Ben McKelvie believes he's moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, DC, suburb of Barcroft. Instead he's moving down - way down - thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.
First Ben's fiancée leaves him; then his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine's noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he's not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn't possibly exist - in this world.
Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals.
©2015 Bill Schweigart (P)2016 Tantor
"[A] swift and breezy suburban creature feature." (Publishers Weekly)
Blind listener reading everything, especially mystery/thrillers and sf&f. Restricted to audio so picky where credits spent. #BooksRule
A delightful find... It's an imaginative thriller w/ kinda an X Files feel, but more about the real people in unreal situations rather than the unreal in real ones... The entire story has a crafty, and often subtle, attention to detail which adds authenticity and color to an already engaging story and plot... Some good science looking at the encroachment of ecosystems, and the whole suburban wilderness thing works well, and provides some stellar imagery and settings... Chills, humor, and some creative monster making, w/ a smidge of the preternatural... I got this book because I started the one after this and realized there was one that came before, so now I'm on the hook for two titles, and could not be more thrilled w/ that happening.... The action and pace are outstanding, and I feel like a kid that just discovered a new favorite candy and am about to gobble down some more w/ the second book... Narration is very good, and this is absolutely, no doubt about it,put it in the bank, worth the credit!!!
It intrigued me initially, and the narration started out passable, but about an three hours into the story I could take no more.
Parts of the story where the author decided the need to have an insignificant side story about a particular character. Perhaps this was intended for character development, but often stunted the pace of the story and added very little to the characters' themselves.
Female voices weak and stereo-typed. General characterizations weak overall. No, I'll pass.
Story line, as others mentioned, was like a bad X-Files episode. The prose was ok, but there were lots of poor similes, metaphors and adjectives that left me rolling my eyes.
I hate to give bad reviews about anyone's personal creative work. I'm not a professional writer as you can see. However, I've been listening to audiobooks for over 15 years, and this one simply didn't work. Had I read the book, I probably would have finished it, but there's no motivation to continue to the next novel.
Yes. While the horror bits weren't the best I've read, they certainly were not the worst. While I did not enjoy the beast's first few choices of transformations, which felt too twilight-ish, the last two more than made up for it and truly added to the story on a psychological level. In my opinion, I think the thing that kept me reading intently was not the mystery of the beast, but the interactions between the characters, which was surprisingly humorous and witty. Ben and Lindsay truly are a great team.
This was my first from Mr. Schweigart.
The awkward scene in the park and along the trail in the woods, when Ben makes a dumb choice and only realizes in later chapters how truly dumb it was. Or the dinner set-up. I literally said aloud what I would've said in that situation to Jim, and was gleeful to find it was the exact same reply Ben responded with. lol
Ben. He's an A-hole, and he knows it. He's deeply depressed, and he shows it. If others don't like it, and most do not in the novel, Ben has two words for them. That's not to say he's all bad, he's not, but I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to him in some way.
This is a fantastic novel! I highly recommend to anyone who loves creature features! The story is fast paced with rich characters that feel real. I had never heard of Bill Schweigart until last week. All I can say is WOW I will be reading the rest of his books. In fact I'm buying Northwoods when I finish with this review!
Spoiler alert: It's a native American shapeshifter spirit. I only write that because I would have skipped this book if I had that info. Between the narrator's flat delivery and the boring, almost nonexistent backstory of the characters, this book didn't really hold my attention. Even the "scary" parts are pretty vanilla, and the ending somehow gives magical powers to a copper badge. Copper pennies can hurt the creature, but being shot with copper-plated 5.56 bullets have no effect. Sigh. Yawn.
oh hell. just read it.
Yes. The creature in the woods. It has been done before. But Bill Schweigart has done it right. No, he's done it better. There are moments of actual suspense herein, and moments of surprise. Real people with problems are dealing with The Beast of Barcroft. It does have a bit of a B-movie feel, but I'd easily give it B+ for its added attention to detail.
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