The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

boywhocouldseedemons-21Don’t judge this book by its title.  I have been doing this myself lately not reading a review of a book that’s cover looks strange to me or that has a peculiar title.  This book, with this title,  would certainly fall into this category and shouldn’t be missed if you like fast-paced psychological thrillers with a couple good twists thrown in for good measure!

The Boy Who Could See Demons takes place in Belfast, Ireland and its narrative is very effectively told through the alternating voices of three main characters. Alex, who is ten years old, likes onions on toast and has a best friend that is a 9000-year-old demon called Ruen.   Anya,  a child psychiatrist who has moved back to Belfast to  treat some of Northern Ireland’s children that suffer from severe mental heath issues  and Michael, a social worker whose main concern is making sure Alex and his suicidal mother remain as a family unit if at all possible.  Anya has been brought in to assess Alex and determine what Alex’s needs are and whether he has early onset schizophrenia.  Anya quickly becomes professionally and personally involved with Alex even as she struggles  with her guilt at her inability to help treat her own daughter’s schizophrenia. 

I loved this book and I spent much of the book trying to figure out whether Alex’s demons were real and what was the cause of his visions.  The author, Jess-Cooke, makes you care about Alex and I wanted to know what was happening to Alex and whether he could survive his bleak situation.  This was one of those books that I find hard to categorize.  One could be tempted to say it is a suspense/thriller but it is also  about a mother’s emotional anguish over the loss of her child and the intense  exploration of  the  schizophrenic world.

Falmouth Memorial Library does not currently own this book, however, there are five libraries within the Minerva system that do have this book and we can request it for you.