Cry the Night, by Glenn Miller

Reviewed by Molly Martin

A little boy punished by being put into a sack and suspended from a beam in a cellar at the hands of an unbalanced mother is later a youngster made to stand in a darkened cellar for hours on end.

The body of ten-year-old girl, an extended, fruitless search, and a missing six-year-old set in motion a twenty-year odyssey. The town of Traviston, Australia is forever changed in 1981 with the murder of Sarah Nielson and the disappearance of her little sister Rebecca. The only thing left behind were Rebecca’s panties and her dress. Residents who once trusted their neighbours now became suspicious of those living nearby. Children were kept safe at home behind closed doors, or in some cases the family packed and moved to get away from the horror.

On a pleasant day many years after the brutal murder; teenager Sally Smith is happy to accept a ride from an elderly man who has known her family for years. For Sally her ride with a trusted old friend turns into a nightmare from which escape seems impossible. When sixteen-year-old Kirsty and her five-year-old friend Sam set out for a walk on the cattle property where Kirsty is spending her school holiday with the family of her mother’s close friend she knows nothing of the hidden dangers lurking not so far away. A secret place, youngsters filled with a sense of adventure, and a cave filled with bodies all are part of this tale of child abuse, horror and alarm.

Cry the Night is a psychological thriller, set in the austere Australian wilderness, where young bushwalkers are pitted at night against the relentless unadulterated evil stalking them across remarkably arduous terrain.

Twenty years of secrets buried in the hidden backcountry wilds of Australia lie shielded by a lunatic. At an inaccessible creek on the brim of the wilderness where the body of a murdered ten-year-old girl is discovered, the narrative begins. The recital next moves to the present, with four young men and one teenage girl determining they will investigate the craggy valleys, ridges and caverns near where they are staying on a large cattle property. The bushwalkers unintentionally intrude upon the perilous mystery kept secret for more than two decades when they enter the region which a psychopath believes to be his. A demented serial killed living in a world filled with sexual darkness and hallucination will confront the young people who find their day walk becoming a fight for survival during which they will confront their worst fears. The evil stalking them will bring the youngsters faced to face with a terror beyond their wildest imagination.

Well fleshed, potent characters each have their own particular disposition. Twists and turns keep the reading guessing in this tale of a monster created by the derangement of a parent. Specific details of the murderer’s life are set down in fantasy, dreams, memories and loathsome actions by an almost sixty year old man who might be any one of the several fellows fitting that description who live in the area.

Not for the faint of heart, nor for a dark and stormy night when you are home alone.

Cry the Night, by Glenn Miller
Sunny Side Up Publishing, available in ebook or paperback formats.

This review contributed by Molly Martin.