‘The Box in the Woods’ – Maureen Johnson

The Box in the Woods sees us back with Stevie and her friends, with Stevie doing what she does best.

In this fourth instalment we see Stevie away from Ellingham Academy and heading to a remote summer camp, home to a series of brutal murders in 1978. Of course, we are watching Stevie as she solves this cold case, but we also get to see a little more of what happened on the night in question.

The town of Barlow Corners is a small town, where everyone knows everyone else and nobody’s business is safe from prying eyes. Barlow Corners is a town where people have their secrets and will do whatever is needed to maintain their security. So, it’s clearly going to be a place that Stevie finds fascinating due to it being the site of such a well-known horror story.

The details of the original crime are pretty grim. A group of four teens are murdered when they sneak out of camp one night. Everyone has an opinion of what might have taken place, but the crimes have never been solved. The story of the four teens found murdered and posed in the woods is certainly of its time, but it was interesting to see how modern readers react to the tale and how they attempt to maintain the facade.