Title: Face of the Dead
Author: Tasha D. Drake
Length: 9,500 words
Publisher: Wittegen Press
Genre: m/m contemporary horror
Old houses creak and groan and make noises. Miles had expected that when he bought the farmhouse, but the tapping on the windows is a bit of a shock the first night he moves in. Of course there has to be a rational explanation and Miles is determined to find it, which would be easier if things didn’t keep getting stranger.
I really should have reviewed this book a couple of weeks ago because it’s an ideal Halloween story. It tells of Miles who has bought a house in a remote area in order to escape some of the recent bad publicity he’s had. After a couple of nights of trying to ignore the tapping on the windows and other grizzly sightings, he heads back to London only to return a week later with a new boyfriend in tow to host a party where the strange goings-on continue to plague him.
I have to admit I was genuinely creeped out by this story. It’s not one to read when you’re in the house on your own with the wind howling outside! From the get-go Miles is the sort of character who makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, and yet I also sympathised with his nervousness about the strange noises in the house. Add to this the housekeeper who give dire warnings to Miles and the scene is set for a very surprising, shocking even, conclusion to the tale. In fact, if I have any niggles it’s the sudden ending. It did all fit with the clues we’ve been given through the story but it all happened so fast at the end that I was slightly taken aback.
The story had just the right amount of eeriness to it to send shivers down your spine. The contrast between the normality of the daytime and then the strangeness of the night-time happenings kept me a little on the edge of my seat. It was unsettling, but for those who like horror stories it hits just the right tone. I found it all rather compelling as I read quickly on to see whether it was a ghost or something else causing Miles to imagine the worse.
This is not technically a romance story, although there’s a bit of erotic content between Miles and his new lover. The main thrill in the story is that of a chilling ghost story. For me it hit all the right buttons with it’s blend of chills, thrills and the macabre. I enjoyed it a great deal, but it’s definitely a story for horror lovers and if horror isn’t your thing then I should avoid this one!