Wilder, a lonely boy, spends a summer by the sea and is confronted with an intruder called the Dagger Man, several missing women and a confusing friendship. A gruesome discovery haunts him for a lifetime and is the reason for a rift between him and a friend who steals his life story. Such an intriguing, dark, spooky and exciting read, I found it a real page turner - and I didn’t see the end coming at all.
Harper fetches stones and lines the dip in the ground, making a fire pit. She builds a cone of dry twigs and sticks. Then she puts the hemlock at the heart of it, handkerchief and all. 'Blood,' she says, without turning around. 'We need blood. From all three.'
We both step forward and give her our hands. I can't even see what she holds that does it, but there's a feeling like a click and a moment later our fingers drip crimson.
'Don't waste it' she says, impatient. 'Put it on the fire.' So we all hold our dripping hands over the wood and kindling and watch it become spattered with red.
Harper puts a match to the fire which crackles up right away. it's been a dry summer. She pushes us upwind of the smoke. 'Don't go near it': she says. 'The hemlock's burning. I don't know if it's dangerous to breathe it in.'
'Maybe don't burn it if you don't know stuff like that?' I say, nervous.
'Oh be quiet, Wilder.' She smiles and I blink. For a second it looks like she has too many teeth.
'We have to stay here until the fire dies, so that the spell works.'
'Also to make sure we don't set the woods on fire,’ Nat says. He becomes more and more comfortable the weirder things get, I've noticed.