Monday, 26 March 2018

If You Go Down to the Woods by Seth C. Adams

The Outsiders' Club, that is exactly what Joey, Fat Bobby, Jim and Tara are, outsiders in their own way. Joey is the new kid on the block, Bobby is the fat kid who gets beaten on a daily basis, Jim is the black kid in the midst of a predominantly racist town and Tara just finds it difficult to belong.

A band of misfits, who find themselves accidentally drawn into a violent confrontation with The Collector. A killer with no remorse, a killer who enjoys the pain and the kill. The fact the four of them are teenagers and innocent of any wrongdoing, well perhaps they are a wee bit guilty of a few things, is of no interest to him at all.

The way Joey reacts to any threat or bully reminds me of what I have instilled in my own children. You stand up for those being bullied, show no fear and give as good as you get. This is how his relationship with Bobby starts. I enjoyed the way the author presents the inner dilemma Joey has with Bobby. His gut says protect him, his heart feels sympathy for his situation and yet his mind questions why Bobby doesn't stand up for himself.

It describes a typical, and yet very alarming, common scenario in a small town run by a hick sheriff and his violent son. Violence, bullying and racism are a daily occurrence, child abuse and neglect are commonplace, and the authorities are part of the problem of course.

It is a refreshing unexpected slap in the face kind of read. I have to hand it to Adams, he lulls the reader in with his nostalgic Stand by Me coming-of-age intro, which then melds into a combination of Pulp Fiction meets Deliverance with a pinch of Noir plot, which all takes place in the woods of a rural town. It is an unpredictable, brutal and take no prisoners kind of read. There is one thing for certain in If You go Down To the Woods, there aren't any teddy bears with picnics waiting for them or for you.

Pre-order/Buy If You Go Down to the Woods at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Kindle Pub. Date  6 April 2018
Paperback Pub. Date 14 June 2018
Follow @SethCAdams @KillerReads @HarperCollinsUk

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