Thursday 10 March 2016

REVIEW: Russell James - Dark Inspiration

Genre: Horror / Paranormal
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: 7th Feb 2012
Pages: 248


I received an advance copy of Dark Inspiration by Russell James from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain Publishing.

Russell James is another name I have seen a lot of but never got around to reading. I liked the look of this one when it came up on NetGalley so decided to jump right in. This is what I thought.

Doug and Laura Locke live in New York. He works for a newspaper doing the sleaze column and she is a teacher. They have lost their way a bit with life and with each other.

After a near death experience for Laura, they decide to up roots and go for the quieter life where Doug can write his novel and Laura can love life again.

Moving to Tennessee, they buy Galaxy Farm. A house with a history. A history that is currently secret to Doug and Laura. A secret that is going to come back to haunt them, quite literally.

This was an interesting little story. I say little story because even though it comes in around two hundred and fifty pages, it is a very easy book to read and will feel a lot shorter. Well it did for me anyway.

Our main characters in this are obviously Doug and Laura. Their marriage isn’t exactly on the rocks but it could be better. One would blame the other but to be honest I think they both need to take a hit for it. When they move, everything seems to be excellent, until they once again start to go their separate ways. With catastrophic results.

Theresa is Laura’s only friend. A little bit psychic she has a bigger part to play in all this than she first thinks. Vern thinks the house should rightfully be his. He wants it back. He is a nasty piece of work. As far as the story goes they all gel together very well.

I seem to be saying this a lot lately but plot wise, it has been done before. Couple move house to get away from something and end up in a house that will get them involved in something else a lot more sinister. This one has an interesting twist and plot to it though. Both Doug and Laura start to drift again because they are both doing their own thing and keeping secrets from each other. Not nasty secrets, or are they? They each have their own agendas and reasons for keeping what they do from each other but maybe they should have talked.

This is a good story. It’s enjoyable. A two hundred and fifty-page book that has me reading it in a day has certainly kept my interest for me to not want to put it down. For me though, it could have been stronger. The horror could have been a lot scarier. There are certainly scenes within the book that have high levels of tension and the build-up in these scenes is excellent. I would have just liked more on the final scares.

The ending also seemed a bit easy for me. By that I mean there didn’t seem to be much of a struggle for everything to be resolved.

In saying that, I really enjoyed it. I certainly didn’t want to set it down and kept reading to the very end. A part of me wonders if this was to hopefully come across something that would make me go wow?

To be honest I feel a bit bad being negative about this book because I have read a lot worse. Russell James can write. There is no doubt about that. He writes endearing and enjoyable characters. Ones that you could picture in real life rather than knowing they are made up for a story. His pacing is very good and the story flows very well. I think I just wanted more scares.

It certainly won’t put me off picking his books up in the future though.

To summarise: a paranormal / ghost story about a couple searching for peace who find the complete opposite. An enjoyable read but not enough jump out of my seat moments for me. There may be for you though!

General rating:

★★★.5 it is an enjoyable read.

Horror rating:

★★★ more scares, more stars.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Dark Inspiration or any other books from Russell. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Doug and Laura thought they bought Galaxy Farm, but the old house is possessing them instead.

Doug and Laura Locke are New Yorkers who need a fresh start, so they move to Galaxy Farm, an old thoroughbred stable in Tennessee. There Doug finds inspiration to write his epic novel and Laura renews her love of teaching. They also rediscover the love that first drew them together.

But the home has many secrets. There’s a graveyard hidden at the property’s edge, and tragic deaths stalked the previous owners. Doug has become entranced by the abandoned taxidermy he discovers in the attic. And Laura falls under the spell of the ghosts of twin girls she meets in the old nursery. Only a local antiques dealer senses the danger. She has gruesome premonitions of horrible events to come. She knows she must convince Laura of the threat before the dark force in the house can execute its plan. But time is short, and something seems to be very wrong with Doug…

Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Dark Shadows, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers "Dark Inspiration", "Sacrifice", "Black Magic", "Dark Vengeance", the collections "Tales from Beyond", "Deeper into Darkness", "Outer Rim" and "Out of Time". His novels "Dreamwalker" and "Q Island" both release in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

And for more about Russell, visit his site or find him on social media:

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