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The Boy Who Could See Demons  By  cover art

The Boy Who Could See Demons

By: Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Narrated by: Bruce Mann,Carolyn Jess-Cooke
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Carolyn Jess-Cooke has written a brilliant novel of suspense that delves into the recesses of the human mind and soul - perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Lisa Unger. 

The Boy Who Could See Demons follows a child psychologist who comes up against a career-defining case - one that threatens to unravel her own painful past and jeopardizes the life of a boy who can see the impossible.   

Dr. Anya Molokova, a child psychiatrist, is called in to work at MacNeice House, an adolescent mental health treatment center. There she is told to observe and assess Alex Connolly, a keenly intelligent, sensitive 10-year-old coping with his mother’s latest suicide attempt. Alex is in need of serious counseling: He has been harming himself and others, often during blackouts. At the root of his destructive behavior, Alex claims, is his imaginary “friend” Ruen, a cunning demon who urges Alex to bend to his often violent will.   

But Anya has seen this kind of behavior before - with her own daughter, Poppy, who suffered from early-onset schizophrenia. Determined to help Alex out of his darkness, Anya begins to treat the child. But soon strange and alarming coincidences compel Anya to wonder: Is Alex’s condition a cruel trick of the mind? Or is Ruen not so make-believe after all? The reality, it turns out, is more terrifying than anything she has ever encountered.   

A rich and deeply moving pause-resister, The Boy Who Could See Demons sets out to challenge the imagination and capture the way life takes unexpected turns. In the best storytelling tradition, it leaves the listener changed.

Praise for The Boy Who Could See Demons

“A well written, engaging read filled with compassion for those suffering the whims of an untamed mental illness... A poignant read, The Boy Who Could See Demons is a suspenseful novel that probes the issues surrounding the devastating effects of mental illness. The author delves into the psychological issues of schizophrenia and mental disorders with such dexterity it leaves the reader stirred and affected, questioning throughout the story what is real and what is not.... As the conclusion draws near, the story takes unexpected turns, making it even more dramatic and compelling.” (New York Journal of Books)

“Impressive...Jess-Cooke is every bit as skillful in her vivid portrayals of unworldly beings...as in illustrating the dreadful toll taken by mental illness.” (Booklist)

“A searing novel of suspense.” (Publishers Weekly)

©2012 Carolyn Jess-Cooke (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A psychologically complex thriller, told with compassion in a marvelously suspenseful narrative that keeps you engaged from the first page to the last.... This book has it all: a dark and dangerous setting, characters full of depth, rich emotions, and a clever plot. You'll fall in love with Alex - and his demons." (Chevy Stevens, author of Still Missing)
"Top-notch psychological suspense.... Beware what you think you know. It might be only the demons talking." Lisa Gardner, author of Touch & Go)
"Brilliant! Rich with fully formed characters, this heart-gripping novel will keep you riveted from first page to last." (Jeffery Deaver, author of XO)

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What listeners say about The Boy Who Could See Demons

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

HOLY COW!!! Give me more, please!!!

Any additional comments?

This book was worth the credit, for sure. I love to read or listen to a variety of books, but this one is at the top of my list. The narration was performed by male and female characters, in Irish dialect. This was different for me, and I was a little unsure if I could get used to the male character. However, as the male character developed, it was perfect for this complex boy. The only complaint for me is it had to come to an end! I am seldom as intrigued by books, but this one hooked me from the beginning. Until the very end, I kept asking "where is this going"? And, trust me, it is worth the wait. I would advise others that while this book centers around the unique relationship this boy has with demons that only he can see, it isn't like any horror story I've listened to. It had a creepiness all its own, without leaving me terrified. Kudos to the author, performers, and Audible!

4 people found this helpful

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The ending caught me so off guard. It's amazing

Narration was top notch. They both had me hanging on every word. I highly recommend this book

1 person found this helpful

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  • DJ
  • 03-03-14

The story draws you in, surprises in the end

Where does The Boy Who Could See Demons rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

in the top 40%

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Alex. I really enjoyed the accents of the narrators, such pleasing voices to listen to. As a mother my heart went out to the boy, I felt an instinctual need to protect him.

Which character – as performed by Bruce Mann and Carolyn Jess-Cooke – was your favorite?

I also really enjoyed the dialog that came from Rowen. The perfectly-formed grammatically complicated sentences that no young boy could ever utter by himself were performed very well by the narrators and of course, written very well by the author.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I don't sit still for very long, I'm a mover!

Any additional comments?

While the overall premise/subject was quite sad, I have to say I LOVED the ending. Can't say anything else without spoiling so that is all I'll say!

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping story with fabulous ending

I really loved this book. The story was gripping and I couldn't put it down. I simply did not see the ending coming. I thought the narration was excellent.

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a little more time

it would have been nice if the character would have more time to explain why she picked a little boy and a little more of what happened next unless there is a sequel.

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WOOOW!

The twist ending blew my mind! Nothing throughout the story hinted at that bombshell. I loved it. Also the readers change of voice for the Character Ruin gave me chills.

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Splash

I think everyone should dive into this book it is Brilliant & takes you through a journey that many of us understand from very different or difficult perspectives. Hang on because you will be emotional frustrated but best of all surprised.

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good book

loved the whole book but hated the ending so I gave it five stars because it was captivating cover to almost cover.

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Interesting but a bit slow...

I thought this story was well-written and I enjoyed parts of it very much. I found it moved a bit slower than I typically like and that the ending, though a nice twist, was actually not as surprising or revealing as I had hoped. The narration is good and the setting of Belfast and its commentary on its war-torn youth was both interesting and tragically sad. The story was compelling but simple dragged in certain parts that made it difficult to follow at times, I found myself easily distracted from the story which doesn't typically happen. Still, the writing is really quite good and if you are not looking for a blockbusting thriller, this may be for you.

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Good Story Bad acting.

What did you love best about The Boy Who Could See Demons?

Story was Decent

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Both Narrators put on a fake annoying Irish accent. Instead of reading the book they acted it out. I previewed the book but Bruce Mann was not on the clip I listened to him on a different book but it was nothing like his performance in this book.