Published by West Street Publishing (29th December 2015)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
John Decker left his home town a long time ago in a bid to escape the horrible memories that plague his past, but now he’s back. Normally Wolf Haven, Louisiana would see him dealing with the local drunk, saving cats from trees, or breaking up domestic disputes, instead, John finds himself dealing with a brutal killer who shows no mercy and is picking off the local residents one by one. John is in a race against the clock to find the killer and stop them once and for all, when he stumbles upon an age old superstition that bears shocking similarities to what the town is now experiencing, he doesn’t want to believe it’s true…but soon he may not have a choice.
I was on a horror kick and I just really wanted some good horror to keep me going. I did sort of get that with this story, but not to the level I was hoping for. This is probably what I would class as an old school creature feature, and it was well executed that’s for sure. I think what let me down was being so desentised to the type of horror that this story was portraying. So it’s definitely a case of, it’s me, not you.
The story opens with John Decker as a child, he lost his mother to a horrific animal attack and this was a big part of him needing to leave his past behind because of how awful it was and how it impacted his life as he was growing up. His father became obsessed, and he didn’t want that for himself. So when he finds himself back in his home town many a year later, and these killings start up, he can’t help but wonder if he’s destined to travel down the same road as his father before him.
This story was well written, though I must admit a little cliched in parts, but that’s okay. Some stories work on a formula and this one definitely did. I had a fair idea on what was going to happen most of the time, and that’s totally fine. Sometimes a bit of predictability is just what the doctor ordered. Told through the third person point of view, I felt like I was outside looking in for the most part, but I soon found the rhythm of the story and was able to fall into a nice flow that pulled me into the story itself.
The characters were written well enough, though a little stereotypical of the general horror tropes, and not super deep. I feel like there was opportunity here to delve into certain characters and make them more real, but this was a very plot focused story, so I don’t expect deep characters in this instance. The plot itself was strong though as said earlier ran to a formula, which, once again, is not a terrible thing, just left me feeling like there was no mystery to the story itself or what was going to happen. I did know straight up from the first meet who the bad guy was, and maybe the author intended that. I will admit though, by about half way through I did care about a handful of characters, so Strong was able to endear some of them to me in the end, which is what counts.
This story didn’t so much rely on shock factor gore, though there is some strong gore descriptions throughout the story, which I enjoy. I hate it when a book relies solely on shock factor and not the ability of the characters or plot to carry the reader through to the end. Even though I was pretty sure I knew how things would end, I was still invested enough to see the book through to the last page.
All in all, this was a creature feature horror story, that while predictable was still enjoyable enough to finish. I love that it touched on a lesser used version of a common horror trope too. Though I will admit, I had to actually read the blurb of the book again when it came time to write this review as I had totally forgotten which book this actually was. If you enjoy good old fashioned horror, give this one a go, you may love it.
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