Dana reviews Wicked Reflection by Hank Edwards (Published by Wilde City Press, September 17, 2014, 110 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This week the reviewers at Rainbow Gold Reviews are all reviewing books that fall under the mystery genre. I thought the blurb for Wicked Reflection sounded so interesting and slightly scary. Since I was feeling the urge to be spooked just a little bit I picked this book for this weeks theme.
Blurb: When Kirk Stanford moves into his new home, strange things begin to happen. Messages appear in the steam on his mirror, warning him of a nameless threat. Then someone keeps breaking into his house, looking for something Kirk can’t identify. With the help of his boyfriend, Damon, Kirk digs into the house’s history, and discovers not just the previous owner’s brutal murder, but threatening letters written to him from someone named Sam. As the intruder strikes again, Kirk and Damon find themselves fighting not only to solve the mystery, but to keep from being murdered themselves.
Before I started reading the m/m romance genre, I was not a mystery reader. I had zero interest before, but now in the world of gay fiction, mysteries have become a favorite. But I still shied away from anything too scary. I’ll admit that I’m a big chicken. Ghost stories are outside my comfort zone, and even though this week isn’t about pushing boundaries, I decided to do it anyway with my book choice. The mystery in the story was top notch and the paranormal/horror bits weren’t too scary to keep me from finishing this fantastic book.
Kirk buys a house in what seems to be a quaint town. The neighbors and townspeople appear friendly and helpful. Kirk was kept in the dark about what happened to the previous owner of the house, though. Normally it might not be that important but someone keeps trying to break into his new home and mysterious messages are appearing and disappearing on the bathroom mirror. Suddenly the neighborhood doesn’t seem to be quite as safe as Kirk thought it was.
Kirk’s boyfriend Damon is a sweet bookish kind of guy. He worries about Kirk living there and is suspicious of one overly friendly neighbor. I really like Kirk and Damon. Their relationship is sturdy and solid from the the get go. He tries to help Kirk and be there for him with all that is happening, but he lives and works too far from the new house to really be there every night. It doesn’t really matter in the long run because the story is less about any romance than the strange things happening to Kirk. It is still nice to know that they have each other’s backs when the danger escalates.
Sleepwalking nightmares, dark scary basements, and the ghostly messages definitely give this book a creepy factor. I really had to read the book in the daylight hours. Big chicken, remember? Even though I was fairly sure who the bad guy(s) were pretty early on in the story, the action and danger still had me on edge. The ending was perfect with Kirk getting some help from his boyfriend and the friendly, vengeful ghost. I would definitely recommend this story. It’s not a overly long tale but with enough plot that it didn’t seem too short. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer. He is a fan of absurd comedy, cases in point, the sizzling and hilarious Charlie Heggensford Fluffers, Inc. Series, and Plus Ones, his rom-com, as well as mystery and suspense such as his Up to Trouble series. His love of chills and thrills prompted him to create the Venom Valley series, now available from Wilde City Press. No matter what genre he is dabbling in, however, Hank tries to keep things steamy and heartfelt. He was born and still lives in a northwest suburb of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, where he shares a home with his partner of over 17 years and their two cats, who hope you buy lots of his books so they can upgrade their kitty condo. Like him on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or http://www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.”