Book Review: House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

22716451Title: House of Echoes

Author: Brendan Duffy

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 2,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.
Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.
When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.
House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.

House of Echoes reads like your classic gothic horror novel: a gigantic mansion, a family moving in who already suffered through depression and trauma. I expected the mansion to be haunted but that’s not really the case – apart from some animal carcasses left on the new owner’s front porch, nothing really spooky is going on in relation to the mansion itself. Ben and Caroline and their two young boys move to a small, close-knit community to try and start over, running away from their dark and depressing past. But not all is as it seems in town, and their fresh start might turn into a nightmare.

Ben is an author struggling to come up with a concept for his new book. Caroline lost her banking job and wants to renovate the mansion into a proper B&B. Charlie, their oldest son, is barely eight years old and struggled at his last school, since he was being bullied. They all want to make a fresh start, and at first, it seems to work. But then Caroline’s paranoia sets in, Ben is too focused on his book rather than on his family, and Charlie starts spending hours and hours in the woods. At the same time, the reader senses something is going on, and that something bad will happen soon, but the suspense keeps on lingering for several chapters until the big mystery is finally revealed.

The book also has some letters dating from 1777 and detailing the horrors the ancestors of the town’s families went through. It’s a nice touch to combine past and present since the two are overwhelmingly interlinked throughout the book.

It’s more of a paranormal mystery than a horror book though, and even after the big reveal, the book isn’t really scary. There are some build-ups throughout but most of them end up going nowhere. I’d expected the house to turn against them, but that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, while the story isn’t bad, it isn’t very original either. The writing is okay, but tends to take a while to get its point across, dragging out the narrative. And the characters, with the exception of Ben, are hard to relate to. The whole family lives seperate lives almost, and that would be all right if it didn’t cause the reader not to relate to any of them except Ben.

Overall, it has an interesting premise but because it takes too long for anything spooky to happen, the reader feels more like they’re stuck reading Caroline’s diary of how she renovates this part of the house, decides to try out this recipe, and then repeats everything the next day. The pacing is simply too slow and the suspense isn’t high enough to warrant that. Most suspense build-ups end up going nowhere, and the end is a little anti-climatic at that point. Not bad, but I wouldn’t recommend it either.

Book Review: Twisted by Andrew E. Kaufman

23614038Title: Twisted

Author: Andrew E. Kaufman

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

The psychologist with a troubled past…
Dr. Christopher Kellan spends his days at Loveland Psychiatric Hospital, overseeing a unit known as Alpha Twelve, home to the most deranged and psychotic killers imaginable. His newest patient, Donny Ray Smith, is accused of murdering ten young girls and making their bodies disappear. But during his first encounter with Donny, Christopher finds something else unsettling: the man looks familiar.
The killer with a secret…
Donny Ray knows things about Christopher—things he couldn’t have possibly learned at Loveland. As the psychologist delves deeper into the mysterious patient’s case, Christopher’s life whirls out of control. The contours of his mind are rapidly losing shape, and his grasp on reality is slipping even faster. Is he going mad, or is that what Donny Ray wants him to think?
The terror that binds them…
In this taut psychological thriller from Andrew E. Kaufman, bestselling author of The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted, a tormented man must face his fear and enter the mind of a killer to find the truth…even if it costs him his sanity.

In Twisted, Dr. Christopher Kellan is devoted to helping his patients at Loveland Psychiatric Hospital, while trying to be a good family man. He oversees a unit known as Alpha Twelve, home to some of the most deranged killers. When his newest patient, Donny Ray Smith, accused of murdering at least ten young girls, appears, Christopher finds he looks startingly familiar. But how is that possible? He’s certain he never saw the man before. And then Donny starts talking to him, and not always the way a patient should. The serial killers knows Christopher’s secrets, and while the doctor’s life spirals out of control, Donny Ray grows more and more in control of the hospital. Unable to keep professional life and home life seperated any longer, Christopher finds his world unraveling, and soon grows wary of what’s real and what isn’t.

The book is scary because it’s realistic. Christopher’s fears of his mind unraveling, mixed with fears of his past, all sound genuine and realistic, and as a reader, you can’t help but feel sorry for them. And the way this world twists and turns, it’s no wonder Christopher grows paranoid. Before long, I couldn’t figure what was real and what wasn’t, anymore either. The book is weird like that, twisted like the title suggests, and for the most part, I had no clue what was going on, what was in the Dr.’s mind, and what wasn’t, and I too started to struggle with the boundaries of reality.

