The Shore Review
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On the New Jersey shore, in the small town of Edgeharbor, where the woods creep into the streets, a monster stalks out of the night and rips people apart. As a winter storm brews, the murders escalate, until everyone in town is afraid to be caught outside after dark. Whatever’s out there has no mercy or sanity—it just kills, frightening the townspeople far more than an angry ocean during a hurricane.

A stranger shows up in town, and he’s the only one who knows what the monster is. Barry Hobbes—as he calls himself these days—has been tracking a boy for months. This time, the child will not get away—cannot get away—because Bobby knows what he’s capable of, and he either has to bring the child to people who can help him or end his life.

Katherine Lonigan is a local policewoman, assigned to help protect the small harbor town, but most people consider her an outsider. Something about the town makes her nervous, and she often feels as if the night is watching her. Something massive and hulking moves out there—something nightmares are made of—but she’s not sure if she believes in monsters. When she encounters Barry, she’s determined to find out who he is and what he’s doing in her town—because he just might be the monster that everyone’s afraid of.

The Shore is the sequel to The Pines, but it stands alone well as a classic horror. I do recommend reading The Pines first, though, just so you’ll better understand who some of the characters are. It’s not crucial to the story, but it’ll have more meaning if you’ve already read The Pines.

Robert Dunbar brings the off-season of the Jersey shore to life, and readers will feel the biting wind, see the fog rolling off the ocean, and hear the horrified shrieks of hapless victims caught outside near the ocean on a cold winter night. Mr. Dunbar has an uncanny gift for pulling a reader deep inside the story, drowning out everything else around them. As I read, I actually felt as if I were right there in Edgeharbor with the characters.

No matter which direction you think The Shore is headed, you’ll be wrong. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, again, you’ll be wrong. Not until the last few pages will you get a glimmer of what and whom the monster is, and it’ll leave you feeling a bit astounded. Intelligent, mind-stunning horror plots delight me—and Mr. Dunbar is a master.

The Shore is intense, creepy, suspenseful, and horrifying. And since Stephen King is mostly retired, I’ll be turning to Robert Dunbar when I want a good scare along with a great read.

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