Don’t Move starts off with a gruesome, chilling first chapter and never lets go.
Enjoying a summer evening at the local traveling carnival, Megan Forrester’s life shatters before her eyes when a horrific accident claims the lives of her husband and son. Months later, Megan is trying to get her life back together and overcome the near-paralyzing guilt she feels. A church camping trip seems like the perfect way to ease herself back into the world a bit and start claiming her life.
Little does she or any of the other members of her party realize that what started out as an innocent weekend excursion will soon become a terrifying, deadly fight for survival in an isolated part of the Monongahela National Forest.
James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth’s Don’t Move feels like a lot Stephen King story that you’d tell around the campfire as you tried to scare the fool out of each other. After the horrifying opening chapter, Murray and Wearmouth take time to introduce and develop the various members of the camping party so that when bad things start happening, we’ve developed an emotional investment in the party. From Pastor Rizzo to his daughter Emma and her boyfriend, Ryan to the grandparent and their grandson, Murray and Wearmouth create more than just a group of victims waiting to meet a horrific fate. We also meet Ricky, the ex-boyfriend of Emma and drug dealer who has a different agenda for this trip than just getting away from it all.
Tension and terror built over the course of the novel as the group discovers something lurking in the woods that’s out to get them and that help may not be as easy to get as they hoped.
Listening to the audio version of Don’t Move was a suitably creepy experience. Read by Murray (of Impractical Joker fame), there were times when the story not only had the characters looking closely at the shadows, but I was as well. (It may not help that I get up early to job and this book accompanied on several mornings as the sun was coming up). Murray does a superlative job of ratcheting up the suspense and creating and distinguishing each character through his performance.
Creepy and compelling, Don’t Move is the perfect horror/suspense story for the Halloween season.
I received a digital ARC of this book and the audiobook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.