That’s what I enjoyed the most about the book. It kept me guessing for a while. I did predict the ending, but it was still pretty amazing. The characters are intriguing too, in particular Christopher, and the writing is haunting and compelling. Fans of psychological thrillers will devour this one.

 

Book Review: Amongst the Killing by Joe Compton

ATK Final Cover (3)Title: Amongst the Killing

Author: Joe Compton

Genre: Crime Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

For as long as he could remember, Detective Charles Street wanted to be a police officer, moreover a detective. He wanted to be knee-deep in the action, working the biggest cases, and reaping the biggest rewards. But he didn’t think when his dream job came calling that it would ever turn into his nightmare.
For as long as he could remember, Jack Casey just wanted to be free, his own man to do what he pleased, when he pleased. He too craved action, and when his dream life came calling, he didn’t think he would meet anyone who was his equal, and definitely didn’t think he would ever have difficulty leaving behind the world he loathed and mocked.
Amongst The Killing documents both of their stories, told in their own words, as the moments unfolded when their paths first crossed and their lives intersected. How could two men, with two different philosophies, be so different and yet so connected?
As the ultimate cat and mouse game unfolds, each has to deal separately with the other’s decisions and the effects they have in turning their lives sideways and upside-down. Will one of them crack? Will one of them succeed?  Ultimately, the journey may mean more than the game, and show both of them the outcome neither was ever expecting.

Amongst the Killing is an interesting book offering two perspectives, that of Detective Charles Street, and that of Jack Casey. Both men couldn’t be more different, yet in some aspects, they’re eerily similar. Jack Casey is a serial killer, a man who longs to be free, free of the rules society pushes upon all of us, free to do what he wants to do and when he wants to do it. Detective Street is the man hunting him, the man who always wanted to be a detective and saw his dream job turn into a nightmare after meeting Casey, after doing everything he could to catch him.

The book starts out promising, with a first chapter that opens up straight into the action. Then the book races on, and in the next chapter we first meet Jack Casey. I found him the most interesting of both characters, especially since he acts unlike other human beings, yet one can relate to him sometimes as well. Detective Street was interesting too. The chapters switch from one character’s POV to the other, but I didn’t mind – it felt that, if anything, it made the book even more suspenseful.

Thriller fans will love this book. I enjoyed the writing style, the characters, and the plot.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Damnatio Memoriae

damnatiobanner

I’m hosting the starter day party for the book tour for psychological thriller “Damnatio Memoriae”. This book sounds amazing. I love thrillers, so I can’t wait to read this one. Stay tuned for my review on March 8.

You can win a copy of the second book in the series during the tour! Just scroll down and fill in the Rafflecopter form to participate.

Tour Schedule

February 20th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

February 22nd: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

February 23rd: Book Excerpt @ DormaineGBlog

February 24th: Book Excerpt and Author Interview @ Literary Musing

February 27th: Book Excerpt @ The Readers Hollow

March 1st: Promo Post @ Nat’s Book Nook

March 3rd: Book Review @ Bedazzled Reading

March 5th: Promo Post @ Undercover Book Reviews

March 5th: Book Excerpt @ Books Direct

March 6th: Book Excerpt @ Books and Tales

March 8th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

March 12th: Book Excerpt @ Tea Talks

March 14th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

March 16th:  Promo Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

March 17th: Book Review @ PRATR

March 18th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

March 20th: Book Review @ Hollow Readers

About The Book

Damnatio Memoriae KDP coverTitle: Damnatio Memoriae

Author: Laura Giebfried

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Nothing ever happened at Bickerby. Located on an island off the coast of Maine, its prestige, remoteness, and near-inaccessibility in the winter months were the reasons that Enim Lund’s father sent him there in the first place. With only a year left of school until graduation, Enim’s only focus is to keep his grades high enough to scrape by and keep his unforgiving involvement in his mother’s critical accident secreted away. But when a body washes up on the school’s shore and a teacher vanishes without explanation, the thought of a quiet, uneventful year becomes unlikely – especially given that his best friend has planted himself in the middle of the crime. Worse than the thought of a killer loose on the island with them, though, is that the unfolding events are dredging up horrors in Enim’s past that, if uncovered, will result in his own misdeeds being found out.

