The Halloween Man by Douglas Clegg popped up on my kindle offers and it sounded like my kind of book.
The blurb: “A mysterious New England village. A stolen child. An ancient ritual. A legend of shadows. A terrifying birthright. Who holds the key to the chilling mystery of Stonehaven and its desolate woods — and what unspeakable creature remains trapped within its summer mansion?”
I love all things Halloween, New England and ancient rituals. This definitely sounded like the book for me. However, right at beginning I struggled to get into the book and nearly gave up. I persevered. I’m glad I did because the middle of the book was great. The book itself begins in the present day and then jumps into past and back again. This isn’t something that bothers me and I can keep up, it was a slow dive into the good part. When we are immersed in the story of Stony’s past the description of the town and characters is excellent. I was thinking Mr Clegg is such a talented writer. The characters of Nora, Lourdes and Stony are believable and well developed. The bad guy reminds me of Mr. Ketch from Supernatural. I felt he was somewhat a cliche villain. There were unnecessary characters that ended up as cannon fodder and I didn’t feel strongly or shocked by their demise. At no point was I scared, just a vague sense of anticipation of a death you knew was coming. For the big bad monster I was expecting Cthulhu and I got tinker bell.
The end for me felt disjointed. I wasn’t quite sure how it was ended and I felt it was a series but then realised it was a stand alone book, so the end felt rushed.
I like the Wicker Man vibe but like Edward Woodward, got lost amongst the village streets trying to chase the story line.
I would give it a 3 out of 5, with the additional comment of I would try another of Douglas Clegg’s books in the future.