In a forgettable diner, on a forgettable road, in a forgettable town, Keisha Lewis meets an evil she can’t escape. It hunts her like an animal, following her from town to town, city to city, as she crosses the country in search of the wife she believed to be dead. Keisha’s search for Alice leads her to a truth we all hide from: evil walks among us and is ready to strike at any moment.
Based on the popular podcast of the same name, Alice Isn’t Dead isn’t a word-for-word retelling of that tale. Instead, it is more of a deep dive into what happens, adding more depth and clarity to the characters, including the terrifying Thistle Men. I’ve listened to the podcast myself and loved it, but the novel is something more. I read through the story so fast because I couldn’t stop reading it. Joseph Fink found a way to make Keisha’s story even more frightening, giving the Thistle Men more context and describing to readers how they came to be. It isn’t what you may think but then it definitely is.
The author also makes Keisha more relatable by including her sometimes debilitating anxiety to the story. Anxiety is at an all-time high right now and revealing Keisha’s own struggles with it makes her seem more real. She suffers, but she still perseveres and fights the good fight. The fear she feels is palpable, but it galvanizes her when she needs it most. In some ways, Keisha’s anxiety is a weapon against the very evil she needs to confront and somehow conquer.
Do yourself a giant favor and pre-order Alice Isn’t Dead or buy it (or borrow it from the library) when it drops on October 30. If you have some time, listen to the podcast, which just completed its third and final season. I highly recommend it. Just make sure to watch out for the Thistle Men.