Sarah's Stars

Arthur Slade. Dust
Harper Collins, $14.00  ISBN 0-00-648593-6
Reviewed by Sarah

When young Matthew sets off for town, his mother wants his older brother, Robert, to go with him. Robert decides to stay in his room instead because he thinks that Matthew, at age seven, is old enough to walk to town by himself. Besides, he did when he was seven didn't he? He was comfortable reading comics in his room and liked having the house to himself. He saw no reason to jump up and walk to town in the blistering sun, when Matthew seemed perfectly capable on his own.

On the way to town, Matthew runs into a stranger who offers to take him the rest of the way. After all, doesn't he want to get there before his parents? Doesn't he want to avoid his mother's nagging "I told you so"? Later, when his parents head out by wagon, there is no sign of Matthew along the way, nor when they reach town. The police go back for Robert, who, for some reason, has "sensed" bits and pieces of what has happened to Matthew.

Following Matthew's disappearance, Robert meets a man, Abram, at church. Abram is as pale as death and always wears gloves, even in the hottest of weather. One day when his sunglasses slip down his nose, Robert notices red pupils staring back. Strange things start happening in Horshoe, and Robert is sure that Abram is up to no good.

Dust, by Arthur Slade, was a superb book. I could not put it down. I had high expectations, as I had read The Loki Wolf, from the Northern Frights series, last year and really enjoyed it. Dust is a chiller, one that seeps into your bones. I was hooked by the time I had finished the first chapter, and will definitely go looking for more novels by Arthur Slade. This is a five star book, for sure.

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