I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart
Genres: Horror, Supernatural
Published by Hydra on November 17th 2015
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Northwoods
Fans of Stephen King and Bentley Little will devour The Beast of Barcroft, Bill Schweigart’s brilliant new vision of dark suburban horror. Ben thought he had the neighbor from hell. He didn’t know how right he was. . . . Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health. First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world. Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals.
Ben McKelvie watched a survival show on cable from his couch in Arlington, where the host, with an enthusiasm bordering on mania, was trekking across the Serengeti.
What I thought of this book
Ben didn’t know that he would lose everything when he moved him and his fiancée to Barcoft in Arlington. What he thought was going to be a dream home ended up having him living alone beside a nasty house. The house next to him was lived in by a woman who seemed to take in all animals, from rats to raccoons and it was an eye shore.
Ben has been having a hard time since his father died and he thought the move would help but he still hadn’t snapped out of it and eventually his fiancée left him. Then one day he was letting his dog out and his dog is taken by something that looked like a big cat, but different. The police won’t take him serious but then other strange things start happening around Barcroft. Pets have gone missing, etc.
The town has a meeting about the nasty house that is no longer occupied by the woman as she died, but nobody is doing anything about all the rats and other animals. They bring in a zoologist to help explain things and she ends up being curious about Ben and his big cat that he complains about. They go looking for it and run into more than they bargained for but the policewoman still doesn’t believe him until she witnesses some things herself.
The Beast of Barcroft is a bit different than what I thought it was going to be as it’s not a werewolf, nor a big cat, but it seems to be several different things and I will let you find out what it is. The story gets off to a bit of a slow start but it picks up and then gets pretty interesting.
Ben annoyed me a little at first but I am assuming his attitude is because of his depressive conditions and the lose of his dog, but he quickly loses the whine when faced with grave danger. Lindsay, is the zoologist who tries to help Ben fight the beast, she ends up enlisting the help of a cryptologist who she thinks is crazy, but maybe not as crazy as she previously thought since they are dealing with something that is not normal. She was pretty brave for a zoologist who studies cats…lol.
Overall I found the novel to be interesting and I liked that it was not your typical beast. I didn’t find it to be to scary but I have a higher tolerance than some so others might find it creepy. If you are into light horror novels then you might enjoy this one.