26 January 2012

WISP by KEVIN R. MAZE

The subtitle of this book is "A Small Town Nightmare" and while the premise of the book would certainly be hard for any small town to deal with, I actually expected more of a nightmare quality.  If you are thinking that this book was a "Nightmare on Elm" street type of thrill ride, it is not.  What it is, though, is a captivating mystery thriller with a paranormal twist.  Things have been so quiet in Ellerton, Alabama for so long, that a spate of murders takes the small town Sheriff by surprise.  In his attempt to get to the bottom of things he is aided by his nephew, who just happens to be a reporter for a paranormal newspaper and in town for an interview.  In fact, the characters were the thing that I liked best about this book.  Maze fills his book with a number of characters that reek of small town personalities.  I was fascinated by the ease with which he gave these characters life and a presence.  The story line, though, left me a little disappointed.  Don't get me wrong.  It was a good story, and I will most likely read other books and stories by this author.  I did not dislike it.  I just expected something more.  There were mainly two things that didn't live up to my expectations in the story.  First, I felt Maze did not do an adequate job of describing the death scenes to really give this a horror bent.  Secondly, I kept waiting for certain elements of the story to tie together, but they never did.

All in all, I feel this is a good first effort by a new author, and will willingly read more by him.  In fact, I may like future books more as my expectations may be more realistic.