anything like his debut novel, The Tear Collector, he’ll be on a big time roll.

I enjoyed the smart storytelling, and the ease at which Burgess was able to travel between narrator, adults, and the youth in the story. It felt much like Stephen King’s talent for voicing all ages.

I appreciated the work Burgess put into defining characters. Each had a uniqueness, adding strength to the cast, as a whole. The story kept me from doing things I
Kristina Merchant
I cannot wait for the sequel!! I was immediately hooked within the first pages. The scene is set with an experience that impacts all the characters’ lives in some way. Fast forward several years and they are caught up in a mystery they can’t understand. The Tear Collector is much like Stranger Things, full of mystery and a relatable group of kids that you could easily see being the friends you grew up with! The Tear Collector is written in such detail that you could really picture yourself there ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let’s just say I pretty much neglected my family and work while reading this book as I could not put it down. I don’t typically read this genre as I’m too much of a scaredy-cat but I was hooked in the first few chapters. After the first night I did have to stop reading it before falling asleep. Grief Hollow had a way of creeping into my dreams.
The well developed characters and intriguing plot kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait to see how everything would turn out for Brooks and the
D.K. Marie
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was fantastic. I grew up reading horror, devouring them in middle and high school but fell off reading them in college. The characters and stories no longer entertaining me, scaring me enough. I figured I outgrew them, my taste changing (which I'm sure is part of it).

However, The Tear Collector reminded me of why I used to love the horror genre. Burgess's storytelling is great, this novel filled with creepy, spine-tingling fun, that set my heart racing and my dark imagination soaring
D.M. Shepard
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The parallels we find between fiction and real life at times can be ironic and unsettling at the same time. Shawn Burgess’s The Tear Collector is paranormal thriller/horror novel about a group of boys in a small town who are trying to help the police find their missing classmate, Margo Combs. She’s an autistic girl who has gone missing in the woods. As the clues come unraveled and bodies pile up, they realize that Grief Hollow, is more than just a name.

Shawn asked me to ARC read his novel months
H.G. Sansostri
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shawn Burgess’ ‘The Tear Collector’ is a terrifying tale of the Markland X crew in the town of Harper’s Pass, the site of a horrific accident that took place many years prior to the main setting of the story. It follows the story of Brook, a teenage boy who joins the Markland X crew (formed by Robby and Tee) and encounters some strange and terrifying happenings.

But I’m not gonna say any more about the story. Explaining it away in a review would feel like robbing you readers of the opportunity t
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love to discover new authors and Shawn Burgess is most definitely a new author for me. 'The Tear Collector' is a bit out of my comfort zone because I don't usually read horror type books but they do say that a change is as good as a rest so without further ado I sat down and started to read. I really did enjoy reading 'The Tear Collector' even if it did scare the crap out of me at times, but more about that in a bit.
I made the fatal mistake of beginning to read this book shortly bef
Levi Krain
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Tear Collector is the exciting, excellent debut novel from Shawn Burgess. At its heart, it is a supernatural mystery thriller.

Let’s think about that.

This is not simply a horror story, though it is that. That’s where the supernatural part comes in and you get a taste of it right away as the book begins. There is a monster here, though Burgess gradually teases out exactly who/what/why that monster is.

There is also a great deal of mystery wrapped up in the tale. Readers will find themselves as
C.D. Storiz
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm normally not a fan of horror and I try to avoid them - especially if I want to sleep. But, I follow Shawn Burgess on Twitter (his clips of his writing really impressed me) and when I saw that his book was being published, I knew I had to read it and I'm so glad that I did. He has opened up a whole new genre for me to read and enjoy! The Tear Collector to me is Stephen King's It meets Netflix's Stranger Things. The friendship formed between the characters was reminiscent of my childhood with ...more
Kerry Robinson
What a superb, spine tingling debut novel!

Although this book could easily be placed in the horror genre, I found it more a psychological thriller.  What could be more intense than the mysterious disappearance of a young autistic girl and a bunch of strange goings on that have little explanation?  For me horror lies in the things I cannot see, the things that are there but can only be imagined and this novel really plays on those fears.

Fans of 'buddy' movies such as Stranger Things (I know, not a
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Tear Collector is the first debut novel of Shawn Burgess; an upcoming speculative mystery author. The plot of the book is really succesful. It seems like a coherent mix of Stranger Things, mad scientist and other various mystery and science fiction stories and archetypes that we all know and love, with of course the author’s original and distinctive narrative style. So far, the plot is as coherent as it can be, no gaping holes or inconsistencies to draw the reader away from the story. Rather ...more
Heather Riley
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The tear collector is a fast paced read that grabs the reader right away, making it an instant page-turner. The storytelling is vivid, gripping and suspenseful. The characters are diverse and very well-developed – youi become quickly invested in each of their story lines from the start.

The Tear Collector has so many unexpected twists and turns and that makes this book very hard to put down.

I do think this book will appeal to a wide-ranging audience. Fans of horror and supernatural literature wi
Dawn Hosmer
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the privilege of reading an Advanced Reader Copy of Shawn Burgess' debut novel, The Tear Collector. This book had everything a reader could possibly want - an intriguing & well-developed cast of characters, evocative prose, a suspenseful plot, so many twists & turns, and loads of delightful creepiness. The story centers around the town of Harper Pass and talks about the mysterious happenings in the area, specifically Grief Hollow. Shawn's description is so on-point that most of the time I ...more
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