Monday, March 4, 2019

Review: The Siren and the Specter by Jonathan Janz

Author: Jonathan Janz
Publsiher: Flame Tree Press
Publish date: September 2018

When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different. Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering taint of bloodshed. David is haunted, as well. For twenty-two years ago, he turned away the woman he loved, and she took her life in sorrow. And David suspects she’s followed him to the Alexander House.

I've been on a horror kick lately.  The Siren and The Specter was a recommended book on SCRIBD, so I gave it a shot.  The story involves David who is a known skeptic.  He has debunked several supernatural mysteries and written successful books.  His friend Chris invites him to live in a property recently purchased by him and his wife.  David's task is to prove it's haunted so it can be turned into a B&B attraction.

I have mixed feelings about the book.  On one hand, I did think it was a good horror story.  It was creepy, spooky and had a lot of tension.  It's filled with gory scenes and what would amount to  "jump scares" if it  was a movie.  I liked watching David as he realizes the haunting was real.  It was fun seeing a skeptic lose his grasp on reality.  I also appreciated that there was more going on than just a haunting.

What I didn't love about the book was the in your face grossness of certain scenes.  The couple next to the house have no qualms about playing porn in front of their small children.  The mother is not shy about her overly sexual advances toward David.  I can buy into a lot, but I didn't love the way the clear child abuse was used as a plot device here.  It was unnecessary and could have been left out.  

Overall, I did end up enjoying the book.  It's definitely an adult horror novel, so keep it way from the kiddos.   I did like this author's writing style, so I want to try out some more of his work in the future.

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