Vanguard, Apr 13 2010, $15.95
When Beau is ten years old he, his parents and twin sisters go to Gull Island, Georgia to see his granny. Also visiting at the same time is his cousin Sumter and his parents. The children watch their parents get drunk every night and say terrible things to each other. Sumter has a teddy bear called Bernard that he clings to while his father calls him a sissy who should act like a boy instead of a girl.
It is Sumter who finds the abandoned shack on his granny's property and he calls it Neverland. He brings Beau to it and introduces him to the god he worships in a crate. Strange inexplicable things happen in this shack as they worship the god. He puts his hand in the crate as do his sisters when they come to Neverland and feel something bite them. A blood sacrifice is made as the children put their blood in the crate. Beau and the children believe they fly over Gull Island and see the ghosts of dead children; Sumter communicates telepathically with Beau who believes what happens is real. He knows that some things are inexplicable because his dreams come true. It is when Sumter wants them to make the final sacrifice that Beau turns against him risking his life to stop it from happening.
Douglas Clegg is a talented horror writer who manages to creep out his audience with a very visual picturesque storyline so that the reader feels as if they are inside the storyline. This is dark atmospheric work, gothic in tone that makes the readers question whether the events Beau experiences have more than one explanation. Neverland is a scary work written by an author soaring to the top of his game.