Okay, anyone who knows me, knows I’m not usually a horror reader. Although, I have to admit, since I’ve been reading more horror… and because of my friendships with Indie Horror Authors (Andy Lockwood, Andrew Charles Lark, Chelsea Gouin, Peggy Christie, and Michael Ceislack – to name a few) … I’m finding a new appreciation for the genre. Some are mere ghost stories, which are sometimes fun; others are creepy with psychological twists, which I really enjoy; and others are full of blood, guts, and gore, of which I’m not a particular fan. So, I suppose there are horror books that I enjoy… and this is certain one!
Full disclosure, Pages Promotions published The Midnight Man with Chelsea Gouin… but even if we hadn’t, I’d still be writing this review. This is a debut work from an author who I genuinely hope continues writing, whether she publishes with Pages Promotions again, or not. I truly enjoyed this book.
Chelsea did a great job drawing me into the story. She made me care about her characters and kept me turning the pages with a consistent building of tension. The spook-factor wasn’t Stephen King - must buy more light bulbs spooky - but it didn’t completely let me off the hook, either. Her characters are “regular people”, and by that I mean, each is a person that you would expect to encounter in your every-day life, if you’re theatre people. Perhaps not, if you’re an engineer. Regardless, they were easy to understand and feel comfortable with… which made the story a little bit creepier. These could have been MY friends!
I loved that Chelsea did a bit of research and built her story around an urban myth, something she tells me is a particular interest for her. She read about “The Midnight Game” online, and took the possibilities to the next level, adding a full measure of creepy along the way. Her use of just the right amount of “eeeww”, and “ICK!” added depth and punch to the story. Her use of camera directions at the beginning of each chapter allowed for full understanding of timeline and story flow. Furthermore, the way she incorporated each character’s fatal flaw into the details of the story was handled brilliantly!
If you’re looking for a novella-length book to test drive the creepy, psychologically weird, and a good measure (though not too much) of the gory stuff, this may be a good read for you. This is a book that will satiate your interest in the horror genre, without making you sleep with the lights on or check under the bed… too often.
Check out my interview with Chelsea Gouin on Indie Reads TV!
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