So, we are turning it up a notch on the lead up to the spooky season by giving you a bad ass and horrifically terrifying book review! Yup, that’s right, I’m on the blog tour for D.W. Gillespie’s novel, The Toy Thief.
Jack didn’t know what to call the nameless, skeletal creature that slunk into her house in the dead of night, stealing the very things she loved the most. So, she named him The Toy Thief… There’s something in Jack’s past that she doesn’t want to face, an evil presence that forever changed the trajectory of her family. It all began when The Toy Thief appeared, a being drawn by goodness and innocence, eager to feed on everything Jack holds dear. What began as a mystery spirals out of control when her brother, Andy, is taken away in the night, and Jack must venture into the dark place where the toys go to get him back. But even if she finds him, will he ever be the same?
Official blurb for The Toy Thief.
Now, as you may be aware, I am a huge fan of the Gothic genre, although seldom ever do I feel the need to sleep with the lights on – thanks D.W. Gillespie, I am now terrified!
However, was it the bump in the night? The gore? The supernatural? Well, let me explain. Firstly, on the spectrum from terror to horror, The Toy Thief lies somewhere in the middle. Sure, it was scary, but what Gillespie does well is the suspense. YES THE SUSPENSE! Like author Shirley Jackson (aka the Queen on suspense demonstrated in her novel, The Haunting of Hill House) Gillespie has created a string of tension which feels like it will never end, oozing with horrifying plot twists and climaxes along the way.
Gillespie’s ability of holding the reader captive is a clear indication that he owns the show, as it were: he is the puppet master carefully writing each move in order to strike and cut the strings at any point, leaving the reader stranded (and quite frankly, shocked!).
I loved the ‘monster’ in this story, very Henry James Turn of the Screw vibe, in that I was unsure who (or what) to trust. Incredibly dark and imaginative, this tale is not for the faint-hearted. Think Stephen King with a hint of Neil Gaiman (but for adults), I really couldn’t finish this book fast enough!
There are times when I felt the narrator jumped around the plot for a bit, confusing my senses and niggling at my consciousness to figure out what the presence was, which was all the scarier. I have a thing about the uncanny (something familiar but odd- hence why we don’t like it) and I am sure Sigmund Freud would have had a field day with this book – it is seriously not to be underestimated and I personally am scared of everything to do with the uncanny: zombies, clones, ghosts, dolls (like the front cover, I mean, come on! That made me jump every time I saw it on my shelf!) but I believe The Toy Thief goes one step further by burrowing deep into our own fears and exploiting them to create a truly horrifying novel on the terror spectrum!
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice, and all horror fans. I would say if you are scared of the dark- this book is not for you! If you are, however, looking for the perfect read up to Halloween, THIS BOOK IS DEFINITELY FOR YOU!
How to get your hands on a copy
Thank you to the wonderful Anne Carter for organising this blog tour, through Random Things tours! And to the brilliant author and all the bloggers involved!
All images courtesy of Anne Carter
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour below!
Happy reading! Lx