The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
The most famous landmark in West Hall, Vermont, is the house where Ruthie has grown up. Stories of ghosts, the dead brought back to life, gruesome murders, and disappearing children abound in village folklore, stemming mainly from the published journal of Sara Harrison Shea, who used to live in the house. For her part, Ruthie has never seen anything untoward, but has been warned by her mother since she was small to never venture into the woods or a monster will get her. She's never put much stock in her mother's warning until one day when she wakes up to find her mother gone. She and her younger sister set out to find their mother, their father having died years prior, but instead what they find is a loaded gun and a pair of wallets with strangers' names in them hidden in their mom's bedroom. Worried that their mother is caught up in something illegal and dangerous, they don't call the police, but begin following clues searching for her themselves. It's as they search that strange things begin to happen, and Ruthie begins to wonder of the stories of evil lurking in the woods are more than just stories, and ultimately confronting that evil will require every last bit of courage Ruthie can muster.
A supernatural thriller, which is outside of my usual genres of reading, this book is chilling and heart-pounding. I often dislike books about the supernatural as the ghosts often disappoint, becoming more laughable than scary once they show themselves, but McMahon has struck the perfect balance of revealing just enough about the supernatural elements to tingle your spine page after page. You're never sure what is going to happen next, and every time something new happened, it was never something I'd seen coming, keeping me on the edge of my seat through more twists and turns than I could have imagined. My only dislike- the evil in this book is pretty dark, and I don't personally enjoy reading about things so horrible, but I know that I am sensitive about evil and don't think that this is enough to put most readers off, but I won't be surprised if the evil from this book shows up in my nightmares for the next few months... I would heartily recommend this to thriller lovers, especially if you are looking for a spine-tingling wintry read.