The Woods are Waiting by Katherine Greene is a highly recommended debut mystery.
Blue Cliff, Virginia, has a dark history pointing at the Hickory Man living in the woods preying on children. Children are taught to put soil from the woods in their shoes and carry silver coins to ward off the Hickory Man, but there is also a history of this not working. Cheyenne Ashby left five years ago without warning after three children were found dead in the woods. A local man went to prison for it, but doubts remain.
Now Cheyenne is called to return home and help her mother, Constance, who lives in a cabin in the woods and is busy trying everything she knows to ward off the evil she sees coming. Another child has disappeared, which is what prompted her frantic activity. Cheyennes friend, Natalie, is still in town and the two are determined to discover what is really happening.
This is a solid debut mystery with a creepy
something-is-in-the-deep-dark-woods plot element. Cheyenne and Natalie
are not about to fall for the local rumors when looking for the answers
to the latest missing child, as well as the truth about the previous
three missing children. Greene does a respectable job of creating
suspense and developing her characters while presenting local
superstitions and the fear running rampant in the small town.