As Enim is pulled further and further into crimes that he both has and hasn’t committed, he finds that his mind is slowly unraveling and his grip on reality is faltering, and unwanted comparisons are being drawn between his mother’s withering health and his own. Soon, discovering who the killer is becomes his only concern. Yet before long, it becomes clear that there’s an even more difficult task at hand than who’s responsible for the horrid crimes: getting anyone to believe him.

 

Author Bio

Laura Giebfried was born in Bangor, Maine in June of 1992. She is the youngest child of Joseph and Rosemary Giebfried, who moved to Maine from New York in order to raise their family. Giebfried currently lives in­ Bangor and attends the University of Maine where she is earning her degree in psychology.

Buy on Amazon

Giveaway

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Book Tours: Starter Day Party for Mr. 8

mr8banner

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for pscyhological thriller “Mr. 8”. The tour runs from February 5 to March 5. I hope you enjoy visiting all the tour stops!

Tour Schedule

February 5th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

February 7th: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

February 9th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

February 11th: Promo Post @ Bookaholic Ramblings

February 13th: Author Interview @ Tea Talks

February 15th: Book Excerpt @ Hollow Readers

February 16th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily

February 17th: Guest Post @ Brenda McCreight’s Blog

February 19th: Promo Post @ Bedazzled Reading

February 21st: Book Review @ Books are Forever

February 23rd: Book Excerpt @ Majanka’s Blog

February 24th: Guest Post @ Jane Reads

February 25th: Promo Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

February 27th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

March 1st: Book Excerpt @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

March 3rd: Guest Post @ Mama Knows Books

March 5th: Book Review @ PRATR

 

About The Book

Cover1Title: Mr. 8

Author: David J. Thirteen

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Horror

Psychology professor Denton Reed has been pulled out of the classroom to find a killer. Bodies are turning up all over the quiet town of Bexhill. They are found dismembered and burned beyond recognition in a snow covered farmer’s field, by the abandoned mill, and under the train bridge. The only clue linking the victims is the bizarre figure eight patterns left behind in their homes.

Denton must use his unique profiling techniques to uncover the murderer, who the police have dubbed Mr. 8. As he begins to unravel the mystery, a strange pattern begins to emerge. Before their deaths, each victim was seized by dark obsessions and inexplicable changes in behavior. Whatever strange forces are affecting the people of Bexhill, they may actually be more dangerous than any killer.

As a wave of insanity sweeps the town, Denton will put his life on the line to get to the source of the madness and risk all to protect the woman he loves.
But is it already too late?

Author Bio

David J. Thirteen has studied English Literature, Film Making, and Media Studies. He has lived and worked in the technology field for twenty years throughout the North East, in both Canada and the U.S. Writing has been a hidden passion for most of his life.

Mr. 8 is his first published novel and will be in stores on February 5th, 2015. It was first written as a serial story on Wattpad, where it became a #1 ranked feature novel. He still writes and posts new stories on Wattpad every week.

David currently lives in Toronto, Canada and lives a bright life, while dreaming dark dreams.

Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23607905-mr-8?from_search=true

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mr-8-David-J-Thirteen-ebook/dp/B00S0DQCME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422028518&sr=8-1&keywords=mr+8+david+thirteen

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mr-8-david-j-thirteen/1121019076?ean=9781620156193

Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidjthirteen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidJThirteen?fref=ts

Website: http://www.davidjthirteen.com/

Book Review: River Card

22583680Title: River Card

Author: Joan Destino

Genre:  Psychological Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

“Who was she trying to fool? Herself? A little late for that. She had to win; her survival depended on it.”
 
Do you have what it takes to lose it all? Find out in Joan Destino’s stunning debut novel, “River Card.”
 
Georgia Kassov Cates is a business woman, a wife, a mother…and a gambling addict. Desperate to recoup a devastating string of losses, she risks it all for one last game- a game that’s abruptly halted when the Las Vegas casino succumbs to a freak blackout.
 
Georgia meets some fellow patrons of the Las Vegas casino, including the wealthy Melanie Nallis, a woman haunted by her horrific childhood;  Zivah Koski, an enigmatic elderly holocaust survivor; Phillip Vance, a billionaire casino developer; and Milt Braverman, a professional poker player.
 
As they get to know each other, a connection is slowly revealed: postwar Germany, a time and place that is reflected in” River Card’s novel-within-a-novel, “Alexandra.”
 
