Welcome to Millingham, MA, pop. 5000… 4997… 4993…

The sheriff has convinced himself and others that the recent rash of deaths in the town are just suicides. Lysander Shore knows different. He knows the townsfolk are being hunted. He knows they face an evil as old as the town itself. He knows it’s something that can’t be killed, can’t be reasoned with.

And he knows that the evil knows about him, too. It’s waited centuries for Lysander to come home. Now it wants to make him pay.

If you are into paranormal, witches, murder  mysteries, and a bit of romance, then this is your type of book. It got me quite interested for most of it, loads of gore to keep me going and a set of lovely teenagers in the midst of it all. What I did like was the idea of having a Goth protagonist. It’s so rare that we stray from the mainstream and it felt like a breadth of fresh air in a somehow stale room filled with the corpses of “scary stories”. For a newcomer on the writing block, the sentences are quite well constructed and the atmosphere of dread and uncleanness is palpable.

Take for example the moment when Lysander sees a man cutting off his own arm. Reminded me a little bit about the crazy old woman from that Netflix show called “Marianne

Even from far away Lysander could see the difference, but didn’t quite believe it. His eyes had become milky white. Somehow, the shadow had snuck into him like a fox in a henhouse. Cardigan leaned over the shadow-man, fell into his coat and removed a long blade. Lysander watched with morbid fascination, utterly perplexed by the display. The thin man rolled up his sleeves and brought the blade to his wrists. He began sawing viciously. A stream of blood gushed out and the man screamed, but the sound was not one of pain, but one of orgasm. He moved to his other wrist. The top button of his shirt was undone. He reached up with both bloody hands and ripped six buttons off so that his shirt flapped open. With the edge of the knife, he carved something into his chest,..

The metaphors and comparisons are a bit bland and nowhere near the stylistic genius of Dean Koontz or Stephen King…

He brought the light up to illuminate the fireplace mantle and saw the shrunken heads with their sewn eyes that still seemed to be peering out at him. So where had he seen that missing piece again? There was so much creepy shit on every table, this would take longer than he thought. Every bloody inch was spoken for…except… On a cherry wood table against the far wall, Alex spotted a vacant space between two medieval depictions of hell. He angled Jesus out from under his belt buckle and crossed the room.

On the bright side, it’s a perfect read for a Halloween night – enough to get the shivers up and the ghoulish mood going!

There had been a subtle transformation in his expression when she had cursed. A twitching kind of expression she had never seen in him before. It looked strangely like…disapproval. The foul stench didn’t seem to be bothering him at all. In fact, he seemed to be savoring it. “What’s that smell?” she asked. “It’s fucking awful.” That disapproving look again. Shivers trickled up her spine. Lysander’s presence, normally comforting and soothing, was beginning to frighten her. “Who did you come with?” he asked. His breath was bad. That was weird, his breath was never bad. It was stinging her eyes. She hesitated. “I’m alone.”

The whole story line leaves you guessing a little because it’s never said point blank “who done it”. I really enjoyed the interactions between Lysander and Sam. They seem like the kind of couple that you could really root for. I’m still not sure what everyone’s purpose was that was in the book. Some of them were supposed to be key players as far as what was happening and they only merited a page or two at most throughout.

2/5 – Charity pile