Dark Choir: Paul Melhuish
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Big thanks to Silver Shamrock Publishing for letting me check this one out, but also for going above and beyond when my first digital copy was being a bit of a jerk face.
Silver Shamrock has become another one of those presses where you can expect great things – both from established authors but also from debut releases.
What I liked: This thing is dark. Dark, dark. We are tossed into the fray immediately and Melhuish doesn’t hold back on making the reader squirm from page one. As the story progressed, things don’t get any sunnier, and because of this, I’m going to stay light on what the story is about. Just know you can expect mystery, intrigue and darkness.
What I didn’t like: While Melhuish painted this picture with a delicate brush, be forewarned that each of the heinous crimes are committed against people with disabilities. This began to grow a bit much as it progressed. There’s a reason and a why, but I suspect this may be a sticking point for some or even a DNF reason.
Why you should buy it: God this is dark. Did I mention that? If you’re looking for that ‘walking the line’ of trigger warnings and ‘what?’ moments, look no further.
Melhuish makes sure to really deliver everything in big doses in this one and I think for many people, this may well be the one book they think about for the rest of the year.
A means for the scarred, abused, and powerless to take their revenge upon those who have wronged them. To make them pay the ultimate price for their crimes.
Dan Hepworth is forced to return to his home town of Scarsdale after his mother’s death where memories of fear and abuse still haunt him. His disabled sister, Lindsey, and her live-in nurse, Alison, still reside in his mother’s isolated rural house where Dan is to spend the next few days for his mother’s funeral. However, all is not right in Scarsdale. A ghostly robed man walks the hills around the town at night and unearthly singing had been heard coming from the derelict asylum across the valley.
Worse still, retired nurses and ex-patients from the asylum are being targeted at night by unknown assailants, enduring psychological and physical attacks on their person and property with the word CHOIR scrawled across the walls of their homes after each attack. When Dan’s sister, Lindsey, is visited by the robed apparition and those around her are stalked by the violent assailants, Dan begins to uncover uncomfortable truths and dark secrets about the asylum and its former patients.
Dan starts a perilous journey into the past as he gets close to finding out the identity of the nocturnal attackers, the abuse carried out on those too weak to defend themselves, and the reason why the ghostly singing can be heard from the asylum at night. Alone and isolated in the run-down former hospital, Dan will need to accept the mind-bending truth as he comes face to face with the Dark Choir.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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