Abiding Evil – Book Review

Abiding Evil by Alison Buck (ISBN 978-0955220630)
I stumbled across horror novel Abiding Evil when I was hunting the internet for a new read. I had never heard of Alison Buck before but the review I found was glowing (the new Stephen King etc). Amazon backed this up with all 5 star reviews.
Don’t believe everything you read!
The plot is a simple enough one which, told well, would scare the bejeezus out you. Chidren from the local town go missing in backwoods America in the middle-to-late 20th century, stolen by a sinister man/creature with pointy teeth and razor-sharp claws. He kidnaps girls and then uses them to lure other children to his forest lair to become his ‘dolls.’ Chilling fare.
Now we need a hero, so enter Jon, disfigured of face and brought up in a shack by his grandmother. He confronts the Shadowman – I won’t tell you what happens – and I have to

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say that up to this point I’d really enjoyed the book. It was a real page turner, but then we came into modern day and are introduced to a collection of characters heading for a winter break in a remote hotel… in the very woods where the Shadowman lurked.

And suddenly the writing changed. With the introduction of multiple characters (several couples, some of whom have kids) came an extensive description of everyone’s innermost thoughts and feelings during conversations and arguments. Portrayals of character traits were over-exaggerated and cliched

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(bitchy gay queen, alcoholic failed sports guy with ditzy blonde girlfriend etc.) to the point that I really didn’t care about anyone.

Needless to say the kids go missing, the couples go looking for them in the snow-covered woods and the Shadowman returns. The writing does improve again as we approach the conclusion but by then I had just lost all interest.
This book runs to over 500 pages and I think with some heavy pruning (reduce the inner-monologues and let me deduce their feelings from their reactions) it could have been a tidy little story. Sadly, as it is it just didn’t

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follow through on the promising start.

Give this one a miss.
1.5 / 5
GS Reviewer: Phil Ambler
Phil is a co-host on Scrolls, the podcast for literary geekdom.
Listen to it here on the Geek Syndicate Network.
Follow me on Twitter @phlambler and follow ‘scrollscast for

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