Createspace Independent Publishing, p/b,
Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Robin and Gil Turner buy a house they think will be their dream home. Elaine Reynolds was the previous owner who told them of the house’s history as it has a past of evil goings on; ghosts, vampiric trees, eerie noises and the house changing shape when it wants to kill them could have anyone eager to leave. Robin and Gil however have a need to get to the bottom of why.
Readers will find it hard to believe the couple would buy a house with such a history as it is potentially a death-trap that needs a lot of work putting into renovating it. Love plays a large part in the novel as Robin was interested in the house. Gil kept telling her that buying the house would be a bad idea as he got bad vibes from being around it. Robin’s ignoring his warnings lead to her eventually being sent to a medical centre then never seen again. As they were already told about the house’s dark past, it could be said that it was Robin’s fault they were being mentally and physically traumatised.
In good old horror style, they found the house by accident when Gil passes-out while house hunting with Robin and when the couple are faced with the truth, they ignore it until they have to accept that they might die if they stay any longer. Hell’s Shadows uses a lot of the horror clichés leaving the reader observing the devastating outcome of Gil having to solve the mystery of the hauntings and face the consequences of being an interloper in a house with so much terrible history. As the land is cursed, we are reminded of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, and of course, Christine with the haunted car. A great part of the clichés are Gil and Robin being the perfect couple, unlikely too as Robin had a life most women would covet, but that didn’t stop her from being interested in Gil, a man with limited funds. Gil felt amazed at Robin’s interest and even more so when she accepted his marriage proposal.
As a reader you are left feeling for the couple as it is read from an emotional standpoint, you have followed their lives and journeys to an inevitable, yet awful conclusion. The author of King of the Nine Hells gives us a cautionary tale of what to do when confronted with a house like this. What happened over a hundred years ago with a pastor cursing his congregation in the town of Carson Creek, North Carolina. The result was their deaths and the generations after living in fear of their lives.