Gideon by Alex Gordon

VERDICT With the pacing of a thriller, this debut supernatural tale does a solid job of portraying the menace of small-town evil. While the demonic figure of Blaine is scary, the petty viciousness of the townsfolk is even more chilling. This will appeal to fans of books such as Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane or Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches.

The death of her father sets Lauren Reardon on a collision course with a family legacy in this dark blend of fantasy and horror. Finding a strange book with a faded photograph tucked inside, Lauren realizes her father hid his past in a small, isolated Illinois town called Gideon. When she impulsively drives across the country to see Gideon for herself, she encounters hostile locals and the diabolical influence of long-dead Nicholas Blaine, who believes Lauren is the key to winning his way back to this world. — Library Journal, Starred Review