Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink
I usually try to avoid horror stories — the kind that take place on dark, abandoned highways where people disappear without a trace have never been my cup of tea.
But Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink isn’t your typical horror story.
In fact, it’s not a story at all, “it’s a road trip.”
You may recognize Fink’s name as one of the co-creators of Welcome to Night Vale, about a town where every conspiracy theory you’ve ever imagined is real.
In Alice isn’t Dead, Fink has once again managed to create a world that engages the reader by filling it with the unexplainable mysteries of life.
Alice is not dead.
Despite what her friends believe, Keisha knows the truth, and the truth is that her wife is not dead. Keisha is so sure of this fact that she leaves behind everything she has ever known, gets a job as a long-haul truck driver and goes in search of Alice.
One night at a greasy diner, Keisha witnesses a murder.
A man with yellow teeth and skin that hangs off his face in a way that’s not quite natural, wearing a stained shirt that says “Thistle,” takes a bite out of a another man’s artery.
Keisha runs, knowing that no matter what she must continue her search for Alice.
Keisha’s journey continues as she discovers the possible ties between Alice’s disappearance and this cannibalistic “Thistle Man,” and as she begins to realize that she and Alice may be caught in the middle of something more dangerous, otherworldly and ancient than they realized.
Fink has created a compelling story peppered with characters you support, cheer for, despise and are disgusted by.
He ties in the ideas of humanity and human flaws, looking at what truly makes a person good or bad, and what happens if someone strays too far in one direction.
Mixed in with these ideas is a touching story of a woman who gives up everything to find the woman she loves, to solve an unsolvable mystery.
And finally, a story of the people who disappear along dark, abandoned highways, leaving no trace.