by Jonathan Janz
Film composers Ben and Eddie along with a couple of their female friends go to stay a month in Castle Blackwood, which has been uninhabited since a series of gruesome murders in 1925. Eddie is trying to inspire Ben's creativity when his personal problems with an ex-wife and son are distracting him. However, a malevolent being has been trapped for nearly a century in the castle and he’s ready to feed.
The first chapter was very well written and the personalities of Ben and Eddie were coming out strongly from the start. The one issue was that very different things were happening in the first few chapters so it took a while to get hold of a storyline without referring back to the description to remember what the story was supposed to be about, but a few chapters in, it all pulls together and we're off to the island.
It also got a little overblown on sex. Whenever an author's description of a woman includes "perky breasts" I get an impression of a creepy guy who objectifies women. Female authors just don't describe women that way, even if they prefer women themselves. I'm not a prude but I felt the sexual content was invasive rather than beneficial to the story.
The scares in this one didn't really deliver. The set-ups were there and could have been horrific, but the obsession with sexual dynamics distracted from any intensity and made the story drag. By the time I got to the end all I could feel was that I didn't like any of these characters. I know this author has written some good stuff but this one just fell flat for me.