Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date published: January 2013
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher
Daniel Donnelly’s parents have recently died, and his aunt wants him to take over the family estate. Daniel knows nothing about her but is curious, so goes to visit her for the summer. He discovers the house is in need of repair, but as he begins to work on it his dreams are filled with horrible images and even being awake isn’t necessarily a cure.
Meanwhile Sheriff Hale Davis falls in love with Daniel and is determined to love and protect him no matter what that will mean for himself.
This story has all the right ingredients to be a wonderful mystery/horror story. A spooky, decrepit old house, a strange, unknown relative, weird noises and activities, all sorts of paranormal things happening. Although it basically follows a set formula, it has enough fresh ideas and twists to be successful. Daniel was an interesting character, as was the aunt, and the evil one was just as the reader would wish, thoroughly bad but with some fascinating personality traits.
But it was as if the published book was a first draft, not an edited version. Right from page one the grammar let the author down devastatingly. The story is told in first person, yet on page one there is I/he confusion leading the reader to wonder whether there was another person/spirit/entity in the truck with Daniel. Then follows grammatical errors, repeated words, misplaced prepositions, dangling modifiers and more. There is also preposition confusion with the evil one, making the reader wonder what is happening. It detracts very much from the story as the reader is left wondering if they’ve missed something important plot-wise.
I also disliked the way some characters constantly referred to Daniel and Hale as “boys”. It gave the book the feel of borderline underage sexual activity as they have an explicit MM relationship, and it was quite unnecessary as a Sheriff in this day and age surely would not be underage and to be an executor of the estate Daniel must also be an adult.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.