Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Toy Thief by author D W Gillespie, although I am closing the tourplease check out the other stops on the tour as we all have different content, so you don't miss anything. Before I post my review, check out the cover for this one, I don't (or didn't use to) bother with covers but there are a ton of great ones out there. Like this one, how eerie, spooky and freaky is it, it was the cover that drew me to the post about the book to be honest!
The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days
Pages - 240
Publisher - Flame Tree Press
Source - ARC
Blurb from Goodreads
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?
What happens when you see something you aren't supposed to? We open with Jack (Jacqueline), reflecting on her, her brother Andy, family and the past. Written in first person narration, we see Jack in present day and lots of throwback to childhood memories and why she is the way she is today. We know something happened when she was younger and it takes a wee bit of unravelling before we hear about and "meet" The Toy Thief.
Jack isn't a very nice person as an adult and if bad language offends you this is your headsup, Jack swears a fair bit. As she goes back in time and recalls what happened, the first glimpse, the actual encounter and the fall out afterwards you get a bit more appreciation for how she has been shaped to the person she is today.
For me the story is two fold, the spooky horror aspect and the family dynamics, both are strong and bring shape to the story. The Toy Thief is creepy and a few of the scenes made the hair at the back of my neck stand up. We all have things that freaked us out as kids and flashes of the story made me think about irrational childhood fears, memories and that is always a thumbs up for any author.
The family bond shone through, Jack and her brother Andy have a strained relationship, no mother and only their family raising the two of them. From the get go we know things aren't perfect between the siblings but they have a bond and are close, when we see their childhood and everything that follows it makes the reader have a better understanding of the relationship.
I have read a few books from published by Flame Tree Press, it is almost like a new brand of horror. You have the creepy, the darkness, family/relationship elements and with horror but not always in your face or over the top. This is my first dance with this author, it won't be my last, the book doesn't give up its secrets quickly, like an onion you have to go through each layer, getting more as you go, 3.5 out of 5 for me this time.
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