Will Haunt You – Brian Kirk
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Over the course of 2018 and now into 2019 two things have become abundantly clear. Indie horror releases have upped the level of quality and Flame Tree Press releases are stellar. Now while the two statements at face value would appear to be completely unrelated, I can guarantee you, they are one and the same.
There is nothing wrong with commercial literature. Many of the best horror novels of all time are considered commercial literature. But sometimes, and lately that has been happening a lot, commercial literature has a ‘happy ending’ or a ‘neatly wrapped up finale.’ Meanwhile, indie authors and indie horror strive to tell the tale they want to tell. No commercial editing, the release is designed to engage and enrage, not move to the #1 spot on the Bestsellers list.
Enter Flame Tree Press. They are fast becoming one of the go-to publishing imprints for top-notch releases. Why? Well personally I think it’s because their authors are not commercial authors at heart. They write tales designed to engage and enrage.
Which brings us to Will Haunt You.
This is my first Brian Kirk read, but it sure won’t be my last.
I came across the release of this book through the unique promotion Kirk and Flame Tree Press had on Twitter, where the prologue Obsideo was told. While the prologue itself was well done, the various puzzle pieces where Kirk utilized different bloggers was fantastic and it was great to see such an ‘outside the box’ marketing piece pulled off so well. I found some of the posts a touch cheesy (specifically the ‘I came inside and my books moved’ posts) but it definitely built some great momentum and word of mouth for Will Haunt You.
As I stated on Twitter when I started reading this; Brian Kirk’s use of prose is phenomenal. It’s like your favourite band. All you need to hear is the rhythm, not even the actual song, and you know who it is. I was sucked in immediately and found the author’s voice to be one I enjoyed. This story can best be described as a mash up of three movies; The Game starring Michael Douglas, The Cell starring Jennifer Lopez and 31 from Rob Zombie.
We follow the main character, Jesse, a former rock star-now jingle writer. The story picks up on the night of his band playing a one-off reunion show. Jesse longs for the glory days – young women, lots of booze and big arenas. Now he’s a recovering alcoholic and married with a special needs child.
Then he read a book recommended to him by a bandmate. Now he’s in over his head and Kirk puts the pedal to the metal. Things quickly spiral out of control and nothing is what it seems. Surveillance, the young-old character Malia, and a deepening mystery.
Will Haunt You is the ideal indie horror novel. Kirk takes the road less travelled, and in fact while it is written in first person POV, he breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the reader a number of times. It works so satisfyingly well that it made me keep pushing deeper and deeper into the novel.
I don’t want to go too far into details, as I fear it will create spoilers. But here’s a Cole’s notes on what you can expect;
- Professor O.
- Hidden Labs
- Weird Beasts
- Abandoned cabins
If you read that list and still don’t find yourself interested, I’m so sorry. Because for me this book was the ultimate horror read. This will easily be on my best of 2019 list at the end of the year and look forward to checking out Brian’s other works!
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*
Will Haunt You
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.