First this definitely is not a typical horror novel rather an overabundance of violent actions layered with incredible twisted erotic storylines and compiled with horrendous actions, leading the reader through a maze of sinister tales diving further into the madness and depravity of the human nature. Author E.L. Jefferson writes from the standpoint of experience, having worked as a law enforcement officer, he takes these stories of fiction (hopefully) and convincingly portrays the cruelty that individuals inflict upon others all for their own sadistic pleasures. Jefferson who states “he’s not a fan of the vampire and werewolf stories, or the other typical monsters, rather [more realistic] stories of people harming others”. His concept likely remind most readers of the famous quote of Stephen King “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” This is his first novel, with no eBook available, but containing 10 short stories, hence give the writer a brief relief, as he definitely rushes to the finish line in some of the tales, especially in a 280-page book from 2012.
The stories within these pages tear open one’s mind, explore a few hidden and likely disgusting taboos, and make you examine your own fears, which perhaps sounds a bit like author Gregory Stock PhD’s The Book of Questions. However, the tales follow a pattern reminiscent of Tales of the Crypt but with a mature horror nature, that contains the ability to trap the reader forcing them to turn to the page to discover more unbridled misdeeds. One needs to note the book contains a few missteps, namely some stories foreshadow their likely intended conclusion such as in chapter 2 “Family Secrets” and a tad nuisance in the story “Night Drive” told in a POV mood, with many choppy short sentences emphasizing the pronoun “You” or a variation of it. In fact, on page 34 of this book, which travels through Night Drive it contains at least 50 “you” or a combination of “your and yourself” and one line has four “you” bunched together. Aside from these issues and hurried pace in these stories along with a misplayed “35,000” the book shows some positive attributes, with the story of “Three Blind Mice” providing a more fantasy filled occult storyline.
Let’s understand the positive of horror in general one to scare the reader and then to provoke, often authors play it safe, not wanting to offend, but the word of the genre already harsh, it needs to push, arouse, and make one look into their own soul. This novel does live up to my motto “The Extreme has a Lasting Impression” and as for the monsters they definitely are very real and exist through history taking the form of other people with sick perverse designs carve into society.
I would rate this novel at: 70/100-scares.
The stories in this book are as follows:
- Family Secrets
- Night Drive
- Mirror, Mirror
- Three Blind Mice
- A Fathers Sorrow
- Dr. Feelgood
- The Link