I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sacra Obscurum by Todd Allen
Published by Damnation Books, LLC on 2015-03-01
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Supernatural
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Who is Doctor Stanley Dawson? Many would say brilliant psychiatrist, pillar of the community. For son, Matt, it has always been a hard question to answer. Since Stanley's death, it is nearly impossible. Matt struggles to learn the truth about his father's past amid accusations of brutal murder and occult involvement. Soon, he will face the ultimate question: was Stanley granted an afterlife in paradise, or will he burn for eternity?
This novel felt as if it were almost two separate halves to me. The first half was set up basically as an introduction to the various characters and merely hinted at the underlying mystery.
When Dr. Stanley Dawson dies suddenly, his estranged son, Matt, comes home to settle affairs. While both men are psychiatrists, Stanley headed his own privately run mental facility, and Matt worked for a much larger, commercial one. The small seaside town of Saint Andrews certainly has its share of secrets, as Matt is about to discover.
Again, the first half seemed to do nothing more than set the stage for the second half of the story, which is where virtually all of the action takes place.
This second half delves into a ritual that five boys took part in, whose ramifications are now running loose as a result of the elder Dawson’s death, and his son’s ignorance of these facts. This part of the supernatural tale was riveting and full of non-stop revelations and actions. In one of my favorite scenes: “Snakelike, it dragged the rest of its unlikely body through the window. Hips and legs went boneless as they plied and molded to fit through the pinched gap…..For a moment it lay in a crumpled mass of ruined flesh. Then joints snapped back into place and bones set with sickening crunches…”
As Matthew learns of the events that occurred in a barn long before his own conception, one of the participants sums up their act plainly, but in a way that sent a shiver through me, nonetheless.
“Turns out, there was a price for what we did and now someone’s here to collect.”
I felt the first half earned three stars, and the second half a solid five. I’m giving an overall rating of four stars for Sacra Obscurum.