I picked up this book because I enjoyed E.E. Richardson's other book - The Intruders. This book didn't disappoint in its chill factor and really reminded me of Stephen King's It. One might argue that if it was similar, I should be upset about reading an unoriginal novel, but I don't find King's novels very accessible to most reader due to size, language, description, etc. This novel, while similar in some ideas, is accessible, even to hesitant readers.
Bryan lives in a small, creepy town where people turn a blind eye to the mysterious disappearances of children. He, however, knows the haunting truth, and it all relates to a children's rhyme about the Devil's footsteps - the thirteen steps to the Dark Man's door. Rumor has it, if you find his footsteps and say the rhyme, he'll come for you. Bryan, though, knows that it's not a rumor since his brother and he found the steps and his brother did the rhyme. Now Bryan's brother is gone and he is haunted by the memory of his taking, although no one else believes him. Five years later, another boy claims to have seen the Dark Man and worries his sister is next. With the help of a third boy who is investigating the strange disappearance in town, the boys go in search of the Dark Man, ready to confront their fears and make the terror stop.
The Dark Man feeds off of the children's fears (much like the clown did in Stephen King's It - if my memory serves me right). This novel did a nice job of making those fears real and exploring the debilitating nature of our fears and the power we can possess if we face them. The novel had a steady flow of scariness and kept me interested without going too over the top and throwing in every scary tactic known to man. It stuck with one concept - people's individual fears - and threw in mind tricks to pull off a chilling novel. I would definitely add this author to a list of creepy writers and would recommend this book.