Release date: July 8, 2018
Publisher: Midnight Ink
It’s 1989 in the sleepy town of Longview, Texas, when ten-year-old Lucy disappears. Her parents, the police, and the community all brace for the worst, assuming her body will soon be found in Big Woods. Just like the other unsolved kidnappings.
But then Lucy’s fourteen-year-old sister, Leah, starts having dreams about Lucy—dreams that reveal startling clues as to what happened. Leah begins her own investigation, and soon she meets a reclusive widow who may hold the key to finding Lucy . . . if only she can find the courage to come forward.
Delving into the paranoia surrounding satanic cults in the 1980s, Big Woods is an emotionally wrought, propulsive thriller about the enormity of grief, the magical bond between sisters, and a small town’s dark secrets.
If you’re in the mood for a book that sucks you in from the very start then look no further, because Big Woods hooked me after just two pages. A little girl goes missing in the late eighties and being an eighties baby myself I’m always nostalgic for books set then, and throw in a side of satanic cult worshippers and a hint of magical realism and I’m all in!
This alternates between Leah and Sylvia, Lucy is Leah’s sister so her connection was obvious but with Sylvia I wasn’t quite sure how she would fit in, it definitely kept me guessing. I was very invested in these characters, Leah and her family were good, hardworking and sweet people and Sylvia was the same, it made for a nice change of pace to actually like the characters in a thriller compared to many books that are full of hateful and unsympathetic ones.
The pacing here was fantastic, the chapters are short and sweet, you get straight to the point and just keep going for another chapter and then another and before you know it you’re finished! I was so curious about what happened to Lucy, was it the work of a devil worshipping cult? A pedophile? Did she run away? I had many theories and I’m so pleased to say I never quite guessed before the reveal.
I was really impressed that this was Cobb’s debut, she has an assured style that I really liked and she crafted a really interesting story that was part mystery/thriller part family drama that worked so well together. I would definitely read another book from her and will be curious to see what she comes up with next.
Big Woods in three words: Quick, Engrossing and Deft.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the author for my review copy.