Review: The Crawling Darkness by J.L. Bryan

Ellie, a paranormal investigator and professional ghost trapper, is given a case that’s dangerous as it is: a dark, twisted entity comes out of closets to scare the residents of a small apartment building. To make matters worse, Ellie realizes she’s already faced the entity and failed to remove it. Can she solve the mystery this time, before the entity claims another soul?


The Crawling Darkness is the third book in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series. It follows Ellie and her assistant Stacey as they try to solve their newest case for Alicia, a widowed mother of two children. The children are both scared of monsters in their closets but the monster appears different to each of them. Even Alicia has seen odd things in the apartment, though the shape has yet again been different.

It doesn’t take long for Ellie to figure out they’re up against a fearfeeder — a boogeyman that lives off of the fear of people, especially children. The same entity previously haunted another nearby house but after Ellie’s failed attempt at removing it, the entity seems to have moved on to Alicia’s building.

Ellie knows the entity is dangerous but its identity is still unknown, which makes it harder to remove. Together with Stacey, Jacob and Calvin, Ellie digs deep into the history of Savannah to figure out exactly who or what they’re dealing with and — hopefully — how to defeat it before it can hurt anyone else.

There’s something about this series that captivated me from the very first book. I’m not a huge fan of ghost stories but I am a fan of Ellie. I like her character and it’s nice to see new sides of her, while it was also interesting to learn more about Stacey. These two characters work well together, balancing each other out throughout the story.

This book had more central characters than the previous ones, mainly because the case is on an apartment building with multiple families, but they’re portrayed clearly so you’ll still keep track of everyone. Especially Alicia was a great character and you could relate to her struggles.

The story goes on at a steady pace and is never too slow or boring. There’s a lot of character interaction to drive the plot forward but there are also a few slower sections of learning about what happened in the past. It gives the story enough action to keep you entertained but also enough breaks to really think about the case. To me it was a good mix and it was hard to put the book down for even a moment.

Compared to the previous books, this might be my favorite. I’ve gotten to know the characters so I care about them more and the case definitely gave me goosebumps.

If you’re a fan of paranormal investigations and ghosts, you’ll enjoy this book. If you haven’t read the series before, I recommend you do so, but it’s possible to jump in here since the book is good at giving just the right amount of backstory.



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