Alternating between the opulence and depravity of 1940s Germany, and the glamor and baseness of 1990s Las Vegas, “River Card” reflects Georgia’s mounting fears-both past and present-as she plays one last hand…

River Card is a combination of two different stories. On the one hand, we have the story of Georgia Kassov Cates, who is a businesswoman, wife, mother, and also a gambler. She’s gone through a string of losses revolved to gambling and vows to play one more game, and risk everything for it. She heads to the Las Vegas casino to play her final game, when all the lights fall out during a mysterious blackout. She meets the other people present in the casino, each of them with an intriguing back story, like Melanie Nallis, a wealthy woman who is haunted by a terrible childhood, and like Zivah Koski, an elderly holocaust survivor.

As they connect with each other and get to know one another, a connection is revealed to postwar Germany. That’s when the other story happens, in a novel-within-a-novel (think Canterbury Tales), named “Alexandra”. Surprisingly, this was my favorite part of the book. The writing worked great here, and the voice seemed suitable for the era.

The book focuses on a lot of different themes and does so masterfully. I enjoyed getting to know Georgia, a complex, but intriguing character, and the world around her.

Mini-Review: Drowned, Disappeared, Cast in Peril

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Drowned

Title: Drowned

Author: Therese Bohman

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Literary Fiction

Rating: 1,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Drowned, set in the idyllic countryside during a short-lived Swedish summer, gets under one’s skin from the first page, creating an atmosphere of foreboding in which even the perfume of freshly picked vegetables roasting in the kitchen becomes ominous.
On the surface, the story couldn’t be simpler. A single young woman visits her older sister, who is married to a writer as charismatic as he is violent. As the young woman falls under her brother-in-law’s spell, the plot unfolds in a series of precisely rendered turns. Meanwhile the reader, anticipating the worst, hopes against hope that disaster can be averted.
More than a mere thriller, this debut novel delves deep into the feminine soul and at the same time exposes the continuing oppression of women in Sweden’s supposedly enlightened society. Mixing hothouse sensuality with ice-cold fear on every page, Drowned heralds the emergence of a major new talent on the international scene.

Review: This is one of the most confusing books I’ve ever read. No idea if it’s the translation, or just the plot. There’s no real conclusion, no side plot to add any action, nothing is resolved, characters are flat.

Disappeared

Title: Disappeared

Author: Anthony Quinn

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

On the Irish border, Inspector Celsius Daly investigates human trafficking and a scorched corpse

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is a rugged place: cold, windswept, and dark. For the girls brought here from Eastern Europe, it may as well be a war zone. Put to work in a farmhouse brothel near South Armagh, the women are forced into a living hell. One night, a pimp takes one of them for a ride. She is just planning her escape when the car explodes. The next morning, there is nothing left but the pimp’s charred body and the woman’s footprints in the snow.

As his forensics specialists turn their attention to the burned corpse, Police Inspector Celcius Daly obsesses over the footprints. Where exactly did the woman come from, and where did she go? It is the sort of question asked only in the borderlands—between North and South, between life and death.

Review: An excellent read. The main character, Celsius Daly, isn’t your usual type of detective. The plot is strong and original, writing is compelling. Very enjoyable, and highly recommended.

Cast in Peril

Title: Cast in Peril

Author: Michelle Sagara

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she’d been given was ready to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters…. So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris–disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin will be traveling with…

Review: I started this series with this book, which was actually number eight, so not a very good idea. However, the characters were enthralling, and I started to enjoy their adventures. Ending was a bit abrupt though, and well, it ends on a cliffhanger. I want the next one!

Book Review: Hold Still by Lisa Regan

Hold_Still_Ebook_2500Title: Hold Still

Author: Lisa Regan

Genre: Mystery / Suspense

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon        Barnes & Noble       Smashwords       Kobo

After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER.  The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol.  In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita’s case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.

Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation.  Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years.  Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them.

The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads.  Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces.  She doesn’t want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case.

To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.

Hold Still is a fantastic book. I had no expectations going in – while the plot sounded mildly interesting, I’d just finished a series of thrillers and didn’t know if it would live up to the rest of them. It definitely lived up to it, and more. Jocelyn, the main character, is quite amazing.She’s a single Mom, and at the start of the book, she rescues her three year old from a car-jacking, and thus ends up in the ER. She loves her daughter though, and her love for that little girl is special, and heart-warming. But when she arrives at the ER, Jocelyn runs into Anita Grant, a former prostitute, and an old acquintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol. Despite being severely hurt, Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Her case goes to the Special Victims Unit, but soon after, Jocelyn is pulled into the investigation. Anita is ready to talk, but only wants to talk to Jocelyn.

