My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing.
by Michael Scott
I was really anticipating reading this story because the plot sounded like just the sort of Horror I really like. I'm not sure what I expected, but I soon found that it earned it's Horror tag with some gruesome deaths and horrific supernatural occurrences.
An antique dealer in Los Angeles buys a very old mirror for a bargain price while on a buying trip in London. Soon after he gets it home, the mysterious deaths start to happen and a rough looking man shows up, attempting to buy the mirror, even resorting to threats. Despite tragedies among his own employees, the antique dealer doesn't want to sell to this unpleasant man.
Police investigate but find it increasingly difficult to come up with rational explanations for the deaths.
The characters are strong in this and the plot fast moving. I found it a little more gory than I generally like and a lot of the swearing seemed unnecessary, but it kept my attention with morbid fascination.
The one thing I thought didn't work well was introducing historic characters into some of the back story, although the author's note at the end explained why. The trouble with using known personages and glamorous words like 'Alchemy' is that a certain percentage of readers will have background knowledge that doesn't fit with the fictional use and that can interfere with flow and suspension of belief.
Despite this, the story had its scary moments and didn't fall into predictable outcomes. A sub plot involving the main character's family was neatly woven into the main plot and kept me wondering who would survive to the end. The last few chapters were one of those 'let dinner burn, I'm reading!' moments when I found it very difficult to stop and I got most of the way through before I guessed the final outcome.
Ritual sex, graphic gore and occult sensationalism play a part so mature audience only, but a really good read.