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Review by Pauline Creeden
With eloquent use of prose, Mike Duran takes a cozy mystery focused on retirement community resident, Annie Lane, and introduces a twisted amalgam of a body snatching, dark fairy mythos.
Ms. Marple, meet X-files.
When Annie begins investigating the strange happenings in her apartment complex, she finds creatures that inhabit the dark recesses. These creatures appear to be stealing the very souls of people in her community, feeding off the regrets and fears of the inhabitants.
Scary, huh? But in a psychological, Lovecraftian or Hitchcockian way, the author makes suggestions that cause the reader to extrapolate what happens next. Rather than appealing to the reader’s guttural fear, he plays with our minds and gives hints without necessarily spilling all the gory details. His excellent and concise use of language draws a surprising picture in the readers mind without being verbose .
These days, horror tends to work toward creeping out the reader by using our empathy to its advantages. We feel the character’s pain. Who wants to be forced to saw off their own foot or die? It’s an animalistic fear that almost anyone can understand. It doesn’t play with our intellect, it plays with our adrenaline. The Telling is much more psychological. It renews a fear of the dark, whether it’s the physical dark in the corner of your bedroom, or the mental darkness in the corner of your mind. This sort of fear stays with you long after you’ve pulled the covers up to your chin. It’s personal.
This is the kind of story that reminds me why I like to read horror in the first place. It forced me to consider my own weaknesses, and the source of my strength. A solid, well written book that is fun to read right before bed.