Today’s scary story review is the novel, “The Bank of the River” by Michael Richan. This is the first book in The River series. UPDATE – Thanks to a kind reader who informed me that this horror novel is available as a FREE download on Google Docs as a PDF. Click here to download The Bank of the River.
Meet Steven Hall, recently unemployed (and okay with it) and being haunted (not okay with it). This book opens with Steven entering a trailer park to visit John and Debra Peterson, the latter of which he hopes can shed some light on the odd happenings in his new home. Debra’s father-in-law used to own the house and came to a bad end within its walls.
Debra does, in fact, provide Steven with some information. It’s enough to cause Steven to enlist his father in an investigation. At that point, the story takes off at a rapid clip.
Steven learns that his father has a very special talent. It’s one that he inherited from his own father and has passed down to Steven. This gift positions Steven to battle a raw, malevolent force with the help of his old man and see the world in a new way, albeit possibly a darker one.
The Good: This is a ghost story. I’m a huge fan. (Still looking for my very own haunted house to call home ;-)) This is also a father-son story. I’m also a fan. The relationship between parent and child and the conflicts brewing therein can add many elements to a story. This one touches on seeing fathers as they are rather than as how we perceive them to be. The book is a good length at 220 pages.
The Bad: Readers who want a stylist penning their horror stories may take issue with Richan’s short, fast paced prose. Every story teller finds a different path and this book relies on creepy developments piling up rather than descriptive phrasing and character introspection. Click here to get it on Amazon.