The Woods Are Waiting
By: Katherine Greene
Narrator: Angie Hickman
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: 07/11/2023
My Rating: 3 Stars ARC)
In the tradition of Lisa Jewell and Ruth Ware, Katherine Greene’s debut thriller is a dark descent into the sinister traditions and customs of a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Yet no superstition will prepare childhood friends Cheyenne and Natalie for the macabre truth that awaits them.
Cheyenne Ashby knows the dark and disturbing history of her hometown of Blue Cliff, Virginia, all too well. It’s why she left. Growing up deep within the woods with her eccentric mother, Constance, she was raised on the unusual customs and generational superstitions linked to the local legend of an evil entity that haunts the forest.
Five years ago, the bodies of three children were found in the woods. It was a man—not a mythical beast—named Jasper Clinton who was convicted of these heinous crimes. For five years the town breathed just a bit easier with a real-life monster behind bars.
But when another child goes missing, Cheyenne and Natalie are determined to discover the truth and uncover the town’s dangerous secrets rooted in its terrifying past.
The two women must confront the reality of the superstitions they always believed in and their town’s complicated connection with who—or what—lives in the woods.
Katherine Greene's (pen name of two friends in the UK) debut, THE WOODS ARE WAITING, is a creepy dark, strange twisted suspense whodunit of obsession set in rural Blue Cliff, Virginia. A gripping novel about the deadly evil secrets hiding in plain sight.
The truth is easy to miss even with it's right in front of us. Some choose darkness and others are chosen by it. Some evil comes from generations past.
Discover more about the town at the center of their upcoming book by visiting: Blue Cliff, Virginia
Set in a small rural town in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Cheyenne Ashby left her hometown of Blue Cliff, Virginia, to escape the town's dark history and haunted past years ago. The Ashbys took care of the town, and in turn, the town took care of the Ashbys.
Her eccentric mother, Constance Ashby, had always been a force to be reckoned with. She scared her to death most of the time. The town calls her a witch and always performs unusual customs to keep away the evil spirits lurking in the woods. The Hickory Man (a take off from the Slender Man).
There are childhood rhymes of killings, kidnappings, and how to stay safe near the woods. Children are innocent, beautiful, and carefree. They are loved by their parents, neighbors, and friends, with their lives full of promise and endless possibilities.
Their mothers warned them to stay away from the woods. However, children are eager to discover for themselves the evil that lay outside their homes, no matter the consequences.
Five years earlier, three missing children's bodies were found in the woods, and a man named Jasper was arrested for their brutal murders. The police chief Donald Hickman called her to let her know her mom was not doing well after a boy went missing. Cheyenne does not want to return home. She has a life, but she returns reluctantly.
Like the ones before him, Dakota Mason had ventured into the woods and never came out. Like Olivia, Michael, and Danielle, it was as if he had vanished into thin air. There were legends, superstitions, and supernatural. Who is the real killer. They are about power and control. He is a real freak and creep!
However, something sinister was happening, and Cheyenne and friends, Natalie, and Jack are determined to discover the truth and uncover the town’s dangerous secrets rooted in its terrifying past. When monsters are right in front of you.
I am not a fan of supernatural, creepy, or ghoulish. THE WOODS ARE WAITING is dark, twisted, weird, evil, eerie and dry.
I listened to the audio version and did not care for Angie Hickman, the narrator with the country accent, which ground on my nerves, and I could not listen past the first chapter—I had to stop and try and get through the e-book. I do not recommend the audio version.
A whodunit, but I guessed the murderer straightaway. This book may be for some but not my cup of tea. In my opinion, this book was nothing like Lisa Jewell and Ruth Ware which the book description compared to. You be the judge.
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books for an ARC and Dreamscape Media for an ALC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 3 Stars
Pub Date: July 11, 2023
“The Woods Are Waiting is a mystery novel in which the most dangerous monsters are those that people create for themselves.”
“A very solid page-turner and an impressive debut.”
“A claustrophobic, page-turning mystery that kept me guessing. I loved every twist and turn.”
—Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author
“Greene weaves together a creepy, atmospheric tale that dares to examine the underbelly of small-town life and expose its darkest secrets. Suspense readers will be glued to the page to discover how this eerie thriller ends.”
—Karen Katchur, author of The Greedy Three
“In this enthralling debut, Katherine Greene delivers a richly layered rural gothic thriller about a small southern town paralyzed by unsolved murders and its own macabre myths. Like the wind blowing through the hickory trees, The Woods Are Waiting ripples with both tenderness and tension. A must-read for fans of Emily Carpenter and Cherie Priest.”
—Amber Cowie, author of Last One Alive
“A fantastic read! Loved the creepy, folkloric sense of dread, the small town atmosphere, the mysterious woods and everything that lurks in them. Kept me guessing right to the end, so twisty!”
—Melanie Golding, author of The Hidden and The Sight
“The Woods Are Waiting is an atmospheric mystery that oozes small town creepiness and kept me guessing until the end! Packed with emotional conflicts, complicated relationships, and Appalachian folklore—this slow-burn thriller is perfect for fans of Mark Edwards and T. Kingfisher.”
—Aggie Blum Thompson, author of I Don't Forgive You
“The Woods are Waiting is a powerful, intricately plotted mystery—full of characters to root for, a dark, compelling story and a transporting Gothic setting. A truly thrilling read.”
—Kassandra Montag, author of Those Who Return
About the Author
Katherine Greene is the pen name of two friends, one from America, and the other from England, who cut their teeth on spine-tingling thrillers and true crime. Their love of dark, twisted tales with a strong female voice led them to create stories that leave you guessing. Both currently live in the United Kingdom with their families. The Woods Are Waiting is their debut thriller.