By Brian Kirk
Jesse, former guitarist of The Rising Dead, reunites with his band for a one-off performance. Seven years before, he gave up the sex, drugs and rock lifestyle to raise his disabled son, Rox. Rox needs a lot of care, after falling from his crib one night when Jesse and his wife were blacked out.
But as Jesse drives home, strange things happen, things that seem somehow linked to the weird book he last read.
Will Haunt You is a strange, twisted story with plenty of WTF moments. It’s one of those where you’re either completely committed to the ride, or you don’t get into at all. Jesse’s tortured journey takes him to some really messed-up, dark places, and I spent much of this book wondering what was going to happen next, questioning exactly how it would all end (as well as not trusting a single person, not even the protagonist).
Kirk handles the first person POV really well, making the reader aware there is information they do not yet know about the protagonist, but never slipping too much into us questioning why we don’t know it. There are hints that Jesse is lying, but it feels so much like he’s lying to himself, as well as to us.
There were a few minor elements I wasn’t too fussed on. The blurb describes a dark internet legend, a creepypasta-style story, but Will Haunt You never really touches on that. It gives the impression the book will have a much larger scope than it actually does; though the focus on Jesse’s personal story works, it felt lacking compared to my expectations going on.
And secondly – I said you have to be fully committed to the ride. Which I almost was, except for the times when Jesse mentions ‘you’ reading the book, and how ‘you’ have all this messed up shit to look forward to. Thing is, that kind of forced meta technique took me out of the actual story almost every time it was mentioned. But I can personally be a little picky when a narrator addresses the audience directly, depending on the format. In Will Haunt You however, it came across as a little forced.
But that aside, Kirk is an absolutely fantastic writer, who creates vivid, unique forms of torture to put the protagonist through, and giving us – and the main character – some truly heart-stopping moments. This twisted book really has the ability to draw the reader in. It might lose that slightly in some areas, but it effectively drags us back despite its flaws. This is highly recommend for those who like their fiction on the weirder side.
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Will-Haunt-Fiction-Without-Frontiers-ebook/dp/B07PGQF8K2/
Review by Elle Turpitt
I received a hardback copy from Flame Tree Press for review consideration.