The Guardians (2011) – Andrew Pyper

 

So I dug into another Andrew Pyper novel, I am really liking this guy’s work a lot. This one The Guardians, introduces us to four characters and friends, Trevor, who is the lead character of the novel, Randy, Carl and Ben. The group grew up together in a small western Ontario town called Grimshaw, where they played on their high school hockey team, The Guardians.

But a horrific event derails the group, and shatters the town.

After graduation, all of them left town, but for Ben, who stayed behind, and when Trevor, now in his forties, receives word that his friend has committed suicide, he and the others return home. And when tragedy strikes again, past and present crash together…

At the story’s center is Trevor, suffering from Parkinson’s’ and the Thurman house, a broken down house across from Ben’s home. Empty, but not deserted, it’s this town’s haunted house, the one everybody feels off about, and what if they are right to feel that way?

This story definitely brushes up the against the supernatural, although, it could be argued that everything Trevor thinks he sees, and experiences, could be a symptom of his Parkinson’s’. It’s unnerving, because if you remind yourself of that, you have to wonder about how much of anything he sees, or shares with us is real. Even though some of the others share his experiences, what if they aren’t? What if they are just empathizing with him over his illness?

guardians

The story moves back and forth through time, as we explore the tragedy, and it’s fallout, in their youth through Trevor’s memory diary, and the similar unravelling tragedy here in the present. And knowing how the original tragedy turned out, you have a pressing sense of dread as the clock ticks in the modern world.

I’ve read three of his books so far, and have enjoyed every single one of them, and have yet to dive into the one everyone recommends, Lost Girls, but this one resonated with me, because I think every kid remembers a house like this one, and whether it actually happened or not, everyone remembers some Thing. In each place I lived, despite being on bases, I remember one house in each place that just gave off that spooky vibe…

I’m becoming quite a fan of Pyper’s work, he’s able to walk that line where reality and the possibly supernatural blur, and the way he tells the tale, so straightforward, almost without embellishment makes it all the more unnerving and creepy. They make for quick, highly enjoyable, page-turning reads, and then you’ll find out they’ve actually gotten under your skin…

If you haven’t read any of his stuff yet, take a look, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

andrew pyper

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