A SENSELESS MURDER. A TERRIFYING LEGEND. A FAMILY HAUNTED.
1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.
2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.
2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.
Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.
He is the Tall Man. He can make you special…
The Tall Man turned out to be a very creepy and unsettling read. I couldn’t make head or tale of what was going on and my mind was begging for the answer to that question which didn’t leave my mind for a minute when reading: who is The Tall Man? Is he someone real? Is it the legend that became ingrained in Sadie’s mind and is it possible he’s only a figment of her imagination that she takes for real? Is it linked to a post-natal depression? The novel is set up to confuse and confuse it certainly did. I didn’t mind not knowing though and the author did a terrific job balancing that fine line, making me wonder. The suggestion was superb and your own fantasy and imagination will do lots of the work, which is of course the strength of the plot. Locke makes it easy enough with her smart writing, she really masters this and even I was not sure what to think and believe.
The story is somewhat of a slow build but really delivers when it comes to the two big reveals.
It was a great idea to insert the documentary makers, reporting and questioning Sadie’s daughter Amber. She was tried for murder and Phoebe Locke left me guessing for so long about the identity of the person she murdered and the motive she had for doing so! Amber was for me the most interesting character of the novel. I was however a bit disappointed I didn’t get to find out more about the documentary makers following her. There’s no background story of Greta and Federica but I had the feeling there was something to tell there as well.. I’m sure they had some interesting secrets but they both held out so I didn’t find out.
I very much enjoyed how this novel ended, the final chapters managed to really blow up in my face, it was so good. The ending only threw me completely off balance. I did find it strange that the focus was on The Tall Man for so long and then in the final disclosure so much other stuff suddenly came to the surface, out of nowhere I might add, which became relevant to the story and was actually so great and astonishing to hear that it instantly became so much more intriguing than what Sadie saw or heard in the shadows. I felt a bit cheated by The Tall Man and his mystery became a bit anticlimatic. I’m sorry for being so vague but I certainly don’t want to spoil it all and you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what he’s made of.
I received a free copy of this novel through daily staves on The PigeonHole website. This is my honest opinion.