Tad McGreevy has a power that he has never revealed, not even to his life-long best friend, Stevie Scranton. When Tad looks at others, he sees colors. These auras tell Tad whether a person is good or evil. At night, Tad dreams about the evil-doers, reliving their crimes in horrifyingly vivid detail.
But Tad doesn't know if the evil acts he witnesses in his nightmares are happening now, are already over, or are going to occur in the future. He has no control over the horrifying visions. He has been told (by his parents) never to speak of his power. All Tad knows is that he wants to protect those he loves. And he wants the bad dreams to stop.
At Tad's eighth birthday party (April 1, 1995) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the clown his parents hire to entertain Tad's third-grade classmates is one of the bad people. Pogo, the Killer Clown (aka Michael Clay) is a serial killer. So begins 53 nights of terror as Tad relives Pogo's crime, awakens screaming, and recites the terrifying details to his disbelieving family. The situation becomes so dire that Tad is hospitalized in a private institution under the care of a psychiatrist--who also does not believe the small boy's stories.
And then the police arrest Pogo, the Killer Clown.
Flash forward to the beginning of Tad's junior year in high school, 8 years later. Tad is 16 and recovered from the spring of his third-grade year. When Michael Clay was caught and imprisoned, the crime spree ended and so did Tad's bad dreams.
Until now, in the year of our Lord 2003, when evil once again stalks the land.
This is a terrifying, intense story of the dark people and places that lurk just beneath the surface of seemingly normal small-town America. As one reviewer says, "Wilson nails the darkness beneath the surface of small-town Midwestern life with an intense story based on fact."
Tad must wage a silent war against those who would harm the ones he loves. A battle to the death.
I have to say, first, I loved the characters. They felt like real people (mostly lol). Now if the cover doesn't make you cringe, I don't know what will.
My biggest questions was if this was based (though loosely) on Gasey. But, I didn't let that distract me from the book and placed thoughts of him out of my mind for the read.
There was some repetition, but overall the book was a smooth and quick read. I found myself wishing it were a print book rather than ebook so it would be easier to skip to the end. (Sometimes, I read a few chapters of a book and, like with this one, just had to know what happened before I got there.)
My Rating: 4/5