I downloaded this book based on the blurb, since it sounded like a good paranormal thriller. It was a good mystery but I wasn't prepared for the stomach-churning scenes. Alexander gets a little too graphic in his depictions of the grisly murders that take place in the vicinity of a small college on an island in Washington's Puget Sound. But they were nothing compared to the tales of child abuse and animal abuse, recalled by the enrolled in a philosophy class at the university.
The gruesome deaths mirror exactly a series of deaths that occurred in the same area nearly a century before. Back then, a young boy, horribly abused by a step-father, dies at the hands of schoolmates who bullied him without mercy. Soon after, all the bullies are murdered in horrible fashion. Afterwards, several more deaths, known child abusers and wife beaters, are killed the same way. Mysteriously, the murders cease but the killer is never caught. Some eighty to ninety years later, someone is targeting child abusers and wife beaters again.
Riddley has just transferred to St. Jerome and is befriended by Chapman, a former high school, buddy of his, Boyd, Lazko, Sandhurst and Catherine. They are all enrolled in the same philosophy class. Their professor engages them in lengthy discussions on evil. Despite the grisly murders being nearby, the class discussion doesn't address the Devil's Creek killer. Riddley and his classmates discuss the evilness during camping trips involving drinking, smoking weed and swapping growing-up stories, my-step-father-was-worse-than-your-step-father type tales, which serve as the basis for child abuse scenes.
As more bodies are found, the local law enforcement is grasping at straws, since clues are scarce. They suspect one of Riddley's friends but the final unmasking is a surprise, as any good whodunit should.
Still, Alexander leaves a number of questions unanswered. For example, why did the killer copy the early murders to the smallest detail? How did he find his victims? How could he forge a signature? What was his connection to the elderly woman who was a friend of the boy killed so long ago?
The Legend of Devil's Creek killer is a good psychological thriller but certainly not one to read on a full stomach.