Alright. First the good; this is interesting
. The premise is new, the meshing of current events with past investigations flows and manages to advance the story smoothly. It was a fast and enjoyable read, and I was actively curious to find out what's going on. The ending felt a bit abrupt; the tone shifted from investigative to... faintly stylized? Symbolic?
I'm not counting it as a horror novel; the driving force behind the story seems to be investigation and mystery. Given the supernatural elements I'm tagging it as fantasy, and suppose it might go on some urban fantasy shelves.
On the downside, the writing has a few lightning bugs
. There are phrases like "squeezing off his ability to breathe" or "a few inches down in the sediment of a fresh grave" or "in my mind, the thought of doing X was a violent procedure" or "I stared at the pages again, still not believing the words it bore" or "the creepy feeling it imparted so easily on all who visited." And "reign" used for "rein". "Fiancé" for "fiancée". And an injury to skin described as both "inflamed" and "enflamed" on the same page.
These don't make the story illogical or nonsensical. But words mean
things, and when the words mean something that doesn't match what's happening in the story, it's annoying in much the same way as someone's cellphone going off in the middle of a movie theatre. You have to readjust, filter out the nonsense input, and it pulls you out of the story.
I'm glad I got the book; I'm going to look up his other stuff. But I want to say rather sharpish things to whoever let this book out into the world with its shirt inside out and backwards.