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When detouring through a small mountain town with missing hiker posters, a hiker is chased back on the trail by the hostile residents. Beneath a full moon, the woods awaken, and he fears that he won’t make it out alive.
On the trail, anything can happen.
After secrets and betrayal shatter his marriage, Josh Mallory seeks solace on the Pacific Crest Trail, in the mountains of Washington. On the trail, he’s just another hiker. On the trail, he can outrun the memories. But this backpacking trip swiftly turns grisly when he comes across the body of another hiker who seems to have fallen to his death. Josh is forced to detour through a small mountain town, where missing hiker posters flutter in the windows, and residents show no interest in hearing about the dead hiker. Unease that something is not quite right chases him back to the trail.
But night falls too quickly and in his haste to get away, he becomes trapped on a mountain ridge beneath the light of a full moon. Feeling more and more uneasy, Josh soon realizes that he may not be alone on the mountain, and begins to fear that, like the missing hikers, he won’t make it out alive.
“The Woodkin by Alexander James is a brutal, nightmarish trip into the heart of darkness that grabs you by the throat on page one and refuses to let go. An unrelenting, unflinching story . . .” —Matthew Lyons, author of A Black and Endless Sky and The Night Will Find Us
“The serpentine trails that twist and twine throughout Alexander James’ towering debut all lead to one destination: absolute terror.” —Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Ghost Eaters
“Alexander James understands the point of horror, the point of getting beneath the surface and the skin of the mundane world even if there’s gore under there. The Woodkin is fabulously imaginative in just the right ways, a well-woven story that makes it quite clear what you’ll find in the woods whether you want to or not.” —Margaret Killjoy, author of The Lamb Will Slaughter The Lion
“Gruesome, exhilarating, and exceedingly lyrical, Alexander James’s debut novel, The Woodkin, is everything horror should be. A troubled protagonist faces demons both figurative and literal, and we readers are compelled to keep flipping pages deep into the darkening night.” —Jon Bassoff, author of Beneath Cruel Waters
“Pack your bags and strap on your boots and take a dark adventure through some deep woods folk horror, where the Children of the Corn meet Midsommar. This book will trap you in its cage and leave you begging for rescue—but you’re on your own, kid. The only escape from the terror and pain is to travel right through. You may never be found.” —Mark Matthews, author of The Hobgoblin of Little Minds
“With its sharp prose and terrifying premise, The Woodkin bites down hard from sentence one and doesn't let go. Alexander James might just be the American Adam Nevill.” —Andy Davidson, author of The Hollow Kind
“Enter the stark and startling woods in Alexander James' haunting The Woodkin where whispers and shadows are more than you think. You're never really alone on the hiking trail. This is adventure horror done right!” —Cynthia Pelayo, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Children of Chicago
“[A] perfectly drawn psychological horror . . . that fans of the grotesque should relish.” —Library Journal