Darlington Woods - Mike Dellosso

Rob Shields has just lost his wife and son. Battling depression, denial, and an irrational fear of darkness, Rob travels to the small town of Mayfield, MD to check out a house he has inherited from his great aunt Wilda, a woman he has never even met. There in Mayfield strange things begin to happen that lead Rob to believe his son, Jimmy, is not really dead.

 

After a restless night and eerie dream, Rob is convinced the answer to the mystery surrounding Jimmy’s disappearance and alleged death is to be found in a village called Darlington, a town found on no map.


Teaming up with a quirky local waitress who insists she has been there, Shields begins his quest to find the truth about the town—and his son. In Darlington, Rob and Juli come face to face with the town’s secret, creatures called Darklings inhabit the night and instill paralyzing fear in Darlington’s citizens. Their search for Jimmy leads them into the woods surrounding Darlington where, once in, there seems to be no way out.

 

I sat down on the sofa this afternoon and read the last half of the book in a couple of hours – I didn't even get distracted by the kids, the TV, or my boisterous parrot, which can only mean one thing: Darlington Woods is good…. real good.

 

This is Mike Dellosso’s third published novel and his best yet.  If you want to get an idea of the tone of this book, think ‘I am Legend’ meets ‘The Gremlins’ in a creepy forest.

 

Dellosso has a very unique style of weaving faith themes through his books – not preachy, clinched or familiar, but still punchy and profound.  Darlington Woods’ grand theme is about facing and overcoming fear and it achieves it’s message on a number of levels.  Not an obvious allegory, but the more I think about it  – a very powerful, and personal one.