In the deepest, darkest midnight of her soul, Gabriella writes a book, a horror story about demons and then one of them crawls up out of the pages and confronts her face to face. A deranged, fanatical fan who believes he is The Beast of Babylon from her novel turns up at a book signing and then comes after her to claim her as his bride. And to sacrifice her son, Ty, as a blood offering to their unholy union.
Gabriella, Ty and Tys grandfather, Theo, the crusty old stand-up comic called Slap Yo Mama Carmichael, run for their lives, back to the only place in Gabriella’s life where she ever felt safe. But once there, she discovers that facing the demons from her past may be harder and more dangerous than facing the one who hunts her.
As Ty and Theo battle their own personal monsters, Gabriella begins to fall for a man who carries a guilt she can’t even begin to imagine.
The predator who stalks Gabriella and her family tracks them down and corners his prey as a full moon rides high in the night sky and lightning explodes on the mountaintop. Then all their lives and demons collide in a final, apocalyptic celebration of one man’s madness. Gabriella’s only hope lies in the unexplainable power of 2,000-year-old tree. Is it strong enough to save them? Can a single, perfect bristlecone pine somehow determine the fate of them all?
An eerie setting and a scary incident start this book off. Initially I did not understand what was happening but as I progressed, the story became clear. The author has cleverly held off most of the background story only revealing it when necessary thus filling in the gaps perfectly. The story is told both in the present as well as through memories and discussions about the past.
The protagonist, Gabriella, who is a best selling author faces trouble from a fan of her book who assumes himself to be the principle character from her book. He is propelled to do certain things by certain voices that play in his head giving us the impression that he is not particularly sane. The story follows the protagonist as she goes away from her home taking her son and her father-in-law in an attempt to save them. She ends up going to a place she had gone as a child with her family.
We are then slowly given information on her past and her childhood as well as the reason behind her disfigured face. The protagonist learns to trust people and perhaps finds something close to love in this new surrounding. The child, Tyson is shown as a strong minded child with his own burdens and secrets to carry.
It is easy to fall in love with the characters in this book as they are wonderfully sketched and easy to relate to. With a lot of twists and turns and some amount of supernatural elements which the reader will end up believing in, the author has done a good job in the way she has written this story and hence has all the ingredients required to keep the reader turning the pages.