Originally published: 1 December 2018
Author: Jonathan Janz
Published by: Flame Tree Press
Length: 288 pages
Reading dates: 16-20 November 2018
This is my second book by Jonathan Janz, having enjoyed The Siren and the Spectre earlier this year. The Sorrows is actually his first novel, and was named by Brian Keene as “the best horror novel of 2012”. Recently reissued by Flame Tree Press, I was lucky enough to be invited on the blog tour.
The Sorrows is an island off the coast of California. The castle has been empty since a series of gruesome murders in 1925, but the owner needs money to pay off gambling debts, so allows movie composers Ben and Eddie, along with some female friends to stay for a month in Castle Blackwood. Totally cut-off from the outside world, Ben is hoping the isolation and the spooky location will inspire him to come up with a film score. But they soon discover something is waiting for them at the castle, a malevolent being that has been trapped for nearly a century and wants to feed.
Ben and Eddie have been friends for a while and work together on film scores. Ben is mourning the loss of his marriage and lack of access to his young son. Eddie is a playboy who wants Ben to get on with the score to meet their deadline to horror movie maker Lee Stanley. With them is Claire, a music intern and Eva, who is sent along by Lee Stanley to keep an eye on them.
Janz is excellent at hitting the ground running with his stories. Almost as soon as they arrive on the island, things get spooky with each of the members having strange dreams. The horror is gruesome and quite disgusting in places (but I don’t mind that being a lover of all things horror). There is also lots of sex and swearing, again something I didn’t mind. The characterisation is good and the plot is exciting dipping between the present day with Eddie and Ben on the island and the past, and the origins of the horrors that plague them.
Intense and entertaining, this is definitely a book for grown up fans of horror! I look forward to reading more books from Janz!
Thank you to Flame Tree Press and Anne Cater for having me on the blog tour.
About the author:
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, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal, and the School Library Journal.
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.