Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hell to Pay by William Brian Johnson

A man who thinks he's losing his soul, meets a man who has.

Detective Michael Bailey is a seasoned homicide detective who can’t escape the deaths of twin girls that happened on his watch. Over the years, it has slashed at his sanity and sobriety, and now he stands at the crossroads of his life. The murder investigation of a young woman sends him over the edge as he finds the main suspect may be possessed.

George Graham is an antique store owner who has fallen for the wrong woman. When rejected and berated in public, George runs home to find a strange old man with an odd antique box wanting to make a deal. George buys the box and inside finds a matted scalp, a relic of untold power.

As a lover of all kinds of horror fiction, I leapt at the opportunity to review this book. It really did not disappoint, with a nicely handled plot and memorable characters.

The pacing is something that I have to mention here. It is so crucial to get that right in thrillers and horror novels, and the author had no real problems with that. The novel jumps right into the action, drawing the reader in from the first page. It does slow down a bit too much for my liking about halfway through, but it picks right back up towards the end.

Bailey is a cop trying to get his life back together, trying to leave the past behind and his alcohol problems with it. We’ve seen this before in other books, but for some reason, Bailey stands out from the crowd. He is a three-dimensional character that you can’t help but like and root for. George, though, the “villain”, was my favorite. He is just one cool guy. It was fascinating watching his development throughout the book.

This book has a bit of everything. Yes, there’s action and violence, but there’s lots of supernatural beings as well. A perfect read now that Halloween is around the corner!


Rebecca said...

You are so right about the pacing in books like this. I am so glad to read this author got it right. I totally want to read this now. Thanks for the rec!

Anonymous said...

Oh I totally want to read this now! Great review - thanks. :)