Originally published: 6 October 2018
Author: D W Gillespie
Published by: Flame Tree Press
Length: 240 pages
Reading dates: 6-8 October 2018
Star Rating: 4/5
Jack didn’t know what to call the nameless, skeletal creature that slunk into her house in the dead of night, stealing the very things she loved the most. So she named him The Toy Thief…
There’s something in Jack’s past that she doesn’t want to face, an evil presence that forever changed the trajectory of her family. It all began when The Toy Thief appeared, a being drawn by goodness and innocence, eager to feed on everything Jack holds dear. What began as a mystery spirals out of control when her brother, Andy, is taken away in the night, and Jack must venture into the dark place where the toys go to get him back. But even if she finds him, will he ever be the same?
9 year old Jack lives with her Dad and older brother Andy, her mum having died giving birth to her. Her dad does the best he can, but the family live off junk food, family time is often a horror movie and the kids are often left to their own devices. When Jack’s friend looses a doll after a show the kids have put on, Jack assumes it is Andy who has taken it but when she watches the video tape, she sees a hand that definitely isn’t human taking the doll.
I really enjoyed this! As I’ve said before, I really enjoy horror and I’m thrilled Flame Tree Press have a great catalogue of authors writing some seriously creepy books! I must admit, I wasn’t sure about a monster than steals toys…it didn’t seem very scary! But the descriptions of the monster and it’s actions are really horrible! Told from Jack’s point of view as a grown up looking back, the book flits between her life now, what happened to her and Andy as children and the effects it had on the rest of their lives. Jack as an adult isn’t all that nice but I had sympathy for her as there are reasons for it. The story is well paced…just the right amount of tension to make you want to keep reading yet still saving some shocks for the end. Great fun and it would make a great movie!
Many thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours, Flame Tree Press and D W Gillespie for inviting me to be part of this tour.
About the author:
A long time fan of all things dark and spooky, D.W. Gillespie began writing monstrous stories while still in grade school. At one point, his mother asked the doctor if there was anything she should be concerned about, and he assured her that some kids just like stories about decapitations.
He’s been writing on and off for over a decade, quietly building a body of work that includes horror and dark sci-fi. His novels include Still Dark, The Toy Thief, and a short story collection titled Handmade Monsters.
He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two kids, all three of which give him an endless supply of things to write about.