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MommaSaysToRead

Momma Says to Read

Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.

The House by the Cemetery

The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers) - John Everson

The idea of a haunted house attraction that is actually haunted drew my attention and with Halloween approaching, it seemed appropriate for the season. The cover also sets the stage for a creepy and perhaps sinister tale. In that vein, I suppose this one does deliver, but it took a rather meandering route to get there. The story tends to slog along for quite some time, actually about the first two-thirds or better. There are the occasional creepy scenes, some of which are quite chilling. However, there are a lot of characters introduced, and many of them receive much more page time than needed. Character depth is one thing, but the time taken with some felt like so much filler. Then we have our main character, Mike, the handyman hired to get the house ready for the season. Again, even for a main character, we're given way more than we need for the story. I get it, he's a carpenter and working on the house, but I don't need details of bracing ceilings or laying floors to get the picture. Aside from that, I found Mike to be rather single-minded and well, not very bright. The lust angle is one thing, but I just can't imagine anyone being so completely ignorant of things as this guy. The story does eventually ramp up and we get plenty of Halloween creepiness and gore, but it was just too little, too late to save this one for me. Tightened up and trimmed down, this story could be a real chill-fest in that B-movie kind of way, but as it stands, it just doesn't do the job.