Tuesday 21 August 2018

Nilsen's Hollow by Allen Caraway (Book Review)

Where to start?

The plot was good, the story was okay, and the mystery was unpredictable... at least to me. But it was one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments when the culprit was revealed, so it's possible that someone with more experience reading mysteries than me will figure it out long before I did.

On the downside, the supernatural element was downplayed and disappointing. Early on in the story, the protagonist sees ghosts everywhere, and a poltergeist-type entity keeps moving his stuff around. And then it abruptly stops, with no real explanation. Other than a few tenuous dreams, there isn't any more mention of it until right at the end, when a... well, let me not tell you that.

The writing's also strange. It might just be a British thing, but the author keeps forgetting to use the word "I". Instead of saying "I did this", he'll just say "Did this". That took a while to get used to.

He and his characters are also always "sketching" things, like salutes or waves, and sometimes smiles. How do you sketch a smile?

One word he overuses a lot is "Evidentially". Which wouldn't be so noticeable, but I'm pretty sure that he means "Evidently". Every. Single. Time.

In summary: not a bad story, but the writing takes some getting used to, and I felt I was let down because it was billed as a "Supernatural Mystery".

My Review: 3 / 5 Stars

About the Book

A spectacular, heart-pounding paranormal mystery about one man’s quest to hunt down and stop a serial killer.

“This is a tight thriller, a paranormal mystery that stands foursquare to its brief and delivers with confidence ... what I read was a book that Stephen King would be proud of ... a solid read; entertaining throughout ... a work written with a great assurance ... it is brilliant holiday reading material.” ~ Kate Onyett, The Future Fire Reviews


Sam Munro doesn’t believe in ghosts. However, he soon changes his mind when he discovers that his hotel room is haunted, the paranormal activity terrifying him and the disruptive and restless ghost pursuing Sam wherever he goes.


A young woman goes missing, presumed murdered, her body never found. Seven years later, the local sheriff’s office has all but forgotten the case. Only one man is trying to find her and the killer: the woman’s uncle, Gunther Parkinson, a retired Chicago homicide detective turned private investigator.


When Gunther asks Sam to assist with his investigation, Sam quickly finds himself entangled in a supernatural mystery that catapults him into a maelstrom of deception, vengeance and murder that leads Sam to a horrifying conclusion: he has trusted the wrong person and could be the killer’s next victim …

This exciting paranormal thriller will take the reader on an unforgettable journey through the darkest corridors of human emotion. In Nilsen’s Hollow, Caraway writes about how grief, mania and retribution can change lives – for the worst, and forever.

Steve Pattee from HorrorTalk on this powerful haunted hotel story: “… effectively creepy … it more than delivers on the suspense ... Caraway does a great job on presenting believable, likeable characters in realistic circumstances without falling into the trap of making anyone too clich├ęd … There is also no disputing that he can write a mean mystery … I would eagerly read more of Munro's adventures.”

Lilia Tombs from Horror Shock Lolipop on this intensely suspenseful ghost mystery: “Caraway's writing style is wonderfully descriptive; he creates the beauty of the landscape in Montana just as vividly as the horror of gory murder scenes … reading it is enjoyable throughout … a solid, well-written paranormal thriller.”

Previously published as Drowning in Shadow/To Evil Comes a Daughter.

Click here to find out where you can buy a copy.

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