Book Review: A Debt to be Paid by Patrick Lacey

25736687Title: A Debt to be Paid

Author: Patrick Lacey

Genre: Horror, Psychological Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Nowhere to run!

Gillian Foster is desperate. She received a very strange letter in the mail not long ago. Since then, she’s been seeing shadowy figures everywhere. Coming for her. Frantic to find a safe place, she leaves home with her daughter Meg, only to find there is no way to outrun her pursuers.

Twenty years later, Gillian has been admitted to Hawthorne Psychiatric Facility. Meg receives a similar letter and is hunted by an unseen force. Is Meg also mentally ill, or are these creatures real? And if so, was her mother right all those years ago? Is there no place to hide?

In A Debt to be Paid, Gillian Foster has been seeing shadowy figures ever since receiving a strange letter in the mail. In an effort to save her daughter Meg and herself from what these figures have in store for them, she kidnaps her daughter and travels halfway across the country, only to find out shadows are not that easily outrun.

Twenty years later, Gillian is in a psychiatric facility and hasn’t spoken in ages. Meanwhile, Meg is struggling to make a life for herself working in a bank. But when the same shadows turn up after all these years, intent on hurting her, she starts to wonder if her mother was suffering from psychosis all those years ago, or if the shadows were real all along.

Although the story doesn’t sound that original – a woman seeing shadows, everyone thinks it’s mental illness but the shadows turn out to be real – it didn’t bother me that much, since the writing was great and managed to pull me into the story. The character dynamic worked well too, although I didn’t care much for the love interest. It read too much like insta-love and ultimately he didn’t add much to the story. It would’ve been better had the focus stayed on Meg and her relationship with her mother.

The plot is fast-paced and the novella never slows down. It was over before I realized it. A solid read, not the most original story, but the writing and characters make it worthwhile.


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