by Erin E. Adams
“If you see something in the woods, no you didn’t.”
Erin E. Adams debut novel “Jackal” warns to not trust anything you see or hear in the woods and with good reasons too. Liz, a Black woman comes back to her predominantly white hometown during the summer in order to witness her best friend’s wedding. The festivities turn into a search party in the woods when the best friend’s Black daughter, Caroline goes missing and blood is left behind. Unfortunately, this is a bit too familiar to Liz. In high school, Liz knew of another Black girl, Keisha Woodson, who went missing in the woods and later found with her heart removed. When Liz finds out that Black girls have been going missing in those same woods around the same time, she knows she has to hurry to solve what has been happening so she can save Caroline from the same fate before it’s too late. This book is a perfect thriller / horror novel that blends imaginary and real things that are terrifying in the world. I recommend it to anyone who wants a spooky page turner that keeps them guessing.
Review by DeKeshia Horne: Barbara’s Bookstore Bookseller
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Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward and passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the bride’s daughter, Caroline, goes missing–and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood.
As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: a summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart missing. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can’t be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town’s history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls.
It’s your turn.
With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.