Eleven years ago, Stella and Jeanie disappeared. Stella came back. Jeanie never did.
Now all she wants is a summer full of cove days, friends, and her gorgeous crush—until a fresh corpse leads Stella down a path of ancient evil and secrets.
Stella believes remembering what happened to Jeanie will save her. It won’t.
She used to know better than to believe in what slinks through the shadows. Not anymore.
One of my first thrillers of the season--ish was Alexandra Sirowy's debut The Creeping! And while I found it to be very intriguing and mysterious, it wasn't exactly all I had hoped for. The Creeping definitely has some chilling moments, but I found it to be more mysterious than "thrilling".
When Stella was six years old, she and Janie disappeared, and only Stella came back. She could never remember what happened to Janie. It's assumed that she's dead now that eleven years has passed, but no one's really forgotten the case. Neither Stella, the detective still working the case, Janie's family, and other members of town. When a new body of a little girl who resembles Janie shows up, the case is blown open once again as the police try to find the mysterious child killer.
Where to begin with this book...I have to admit Stella was a hard character to like. She wasn't the best of people, and I think that can be blamed on her best friend Zoey, who was a total witch with a B. Zoey is the ultimate party girl, she's selfish and is all about being the most popular and dating only the hottest guys. Years ago, she even made Stella choose between her and her other best friend Sam. And naturally, Stella chose Zoey, leaving Sam in the dust.
Sam amazed me! He was the kind of guy who could forgive and forget. He didn't care that Stella treated him like dirt over the past few years. He still tried to be her friend all this time, with a smile here, a friendly inquiry there. And Stella blew him off again and again, because it's what Zoey wanted. Yes, she's the kind of girl who basically does what her "best friend" tells her to do. And it didn't help that Zoey was kind of hard to like. She had her moments where you could see that she did care for Stella. They were friends after all, but more often than not, she didn't show her that kindness, it was more excessive teasing or basically bitchiness.
Anyway, Stella struggles to remember that day long ago about what happened to Janie. It's likely the killer is back due to the new dead little girl. But other things keep happening that start making her question if it truly is the same killer. There were past murders and talks of a monster like creature who lives in the woods and demands sacrifices to be paid in order for there to be peace in the town. Trying to figure out what's fact from fiction becomes a challenge. That, and it's very clear that someone is stalking Stella.
Naturally, old sparks start to fly between Stella and Sam. I liked Sam a lot, though Stella was harder to like. She does change for the better, but at times it feels too hard to believe that she won't revert to her old ways, but I think that's just the pessimist in me. I like to believe people can change for the better, it's just harder to see. Even in fiction, it would seem.
While there were some suspenseful moments, there were a little more few and far between. I wasn't feeling that chill creep up the back of my neck when reading, sadly. Though I will say the mystery was good. It was very well built up with clues and puzzles, and then the reveal was quite shocking. Since it took me a bit longer to read this one, I can't really say if I saw it coming. It was definitely a shock though! The story wrapped up rather well, though I felt like the reveal came a bit too soon and the final wrapup was a bit drawn out. I mean, once you know the whodunit, there's very little patience left, because what else is there to learn? There were about 40 pages or so left in the book after the reveal. I felt like those could've been wrapped up a little neater or at least make the reveal happen later. The ending was just a tad drawn out.
While The Creeping wasn't a perfect read, it was still a pretty good one! I enjoyed it to a point and will definitely keep my eye out for Alexandra Sirowy's name because she is an author I won't be forgetting any time soon!
Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars