The Rascal by Eric Arvin ~ Book Review by JJ

TheRascal_cvr_100dpi1-210x330Title: The Rascal

Author: Eric Arvin

Publisher: Wilde City

Cover Artist: Unknown

Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 10/07/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Horror

Blurb:

Lana is a faded movie star who lives alone in a big house on a hill that overlooks the sea. She has lived this way since the death of her daughter and the disappearance of her husband.

Jeff and Chloe are a couple who live in a cabin below the big house. It was Chloe’s idea to strengthen their marriage; but she see’s now that it isn’t working. Jeff has become obsessed with the cabin and the old water well. Chloe only sees strangeness around her.

One night while talking on the computer with Ethan, Jeff’s brother, a feeling of dread comes to the fore. When Ethan sees a figure behind Chloe, he leaves his boyfriend and baby and sets out to save Jeff.

Chloe, Ethan and Lana come together to fight an evil that would destroy Jeff. Will they succeed or will all of them fall to the taste of a young cannibalistic ghost?

My View:

It’s October, it’s time for scary stories.

This horror novel opens with a married couple, Jeff and Chloe, who have bought a little cottage, sight unseen, in the hopes that a new space and time together will heal the rift in their relationship. It is a big rift, and the author initially handles their disintegrating relationship with a deft hand.  Above their little cottage is ‘the house on the hill’ complete with a reclusive, tragic movie star who has her own fears and regrets. Below the cottage is the little town of Wicker, which is suitably just a bit odd, or perhaps more than a bit odd.

And the cottage, of course, has its own bleak and terrible history and mysteries.

The author begins by crafting an atmospheric world using the recognizable touchstones of horror, there is fear and paranoia and things lurking just out of sight. Things you rather hope will stay out of sight, though you know they will not stay away for long.

As the situation dangerously deteriorates around her and her husband, Chloe finally puts out a cry for help cry to Ethan, Jeff’s estranged brother. Ethan immediately leaves his husband and baby to come to the rescue.

The prose is suitably dark and often elegant. The weakness for me lies in the plotting, or at least parts of it.  One such part involved finding a body and the almost casual aftermath of that discovery. I would have expected police and an investigation and an autopsy, but it seemed to be brushed over almost immediately.

Without giving away spoilers there were several occasions where I had a hard time suspending my disbelief at seemingly illogical actions, reactions or events. Yes, it is a horror novel, but I’m not talking about anything that goes bump in the night. In fact it is the ‘things that go bump in the night’ that are the strongest points in this novel.  There are certainly lovely, shivery moments that really work, especially in the first half of the novel. Strange and frightening encounters, things glimpsed, music heard, a malevolent presence growing bolder…

Overall I loved the shivers, but wished there had been fewer moments where I questioned the behaviors and decisions of some of the characters.

Links

The Rascal on Goodreads
Wilde City
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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One thought on “The Rascal by Eric Arvin ~ Book Review by JJ

  1. I appreciated the reviewer’s honesty about both the strong and weak points of the story; until this review, I had misgivings due to the blurb (which I found a little clunky), but thanks to JJ, I have a better sense of the writing and story.

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