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Book Review: We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea

“Shea has done a masterful job in suspense building and leaving his audience guessing, until what’s revealed is something completely surprising.”

 

West Ridley is into horror and paranormal investigations, so the thought of moving into his grandfather’s supposedly haunted house in rural Pennsylvania is exciting at first, until strange things begin to occur. The teenager struggles with deciding if his foul-mouthed grandpa is actually trying to connect with him or if he’s a complete lunatic. Not only is he growing frightened to live there, he is also homesick for his old town and his best friend. Everything starts to become unbearable. West comes across a young girl sunbathing and befriends her. He discovers her family knows the mysterious Guardians that are wrecking his life as well. He sees her as his savior from all the madness surrounding him, but can she rescue him from a house that’s never empty?

West’s father and mother, Matt and Debi, had no other choice but to move in with Grandpa Abraham after Matt’s debilitating car accident and terrible battles with vertigo coupled with having to use a cane to walk. Debi suffers one hell of a commute everyday but she does it to help support her family but it also means her teenage son is left back at the farmhouse with her husband who can only do so much and her father-in-law who seems to be creeping farther and farther into insanity. The odd noises around the house are shrugged off as the sounds of the old place settling until notes begin to appear, signed by THE GUARDIANS. The occurrences begin to happen with more frequency, crossing the line into violence when Grandpa Abe is nearly impaled on pitchforks. Matt grows more and more irritable with living in his childhood home, in his heart he knows he made a dire mistake in returning. The Guardians are no stranger to him, he knows they won’t allow him to leave again. He now fears for the lives of his wife and son.

This is definitely no ordinary haunted house story. The characters are fleshed out nicely, each having their own believable personality and motives. The pacing keeps the story flowing and unfolding with no lag. A sensation of being watched looms over the reader, giving them the same sense of paranoia and desperation as the Ridley family. The isolation by a threat the victims cannot speak of is gut wrenching, knowing they can’t just get in their truck and drive away from it, the past won’t allow them too. There’s a bloody history entangling the Ridley’s and the Guardians, like a thick web from which they can’t break free. And now a reckoning has come. Hunter Shea has done a masterful job in suspense building and leaving his audience guessing, until what’s revealed is something completely surprising.

Hunter also shares his horror expertise on the Monster Men video podcast where people can see discussions on a variety of dark and creepy topics. He is the man to connect with when it comes to ghost phenomenon, monster sightings, and all things that go bump in the night. His novels have earned him high praise in the genre and his prose really captures the essence of terror in a precise and poetic manner. We Are Always Watching is definitely one to check out, but be sure to do it with the lights on.

                                                                                                                MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Paperback: (252pp)
Release Date: 1 March 2017

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