The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

The Boy Who Could See Demons

Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Demons - psychological, paranormal and historical - inhabit this emotionally tense story about a troubled young boy, his suicidal mother and his grieving psychiatrist. When Alex‘s mum is ill, he meets Anya who wants to get to the truth behind Ruen, a menacing shape-shifting creature who visits him. This debut novel, tackling issues such as mental illness and Schizophrenia, violence and poverty, is sinister but heart-warming, bleak but engrossing.


He is showing his teeth like Woof does when he's cross; his face is turning bright red. Then he changes into a monster right in front of me, his short skinny arms bursting out of his shirt and turning dark and shadowy and his eyes rolling back in his head. He grows so tall that his head bends against the ceiling and instead of his funny, purplish monster-skin he looks like thick black smoke with eyes and a hole like the middle of a tornado where his mouth should be. And in the middle of that hole are four long fangs. Then he turns and lunges towards me and I shout, 'Ruen!'

  • Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green
  • Finding Alice by Melody Carlson

Books with similar mood

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde

The Mountain Story

Lori Lansens

The Painted Bridge

Wendy Wallace

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Maaza Mengiste

Night Work

Thomas Glavinic

The Migration

Helen Marshall


Jussi Adler-Olsen


Christine Mangan

This is Paradise

Will Eaves

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man

Nick Dybek

The Inquisitor

Mark Allen Smith

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Matthew Green


Nicolas Dickner

Nanjing 1937: A Love Story

Ye Zhaoyan

The Fire Sermon

Francesca Haig

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters


G X Todd

The Machine

James Smythe

The Company Man

Robert Jackson Bennett

Far North

Marcel Theroux

The Quiet Twin

Dan Vyleta

Wolf Totem

Jiang Rong

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

Saturday's Child

Ray Banks

Always the Sun

Neil Cross

Falling Out of Cars

Jeff Noon

Stone Cold Red Hot

Cath Staincliffe

The Housekeeper

Melanie Wallace

Brixton Beach

Roma Tearne

The Axeman's Jazz

Ray Celestin

San Miguel

T C Boyle

Isabel's Skin

Peter Benson

The Terror of Living

Urban Waite

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Carrie Ryan

Under Fishbone Clouds

Sam Meekings

A House by the River

Sid Smith


Karen Roberts

Blood Red Rivers

Jean-Christophe Grangé

The Orchard of Lost Souls

Nadifa Mohamed

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

Helen Grant

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Clare Morrall

Haunted Ground

Erin Hart


Francine Toon

Dear Child

Romy Hausmann

Red Birds

Mohammed Hanif

A Woman is No Man

Etaf Rum

The President's Gardens

Muhsin Al-Ramli

The Last Llanelli Train

Robert Lewis