Wednesday 16 October 2013

Book Review: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher.

Product details:
Publisher: Chicken House.
Paperback, 369 pages.
Release date: October 3rd 2013.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: 14+
Source: Received for review.

Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.

Personal demons become deadly weapons in The Killing Woods, the haunting new thriller from Stolen author Lucy Christopher.

What happened in the woods the night Ashlee Parker died?

Emily lives in a military town, a town where life is laced with fear and touched by death, a town where wounds run deep – a town where people know a killer when they see one. Everybody in Emily’s town is convinced her dad murdered Ashlee Parker. After all, he’s the one who carried Ashlee’s dead body out of the woods. And everybody knows that Emily’s dad hasn’t been the same since he was discharged from the army, so traumatized by his wartime experience that he now spends his days hiding out in a bunker in the woods, stalking, if you are to believe what people are saying, Ashlee Parker. But Emily knows her dad is innocent. She knows he’s not a killer. And Emily knows that the truth is out there, somewhere in the woods. But the woods are deep, dark, and sometimes deadly, just like the secrets they keep…

Damon Hilary is also keeping secrets. The most popular guy at school, Damon is golden, and in Ashlee Parker he has the hottest girlfriend too, or at least that was the case until Emily Shepherd’s wacko dad killed her in the woods. But Damon knows that’s not the full truth, because he knows that on the night Ashlee Parker died, Emily’s dad wasn’t the only other person in the woods. He knows, because he was there too- and the scary thing is he can’t remember a thing about that night. Damon wants to believe that Emily’s dad is guilty, but he knows in his heart that there’s more to this story. And with Emily so determined of her dad’s innocence, Damon starts second guessing himself, because he knows that Ashlee was no golden girl.  And Damon knows that dangerous games are played in the woods at night.

Darkly beautiful, The Killing Woods is a twisted puzzle piece of a book that kept me reading late into the night and guessing right to the end. Unlike a lot of readers, I wasn’t a huge fan of Christopher’s Stolen, finding it too slow-paced for my liking so this one was an extra-pleasant surprise for me. I’m also now thinking of re-reading Stolen in the hopes that I’ll have a newfound appreciation for it since I enjoyed this one so much.  I love a good thriller, and the inclusion of the woods here was an added bonus for me. I mean, who doesn’t find deep dark woods just a little scary -especially at night. Christopher writes beautifully, bringing the woods to life. In this wonderfully atmospheric book the woods become a character in themselves, playing games and keeping their secrets buried deep right until the final act, when the light breaks through, and the truth finally reveals.

Tense, atmospheric and haunting, this tale of dark secrets and murder in a military town is perfectly plotted and executed, and is well worth checking out.


  1. Jess Hearts Books16 October 2013 at 18:05

    I wasn't a huge fan of Stolen either but love the sound of The Killing Woods and have it on my Halloween TBR so I'm really glad you enjoyed it! This was a fantastic review Leanna and I can't wait to read this one!

  2. I just got Stolen out of the library because I heard this was coming out and wanted to check out her other work. This sounds sooo good! Fab review hon, I'm so excited to read this book now!

  3. ChristinaBookAddict17 October 2013 at 13:33

    Fantastic review. I can't handle scary stories, but this one sounds like the perfect read to get lost in during the fall season. I like that it's a military town--that definitely adds to it as well the setting of the scary woods. That would be enough to keep me up late!

  4. I thought I was the only one who didn't really like Stolen - most people I know loved it! The Killing Woods is a good read. It'll definitely keep you guessing!

  5. Thanks, Danielle! This one is pretty dark, but definitely worth reading.

  6. I really liked the setting of the military town/seeing how people were affected by war etc.

  7. Ooh this sounds right up my alley I love thrillers and yes woods are super creepy and usually always so atmospheric when the author is good! I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for this one! Great review, Leanna!

  8. Thanks, Danielle! This one is wonderful and worth reading.

  9. What a wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. The Killing Woods was my first book read by Lucy Christopher and immediately after finishing it Ipicked up (and loved) Stolen. A reread might be a good idea? Either way I'm super excited to read more by her!

  10. I'm definitely in the minority with my thoughts on Stolen (it's much loved by pretty much everyone I know!) so I'll have to give it a re-read at some point - maybe before the movie releases. :)


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