‘Will Haunt You’ by Brian Kirk

General Information

TITLE: Will Haunt You

AUTHOR: Brian Kirk

GENRE: Horror

PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 14th March 2019

MY RATING: 3/5

Blurb

“You don’t read the book. It reads you.

Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the dark corners of the deep web. A disturbing tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror.
 Jesse Wheeler―former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead―was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book. It takes more than some urban legend to frighten him. Hell, reality is scary enough. Seven years ago his greatest responsibility was the nightly guitar solo. Then one night when Jesse was blackout drunk, he accidentally injured his son, leaving him permanently disabled. Dreams of being a rock star died when he destroyed his son’s future. Now he cuts radio jingles and fights to stay clean.

But Jesse is wrong. The legend is real―and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on his fears and resurrect the ghosts from his past. Jesse is not the only one in danger, however. By reading the book, you have volunteered to participate in the author’s deadly game, with every page drawing you closer to your own personalized nightmare. The real horror doesn’t begin until you reach the end.

That’s when the evil comes for you.”

Thoughts and Opinions

From our everyday life to our professional career, it is vital that we can look back critically on all elements of our being and understand what we see in order to improve upon it. No doubt we can all recall at least one childhood (and perhaps even adulthood) telling-off ending with the phrase ‘think about what you’ve done’, while most careers include elements of professional development that involve consideration of your job and the work that you do. Essentially, self-reflection is a vital part of our lives.

Following a washed-up musician’s descent into the depths of a hellish nightmare that threatens both his physical and mental well-being, the concept of self-reflection lies at the heart of Brian Kirk’s new book, Will Haunt You. As our protagonist is subjected to a series of psychological assaults that are intimate, gruesome, and terrifying, he is forced to confront who he is, the mistakes he has made, and who he has become. Even just as an observer, the journey is harrowing and disturbing. Despite it revealing Jesse to have made some very questionable decisions along the way, it is hard not to be sympathetic towards him as he is forced to reflect upon some of his life’s harder moments.

Will Haunt You was, in many ways, a tough read. The more graphic elements of the story were both visceral and unrelenting, while some of the more bizarre plot points felt like square pegs being forced into round holes. Furthermore, I thought that, beyond the protagonist, the characters were lacking in any real depth and as such felt like little more than devices to advance the story (although in some cases that was perhaps the point).

Ultimately, I don’t believe that Kirk’s aim for Will Haunt You is simply to make us feel sympathetic towards his protagonist. That Kirk chooses to employ direct address at both the start and end of the book indicates that he is suggesting that we the reader should perhaps embark on some self-reflection of our own, before we find ourselves suffering our own nightmarish fate.

Thanks to Flame Tree Press for an ARC

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