One By One They Disappear

Mike Lucas

One By One They Disappear
Penguin Random House Australia
21 May 2024

One By One They Disappear

Mike Lucas

The fog is coming. And when it does, everything disappears . . .

One girl. Two identities. Three friends.
One disappears. One forgets. One remembers.
There is truth in every tale . . . Find it!

A frighteningly creepy supernatural YA thriller that chills to the bone with imagined and real horrors.


A haunting novel about the life of a young Jewish girl during the Second World War, One By One They Disappear carefully blends the historical with the supernatural to create a compelling read.

The book follows Hannah, a young Jewish girl who is forced to assume the identity of another in order to protect herself from the Nazis. Now as ‘Sophia’, Hannah makes her way to a remote mountainous village to live with the real Sophia’s aunt. Hannah may be safe from the bombs here, but the Nazis still lurk, and there may be other horrors waiting for her in the woods.

I thought this book did an amazing job of balancing the all-too-real horrors of Nazi Germany with the imagined horrors of a ghost story. While in the beginning this book may feel like normal historical fiction, it shifts to become a supernatural mystery. This mystery centres on a chilling folktale constructed by the author: the story of ‘The Old Man’s Bones’. What initially may seem a superstition tied to an old tale about disappearing children suddenly becomes incredibly real for Hannah as she and her friends are forced to face their fears.

I think this book is perfect for readers aged 12+ who like a bit of a spooky story. It is not overly scary, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat while reading. The start is a little slow, as the supernatural elements don’t really begin until around 100 pages in, but it is definitely worth the wait.

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