The Opening: Tim McWhorter
Reviewed By Steve Stred
A few years back, I stumbled on ‘Let There Be Dark’ Tim’s phenomenal collection. It was one of the first things I reviewed for Kendall Reviews and I immediately became a big fan of Tim’s writing.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been keenly watching his progress on his new novel, which turned out to be ‘The Opening.’
Going in, I had a rough idea that this was about a haunted theatre, but that was it, I wanted to go in as fresh and free of everything else, and boy was I in for a treat.
What I liked: The story follows the Chamberlain Theatre in Angler’s Bay. Once a fixture of the town, it had remained closed for some time after the prior owner torched it and himself. Now, it’s been reopened and both the new owner, Nick, and the town’s mayor are hoping it can kickstart the town’s rebuild as well as entice some tourists.
Something has kept Nick a bit worried about the opening night and when things go crazy and the first night is a disaster, it forces Nick to accept that something else is at work.
What I really enjoyed was how Nick went ahead and hired some paranormal investigators (aptly named FAUST) and this story became not only a fairly standard ghost story that had so many creeps it was great, but also a really well written mystery/thriller. Things were off at the Chamberlain and Nick, Nori the journalist and the husband and wife team of FAUST wanted to get to the bottom of it.
McWhorter really ramps things up by introducing new aspects to the story as well as increased activity in the theatre. This works to allow the subtle character developments to really carry a lot of weight, which I enjoyed. It was great seeing how the foursome became friends in such a short time while all grappling with the reality of what was occurring.
What I didn’t like: One thing going in blind did, was that when the opening night events happened, I was a bit startled because I was kind of thinking that would be the finale or the big climax. So, at first I was wondering where it could go from there. It may throw some of you off as well, but not to worry, the story never wavers nor dips.
Why you should buy this: I believe I have all of McWhorter’s novels but have yet to read any of them. If this one is any indication of how smooth of a writer he is, I’m very excited. This story unravelled really nicely and kept me guessing for some time. Even when I believed I knew what ultimately was at play, I was still unsure, which was great.
For fans of McWhorter’s already, you’ll be excited for a new release from him, for new readers, this was a really great time and barrelled down the track like a freight train with no brakes.
Nick Fallon knows failure all too well. His string of collapsed business ventures make for a resume from hell. This next one, however, will be different. The Chamberlain Theater itself is different.
Yet, even before renovation can begin, tragedy strikes, hanging a dark cloud over the old theater. Nick must rely on an opening night gala to turn things around. But, when opening night goes horribly wrong, the good people of Angler Bay turn their backs on both Nick and the theater.
In a last-ditch effort to save himself from financial ruin, Nick calls in a team of paranormal investigators. Together, the husband and wife team, a local reporter, and Nick try to get to the bottom of the disturbing occurrences at the theater.
Are any of them prepared to uncover The Chamberlain’s darkest secrets?
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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