Read Extract Reading Guide

Published in English by:
Piatkus (UK & Commonwealth) and Bantam Dell/Random House (USA)

Publication Date:
10th May 2012/13 August 2013

Available to buy from:

The Boy Who Could See Demons

Bestselling author Carolyn Jess-Cooke has written a brilliant novel of suspense that delves into the recesses of the human mind and soul—perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Lisa Unger. The Boy Who Could See Demons follows a child psychologist who comes up against a career-defining case—one that threatens to unravel her own painful past and jeopardizes the life of a boy who can see the impossible.

Dr. Anya Molokova, a child psychiatrist, is called in to work at MacNeice House, an adolescent mental health treatment center. There she is told to observe and assess Alex Connolly, a keenly intelligent, sensitive ten-year-old coping with his mother’s latest suicide attempt. Alex is in need of serious counseling: He has been harming himself and others, often during blackouts. At the root of his destructive behavior, Alex claims, is his imaginary “friend” Ruen, a cunning demon who urges Alex to bend to his often violent will.

But Anya has seen this kind of behavior before—with her own daughter, Poppy, who suffered from early-onset schizophrenia. Determined to help Alex out of his darkness, Anya begins to treat the child. But soon strange and alarming coincidences compel Anya to wonder: Is Alex’s condition a cruel trick of the mind? Or is Ruen not so make-believe after all? The reality, it turns out, is more terrifying than anything she has ever encountered.

A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Boy Who Could See Demons sets out to challenge the imagination and capture the way life takes unexpected turns. In the best storytelling tradition, it leaves the reader changed.


“Brilliant! Rich with fully formed characters and stunning psychological drama, this heart-gripping novel will kepp you revirted from first page to last.” -Jeffery Deaver, author of XO

“Utterly captivating, this is a book I adored and savored from the first to the very last magical page.”
-Tess Gerritsen, author of Ice Cold

“A rare and intriguing book, both emotionally and intellectually challenging… The cerebral challenge is the puzzle at the heart of the novel: Whose truth is real?”
-Helen Grant, author of The Vanishing of Katharina Linden  


The Boy Who Could See Demons is available in over 10 languages.


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