!! potential spoilers ahead. read at your own risk !!
by D. Melhoff
Publication Date: 17 December 2016
A remote summer camp becomes a lurid crime scene when the bodies of two teenagers are found in a bloody, real-life rendering of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Trapped in the wilderness, the remaining counsellors must follow a trail of dark children’s fables in order to outwit a psychopath and save the dwindling survivors before falling prey to their own gruesome endings.
Drawing on the grisly, uncensored details of history’s most famous fairy tales, Grimm Woods is a heart-pounding thriller about a deranged killer who uses traditional children’s stories as tropes in elaborate murders. Set against the backdrop of modern-day Michigan, it’s a journey through the mind of a dangerous zealot and a shocking glimpse into the bedtime stories you thought you knew.
Reading this was like riding a rollercoaster—there are the heart-pounding, adrenaline-fuelling moments, and then there are the normal, boring scenes that you can’t wait to get over with.
Let’s start with the good points:
The ingenuity. Grimm Woods tells of a series of crimes that occurred at a camp, just that it incorporates fairy tales. In fact, Grimm’s Fairy Tales is like a “1001 Ways to Kill a Person in the Most Painful Way Possible” guidebook. All the deaths in this book mirror the grisly endings of fairy tales such as Snow White and The Little Mermaid. And this gives rise to some really… interesting deaths.
The savageness. If you’re looking for a book that is merciful towards its characters, this isn’t it. Even though the two focus characters of this book have escaped the wrath of Character Death, everyone else around them did not. You don’t know who’s going to die next because everyone is an equally likely victim. And then there are the details about the death, whose gore will make you sick to your stomach and wonder who on earth is able to commit such monstrosities. Also, don’t expect a happy ending. This is no Disney.
The characters. Most of the characters lie in the grey area. They have their criminal records, their nightmares, their sins. While this makes them slightly more realistic, it did not make them the slightest bit likeable. Their lack of action (or protest against the lack of action) when the first murders started made me dislike them from the start and they didn’t do much to redeem themselves.
D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town that few people have heard of and even fewer have visited. While most of his stories are for adults, he also enjoys terrifying younger audiences from time to time, as seen in his series of twisted picture books for children. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Stoker, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror. For more information, visit grimmwoods.com.