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Speed Dating with the Dead Kindle Edition
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|Length: 349 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Speed Dating with the Dead is a story which, in my opinion, is slightly reminiscent of The Shining. You have your hotel in a secluded location, although this one is no where near as "stately." You have your characters in which you love, your absolutely whacked characters, and those whom you hate. You have your ghosts in the hallways and your demons in the basement.
Nicholsons character development in this book is great and is what really makes this story. There is Digger, the screwed-up, non-believing, father who is hosting the paranormal weekend event at the hotel; Kendra, the pencil toting teenage daughter who is used to being the parent; Cody, the electronics guru; The Roach, who believes God speaks to him; the strange hotel workers and several others (including the ghost hunters and non-believers). I loved Kendra, especially her wittiness.
The ghost story part of the book is slightly predictable yet it is still just creepy enough to make you pay attention to those bumps in the night - haunted basements, attics and rooms; men throwing themselves out windows; strange children; demon possession and death.
The story flows smoothly - until the ending. The ending hits you fast and is over quickly. After reading the last few chapters, twice, I'm still not sure that I understand the connection of Beth, Kendra, Margaret, the demons and the hotel. This is my biggest complaint with this book - I didn't understand what it was all really about (which would explain my overall star rating).
All in all, Scott Nicholsons style of story telling delivers again and I would recommend for anyone who enjoys a fun read of a ghost story with a touch of gory mixed in.
If I was rating this book on my own values, taste and experience, I'd have to give it a mere 3 stars, but every book deserves an honest, fair shot about its writing and entertainment. Mr. Nicholson does both. Although for me, the cover and title have nothing to do with this ghost hunter's nightmare, SPEED DATING is a well plotted journey of terror that threw me back to junior high memories and my first experience with Stephen King's THE SHINING. Hotel haunts are delicious backdrops, and Nicholson takes every advantage of lonely hallways, dark basements, and a quirky, bizarre cast of characters that leaves you almost happy to see them destroyed.
Kendra Wilson and her father are hosting a paranormal conference at the spooky White Horse Inn in the Carolinas, but unbeknown to Kendra, her recovering alcoholic father has come to reunite with his wife's spirit at their former honeymoon locale. What nobody knows, is evil has been brewing beneath the floorboards of the White Horse for years and the conference offers the perfect recipe of souls to bring everything to a paranormal explosion.
At times the cast numbers become almost overwhelming with all of the point of view switching, but again, the tension and heart palpitating suspense keeps the pages turning as Kendra Wilson struggles to come to peace with her broken relationship between her widowed father and herself. Slowly realizing she is surrounded by a murderous evil, she carries the story's pacing on her shoulders, but her gritty courage and self respect carry off the novel.
There are genius moments when the writing stops the reader. They have nothing to do with the formula or the genre; and more than once I asked myself why the author chose to delve into the shallows of cookie cutter genre writing when his gift is apparent between the lines.
There is something as gritty as Kendra in his words; something deeper and more thoughtful beneath the frantic in-your-face screams of demons and ghosts. I would venture to predict that more thought provoking, literary prose lies hidden somewhere in his own basement, and when he finds the courage to set it free he will write stories that will stand taller and touch more lives than scary ghost stories we share around the campfires.
Content Warning: Crude, vulgar language and mild sexuality. Not recommended for young YA readers.