Thanks to NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: February 11th, 2020
Synopsis: In this terrifying thriller, a supernatural force—set in motion a century ago—threatens to devastate New York City.
Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Earlier in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all…
Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn’t evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: who will be next? For sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice rises from the deep…
The Chill by Scott Carson (a pseudonym from a bestselling author), is a slow burning horror tale that gives an interesting twist to real life “drowned communities.”
I was interested in this story initially because I grew up a fairly short distance from the Quabbin Reservoir in MA and remembered my dad telling me stories of the communities displaced in order to form the largest body of water in the state. What I loved about this fictional story is the empathetic and thoughtful exploration of the sacrifice demanded of inhabitants of these towns and farms. This is a character-driven story which follows multiple people who are fully fleshed out and add interesting layers to the complex plot.
The story itself is slow at times due to the insertion of a plethora of technical details concerning dam construction and water tunnels, but the tension-building suspense nonetheless kept my attention until the very last page. Overall, The Chill is a perfect example of storytelling that may not be action-packed, still packs an emotional punch. It’s also a timely reminder of humanity’s tendency toward embracing baser instincts such as greed and outright stupidity, something I believe will resonate with many readers. I highly recommend this to fans of Michael Koryta.