Horror After Dark Review
THE NIGHTMARE GIRL begins with our main character, Joe Crawford, intervening when he witnesses a young mother physically abusing her infant son at a gas station. What he doesn’t count on, is the fact that the abuser and her psychotic mother are part of a long-time cult dealing with the power of fire. Now, Joe has an entire sect of zealots out for his blood–and that of his own family.
The pacing of this book was fantastic–page turning every step of the way. There was tangible sense of dread and foreboding that built up steadily throughout the novel’s progression, intensifying continuously. After several scenes. I found myself wanting to look out the windows to assure myself that nobody was out there, looking in!
Once more, Janz showcases his incredible knack for characterization. Our main character is so believable that he could practically walk off the pages and into reality. Joe’s love for his family, in particular his young daughter, Lily, gives him a sense of being so real and HUMAN that you are able to suspend your belief regarding some of the more fantastic elements in the novel.
The only part that seemed slightly out of sync with the rest of the story was the extremely climatic ending–a little over-the-top when taken in conjunction with the entire story as a whole.
I’ve really been enjoying every story that I’ve read from Jonathan Janz lately, and THE NIGHTMARE GIRL is no exception.
*Originally released in 2015 from Samhain Publishing, it has been brought back now by FLAME TREE PRESS.*
About The Author
About Jonathan Janz
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Keene, and Jack Ketchum; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice Awards nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. You can sign up for his newsletter, and you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.