The Messy Man: Chris Sorensen
Reviewed By Steve Stred
When Chris Sorensen sprung ‘The Nightmare Room‘ on an unsuspecting horror world a few years back, it caught a lot of us by surprise.
For me, that opening chapter of a young boy, down in his room, was one of the most frightening moments I’d read in some time. We learned some of the story that young, but Chris held some back.
Book Two followed, introducing us to a new group of characters, one being Ellen Marx.
Now the finale in the trilogy has arrived, and within we get to learn the details/arrivals of a few characters.
What I liked: The Messy Man acts as both a sequel and a prequel of sorts. At the start, Sorensen kindly states that a detailed synopsis of Books One and Two can be found at the back. I highly suggest reading these to refresh your memory, as Chris peppers the story with details from both books.
The book bounces between Ellen Marx and a different timeline. I’ll leave the other timeline vague-ish for spoiler prevention. Ellen is trying to come to terms with her dads passing, dealing with her moms downward spiral. She sets off on a journey to follow some clues.
I really enjoyed the way Chris weaved the stories back and forth and how they came together at the end. The other timeline is filled with some fascinating characters, and when we find out the reasons, it is heartbreaking. Excellent historical story here.
The ending is very sweet. A nice way to wrap things up and some closure for readers and Ellen as well.
Chris writes with such easy prose that the story sucks you in and his writing voice is a familiar one. It’s enjoyable to step back into his worlds.
What I didn’t like: At first I was concerned we were running out of real-estate and page count for Sorensen to deftly wrap it up, but he does so and really well. Saying that, for those wanting immediate answers, you just won’t get those.
Why you should buy this: This trilogy has been such an amazing ride. Three incredibly well-done stories, solid characters and fantastic storytelling. If you’ve read Book One or Book One and Two, you’ll absolutely need to see how this ends. If you’ve not read any – dive in. You won’t be disappointed.
The Messy Man
Ellen Marx sees ghosts.
Her mother Rita just wants her to be a ‘normal’ eleven-year-old kid. But that’s tough to do when you receive a birthday card from your dead father.
Following a trail of breadcrumbs left by her dad, Ellen sets out on a journey to unravel the mystery surrounding her father’s disappearance and ends up unearthing secrets best left buried.
The third and final book in the haunting trilogy, The Messy Man brings to a close the story that began with The Nightmare Room and The Hungry Ones.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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