Author: Lesli Richardson
Publisher: Lyrical Press
One-line summary: A haunted house, relationships and history
Here’s a snippet from the start of the book;
Long after, tales of the massacre were legend among explorers and those who followed in their footsteps. People avoided the woods near the river the Indians called “Withlacoochee,” citing inhuman screams and a sobbing girl who people heard but never saw.
But the land remembers.
Out of the Darkness gets off to a powerful start. Part One acts as the introduction and documents the terrible history of the patch of land which will become known as the place George Simpson built his house and may have killed his family.
You’ll know whether you’ll enjoy the book from just the first few pages.
This is a horror story which features a horror writer. There are a number of times you’ll want to grab Sami and husband Steve by the collar, shake them and shout; “Why can’t you see what’s going on!”
As is the trait of many well-written horror novels Out of the Darkness has the feeling of a compelling train wreck at times. You’re fixed in place, unable to look away as the train of events hurdle onwards and towards apparently certain doom. You might try to look away but you can’t.
There’s romance too. No joke. In fact, the book’s summary suggests the threefold genre of Romance/Paranormal/Thriller.
In fact, the romance may well be threefold too; there are Sami and her horror writing husband Steve but there’s also Matt. There’s no risk of spoiler by noting in the review that there’s clearly a lot left in the relationship between Sami and Matt – especially as the spotlight immediately falls on the difficulties in Sami’s and Steve’s marriage.
The land may remain stalwart. It remembers. People may forget but people change.
Sami is a strong and independently minded woman. In the past, the women have simply been victims, caught in the chain of events and lacking the power to break free. The key to Lesli Richardson’s success with Out of the Darkness is to clearly plot the likely horrible fate for Sami and Steve but then to suggest to the reader through Sami’s thoughts and actions that she might just be strong enough to break free from the cycle.
We readers might well find that the book traps us in the train wreck momentum of the unfolding plot. Sami might just be stronger than us and able to pull away.
You’ll read and enjoy Out of the Darkness as a well-paced horror-thriller and because the story features a horse called Mutt and a dog called Pog.
In Pure Spirit
Have you read any spooky thrillers you’ve been unable to put down and yet annoyed at the characters for being so blind? Do you think you would do any better if the same series of events happened to you?