I received a copy of this book from the publisher & author, E.C. Fisher, via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Actual rating of 3.5 stars.
In 1988 at Camp High Tide, a young boy is bullied and tormented, when he finds an opening to get this group of kids to finally leave him alone, he takes it. Unfortunately this leads to his untimely death, the kids pretend that nothing ever happened, and the death is covered up. No one knows what happened to Timothy Waters, and the camp is shut down following parent’s fears of sending their children to a camp where another child has disappeared without a trace. Fast forward 30 years to 2018 and the camp’s old owner is found dead next to the lake where Timothy drowned, Detective Daniel Nash is given the case and finds a connection to the missing boy from 30 years previous. Deciding to call each of the children who were responsible for bullying the missing child, he unknowingly seals their fate, as Timmy has come back for revenge and he won’t stop until he gets it.
A short story that centres around revenge driven ghosts and punishing past misdeeds grabbed my attention straight away. I won’t lie, it was very cliche in parts as well as drawing from a lot of different horror tropes, but that’s okay, because the story worked very well. I guess you could say this is your stereotypical ghost story at a summer camp, well, part of it is at a summer camp anyway.
I enjoyed the characters of Detective Daniel Nash, and Detective Simmons, for such a short story, you really got a feel for the characters which can be difficult in a novella, Fisher pulls it off, I applaud him for this. We get a brief insight to the kids in the 80s, and what can I say, they were your stereotypical bully clique, we got to know them a little bit but not overly much, as they weren’t the sole focus of the story I believe.
This story does give us a look at bullying, and how difficult it can be for people who don’t feel that they are strong enough to fight back or get free from under the bullies themselves. Timothy was a weak child, he was sickly and even said at one point to the camp owner, that he was too weak to fight back. It also shows us how things may have been for those being bullied in the 80s, the owner instead of stepping in more, simply told Timmy to ‘buck up’ and that life was cruel, and he assumed that Timmy had committed suicide because he couldn’t handle it anymore.
I couldn’t hate the character of Timmy because he was mercilessly bullied and pushed to do something that terrified him and ultimately killed him, he deserved his revenge I believe. That’s just my opinion though.
All in all, it was a super quick read, a ghost story that was wrapped up nicely. I wouldn’t mind seeing more stories centring around Detective Nash, I feel like there could be a great supernatural series there, though I did find it a little bit unbelievable that Nash accepted the possibility of the killings having a supernatural nature, generally the logical detective types shy away from these kinds of explanations, but overall this didn’t impact the story at all, just something that I personally thought was accepted maybe a little too easily. I’d still love to see Detective Nash and Co. in a supernatural type series of books. *hint hint Mr. Fisher!*