The investigation unearths a series of serious crimes going back four years. Three men prey on local prostitutes and mutilate them. While the police manages to catch two of the suspects, the third one escapes. He’s the most sadistic of the three, and Jocelyn and her colleagues have few leads to find out more about him. But when the past comes back to haunt Jocelyn, and an old acquintance shows back up, he’s the only lead that could crack the case.

It’s a great, suspenseful book, that had me on the edge of my seat from start to end. The case was original and refreshing, but it’s Jocelyn who really stole the show. I loved Jocelyn, and would love more books focusing on her.

Book Review: Five by Ursula P. Archer

21004896Title: Five

Athor: Ursula P. Archer

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

EVERY CORPSE IS A CLUE

N47° 46.605 E013° 21.718. A dismembered hand
N47° 48.022 E013° 10.910 Two severed ears
N47° 26.195 E013° 12.523 A mutilated corpse
A woman is found murdered. Tattooed on her feet is a strange combination of numbers and letters.
Map co-ordinates. The start of a sinister treasure hunt by a twisted killer.
Detective Beatrice Kaspary must risk all she has to uncover the killer in a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse
THANKS FOR THE HUNT

Five is an interesting crime novel combining geocaching with a mystery and murder. For those who don’t know geocaching, you enter GPS coordinates into your cell phone, and then go searching for “treasure” hidden by others. The item could’ve been there for years. Usually it’s something small, but in the case of “Five”, things are a little more gruesome. Think along the line of body parts. Yep, that gruesome.

The writing is excellent. I started this one at eleven thirty at night, hoping to read about half an hour before heading to back. Yeah…that didn’t work. I had to read this book in one sitting, even if it was two o’clock by the time I was finished. Main character, detective Beatrice Kaspary, is an intriguing protagonist. She’s a bit of a cliché character – the angry ex-husband, living for the job – but she makes it work. She’s so genuine, she could be a real person. Florin was a great sidekick, and the underlying attraction between both of them made for an interesting turn of events.

But it’s the murdering itself, the killing, and the killer, that really make the book shine. The geocaching elements screams originality (heck, at least to me, it’s the first I’d heard of it) and the killer himself is elusive. This isn’t a madman, which makes it all the more exciting. I kept on reading, even though my eyes were half-closed and I could barely reach the end of a page without yawning, because I simply had to find out who the killer was. In the dead of night, that’s quite a feat.

All in all, an intriguing mystery / thriller, and I’m confident we’ll see much more from this author. She has a great talent for describing characters and scenery.

P.S. Yes, I did go geocaching afterward. It was a blast! And no, I didn’t find any body parts. Thank God.

Book Review: The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

9780865349599-Perfect w modern.inddTitle: The Unholy

Author: Paul DeBlassie III

Genre: Psychological / Paranormal Thriller

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

In The Unholy, Claire Sanchez is the daughter of a curandera, a medicine woman. At age five, she sw her Mom getting murdered by an evil creature in the woods. Growing up, she’s never been able to shake the memory of that fateful night. She decided not to take up her heritage and become a medicine woman. Instead, she works as a psychologist and tries to help people in her own way.

On the other hand, we have the villain, Archbishop Anarch, who is the leader of some kind of cult. Anarch is truly wicked – he has no problem killing others when they stand in his way, or convincing people to kill themselves when he stands to gain money from it. His followers are tightly in his grasp, and he abuses his power at every turn. The only one who has some form of control over him, would be his mother. But Anarch is convinced what he’s doing is right, which makes him one of the worst kinds of monsters.

When the evil Archbishop turns his eye to Claire, she has to rediscover herself and her heritage to find against the powers of darkness, to protect herself, and the people she loves.

The theme of the novel is pretty basic, good vs. evil. But the author takes that theme, twists it around, comes up with intriguing characters who often walk the balance between right and wrong, and takes things to a whole new level. Anarch would be completely evil, in the eyes of most, yet in his own point of view, he is not. He knows his actions are wrong, but justifies them in the name of the greater good. There’s action, suspense, a hint of romance, and definitely enough darkness to share around in this book.

The writing style is very descriptive, almost poetic. On the downside, that means it’s a bit wordy at times. Once you bite through that though, and start focusing on the story, then the book becomes really intriguing.