by Dathan Auerbach
(3.94 stars – Goodreads rating)
To Be Published August 7, 2018, by Doubleday
Genre: Fiction / Horror (ish) / Mystery / Suspense
Page Count: 320 pgs (Kindle version)
They’d seen flyers for Eric here and there over the years… they never really looked. No one ever does.
When I think about what makes a good horror story, one of the most important components is the atmosphere. Auerbach sets us up in a small Floridian town and then strips us of all sense of security and comfort. He surrounds his characters with grief, poverty, and suspicion, and therefore creates a perfect setting for this creepy tale that weaves real-life horror with a little something extra.
Eric has been missing for five years and no one has any answers as to what could have happened to him. His big brother, Ben, was the last one to see him and seems to be the only one committed to still searching for him. When Ben takes a job at the same store where Eric went missing, strange things begin to occur that convince him that someone does know what happened to Eric and they’re trying to reach out to him. But is it to help him or to stop him from asking questions?
The Bad Man will leave you guessing. The unreliable narrator, the creepy store setting, and Ben’s shady coworkers and friends all manage to introduce more questions as you read than they answer. I found the book to be quite engrossing; however, the ending was wholly unsatisfying in that there were several strings left hanging that made even the epilogue seem incomplete.
I would recommend this book to lovers of horror and mystery that don’t mind a story that leaves you with lots of questions at the end. This one isn’t tied up with a neat little bow. And if you don’t mind filling in the blanks for yourself, this is definitely the book for you.
**Many thanks to NetGalley, Doubleday Books, and the author for providing this ARC for me to read a review.**
About the Author
Dathan Auerbach was born in the southern United States and has lived there for most of his life. He is the author of Penpal.
(Biography taken from Bad Man)