This book reminded me of my favorite horror movie – The Descent. It’s dark and claustrophobic right from the beginning, and then it just gets worse when the monster appears.
Four old college friends start out on a “holiday” through the woods of Sweden. They’re all just looking for a good time and to reconnect with each other. From the beginning, Luke is left out. The other three guys are married, have money, and own their houses. Luke is single, and has a dog. Tensions flare between the four guys. Luke is especially mad at the two friends who didn’t prepare at all for the hiking included in their trip. They’re overweight, and can’t even put up a tent. These facts make Hutch (the friendly leader) decide on a “shortcut” through the woods so they don’t have to walk as much. Although they don’t know where they’re going, everyone agrees because Hutch thinks it’s a good idea.
Not too far into their shortcut, they see what they think is a freshly butchered animal strung up in the trees, and basically eviscerated. Of course they’re freaked out trying to figure out how it got up there and what could possibly be strong enough to do it. They try to get as far away from the carcass as possible, and end up in an old broken down house for a night. It’s been raining for a while, so they’re trying to dry off. One of the out of shape friends ventures upstairs and sees a goat-headed creature with small hands and hooves. It freaks everyone out, and they get drunk to fall asleep. That night they all have super-creepy nightmares and end up scattered around the house.
They decide to get the hell away from the house as fast as they can. Although it scared me, I had a really hard time putting this book down. As the guys start disappearing, it only gets worse. The middle section about a death metal group trying to use Luke as a sacrifice was a little jarring and less scary to me. However, the end didn’t disappoint. I’d definitely recommend this book if you like to be creeped out, and I’m going to look for this author’s other books now too.