An insidious darkness threatens to devastate a rural New England village when occult forces are conjured and when bigotry is left unrestrained.
After a recent string of disappearances in a small Connecticut town, a grieving widower with a grim secret is drawn into a dangerous ritual of dark magic by a powerful and mysterious older gentleman named Heart Crowley. Meanwhile, a member of local law enforcement tasked with uncovering the culprit responsible for the bizarre disappearances soon begins to learn of a current of unbridled hatred simmering beneath the guise of the town’s idyllic community—a hatred that will eventually burst and forever change the lives of those who once found peace in the quiet town of Henley’s Edge.
From the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author of the viral sensation, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke, Everything the Darkness Eats is a haunting supernatural thriller from a new and exciting voice in genre fiction.
“LaRocca's writing is as lush as a baroque painting...LaRocca's true talent lies in his ability to bring his readers into the lives of his characters - a mother's desperation to help her blind child; a widower's mourning; a gay couple's fight against discrimination. It's through such explorations that readers can enter other lives, and feel empathy for those who are like us, and those who are not. That, LaRocca's novel seems to argue, is the point of fiction - to crack open the shell of otherness and explore all that's inside.”
—The New York Times
"LaRocca brings some serious Clive Barker vibes to the table...This is no easy, breezy summer read. It’s bleak, but not without light, and not without hope. LaRocca has been steadily building a solid reputation in the horror genre, and this novel represents a giant step forward for him. Strongly recommended."
"One of the Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2023"
“With scenes of palpable fear, deep-seated trauma, and visceral villainy, this remarkable novel will move readers through every possible emotion, with language that by turns brutal and beautiful and with expertly built, messily realistic characters… The story is undeniably full of shock and disgust but also seeks to elevate love and allow humanity to shine through.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“LaRocca proves himself a provocative force of brutal nature... With his debut novel, LaRocca all but screams for readers to take notice, take voice, and take action before silence renders the reins to those who’d rather choke us with them given the chance. While the Darkness may well feast on your conscience long after the final page is read, do yourself a favor and devour this one while there’s still a little light left.”
“LaRocca looks at the passive violence and prejudice underlying small town life with an unblinking eye, revealing how it can erupt into something truly monstrous--and then he somehow grafts that together with something profoundly dark and supernatural to create a unique and deadly beast of a novel with a double row of very sharp teeth.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Father of Lies and Last Days
“Sherwood Anderson this isn’t. In Everything the Darkness Eats, Eric LaRocca has created a truly modern horror story that boldly illuminates the harsh realities of life in contemporary small-town America. His Henley’s Edge is not your stereotypical community where everyone's a neighbor and every neighbor’s a friend. It's a town where depression and loneliness thrive, where intolerance and bigotry undermine civic institutions, where isolation turns even loved ones into strangers. Horror fiction doesn’t get more emotionally raw than this. A smart, sharp read with echoes of King's Needful Things and Barker’s The Damnation Game, Everything the Darkness Eats not only has one hell of a good title, it’s one hell of a good book.”
—Bentley Little, author of The Mailman and The Revelation
“LaRocca has conjured for us a mad, beautiful tale of dark magic, trauma and love, and how these things intertwine—this is an author in command of powerful narrative sorceries, and is deserving of your immediate attention.”
—Chuck Wendig, author of The Book of Accidents and Wanderers
“This is probably the most all-inclusive horror novel I've ever encountered, and one of the most riveting. LaRocca's tight story structure; luminous prose, and in-between-the-lines subtext approach virtuosity in this tale of grievous loss, all-too-realistic violence, and human longing, all which slam-dunks the reader into an inescapable (and keenly original) terror-scape. Part mystery, part crime drama, and part occult fable, Everything the Darkness Eats is the most relevant book I’ve read this year. LaRocca proves to be an absolutely superior crafter of modern fiction.”
—Edward Lee, author of Header and City Infernal
"Everything the Darkness Eats is an emotionally devastating novel of unflinching violence, lost souls, and cosmic horror. Eric LaRocca’s prose sings and his characters are heart-achingly true. Another brilliant work from one of horror’s fastest-rising talents."
—Tim Waggoner, author of Your Turn to Suffer and We Will Rise
“A colossal feat of imagination and moments of pure magic delivered with style and tenderness in a way that gives Gaiman a run for his money.”
—Gemma Amor, author of Dear Laura
“Everything the Darkness Eats is an exquisitely written story of magic, darkness, and the human condition. You will be sucked into an abyss of both horror and beauty, never to come out the same again.”
—Janelle Janson (writer at Dark Matter Magazine and Scream Magazine)
“LaRocca’s story is a blend of otherworldly horrors and all-too-familiar ones, particularly if one watches current events. Overall, this story feels like a collaboration between Stephen King and Clive Barker if they were 30 years younger, but it still has all the bloody flourishes that marks it as straight from the brain of Eric LaRocca.”
—The Scary Librarian