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Lets you feel, smell, and taste the mental agonies our protagonist,
This review is from: Floating Staircase (Paperback)
This is one of those rare books of which it can truly be said "I hated to put it down." As you start to read it, you are immediately taken by the author's opening up to you in his personal aside to the reader, by the baring of his soul and his innermost torments, and then you realize . . . wait a minute, this is the novel!
While the jacket describes this book as a horror novel, it's not quite horror, yet it's more than that. A man who is living with guilt about having been the cause of his younger brother's death by drowning, moves into a house where another little boy used to live . . . a little boy who died by drowning. Does the second boy's ghost haunt the house and the lake where he died, or does our protagonist's brother's spirit still stick around? Or is our guy experiencing "Turn of the Screw" like madness brought on by guilt and obsession? The novel becomes a very realistic mystery story as our protagonist, seeking answers, tries to solve the mystery of the little boy's death and gets himself abused in the process. So what we have is a ghost story and a mystery, but mostly, a trip through a psyche racked with guilt and seeking redemption.
The superior writing of his book lets you feel, smell, and taste the mental agonies our protagonist is putting himself through: is the house he and his wife moved into, the house where the little boy and his strange family lived, indeed haunted? Or is he being haunted by his own conscience? You'll have to think for a while after you put this book down, and we can guarantee you'll want to think about it. Sometimes stories like this are open-ended and unsatisfying, and one ends up almost resenting the author for not knowing what he or she wanted to do. No dissatisfaction with this book--an excellent read, especially when you're alone in the house on a winter's night and some of the creaks and crackling of the house sound awfully unfamiliar.
Reviewed by Elliott Capon, author of "Prince of Horror" published by Suspense Publishing an imprint of Suspense Magazine