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Book Review: Aletheia by J.S. Breukelaar

“A demanding story that will grip the reader and hold them relentlessly until the end.”

 

Little Ridge holds many secrets, one being the island in the lake. A family returns after many years in chosen exile to come to terms with their past and right the wrongs they committed against one of their own. The main character and her family are seeking Frankie, the one they left behind, in an attempt to make up for abandoning him. Along the way she meets Lee, who is also seeking someone he tragically lost years before. The mysteries and hostility surrounding the town’s people, as well as a thing beneath the water beckoning to the returned Harpurs, all make for a unique and truly scary story.

Returning to town and the island in the lake brings back hard memories for Thettie Harpur, it draws her onto a path of darkness, and she ends up changed forever by it. This is much more than your average ghost story, it’s a thriller wrapped in dark noir with supernatural horror mixed in. It has a love story wound through it as well, but there is a tone of loneliness that can’t be shaken away, leaving a sense of melancholy.

The frights in this novel are quite memorable and well described, incorporating different and unique things of nightmare worlds that cross the border into dark fantasy realms, both beautiful and haunting at once. There are monsters that dress in the skin of men, and hauntings that go beyond your average apparitions, alive and threatening. Women turn to lizards, dead dogs can see, and the things that drive men mad can step from their imaginations into broad daylight or slink around by the light of the moon just beyond the sight of their own eyes.

These horrors entice the reader further, daring them to continue, though they know there is only darkness ahead. Great writers will make you risk witnessing those things you wish you never had, and Breukelaar is definitely on that list of authors who wield this power.

J.S. Breukelaar is a columnist for LitReactor.com, she has also written American Monster released by Lazy Fascist Press, and a number of wonderful short stories. She writes literary horror that is top notch and will leave the reader searching for more of her work to devour. The prose blends folk horror, thriller, and supernatural terror into an irresistible brew of imaginative description. Aletheia is a demanding story that will grip the reader and hold them relentlessly until the end. It appears effortless on the part of the writer to create such a real world, with well-formed characters and horrors of a tremendous scale, all bought to life on the page. It’s the kind of writing that will surely cause people to stop and take notice of Breukelaar, wondering what will come next from this killer female author who is smashing boundaries with each word she writes.

                                                                                                                 MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Paperback: (387pp)
Release Date: 24 March 2017

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