Face The Night by Alan Lastufka attracted me simply by its cover image. There was something eerie about an open hand waiting inside a body of water that lured me in and the blurb did sound exciting. But after reading the book, I’m in a kind of dilemma about the review of the story.
Ask me, if I liked it, my answer would be YES, and then ask me, if I enjoyed it, my answer would be NO. So that is me completely bewildered at a fence with this book that had all the elements which I devour in a horror novel but failed to grip me in any way.
The small town ghostly mystery with a psychic heroine and a romantic element should have been a heavenly read, I am honestly a sucker for this trope but somehow or the other Face The Night didn’t live up to my expectation. Adriana has been suffering from the same nightmare for many years, she has never understood her ability of premonitions or ghostly visits which has made her life difficult. The cauldron however boils over having to fight a custody battle for her 3-year-old son against her own father and the desperate situation of having to gain a job to secure their future. The small-town politics and a father who is a mayor having the major players in his pocket have not benefitted Addie in any way so it was an uphill battle even before the fight begins. I loved Matt as the rookie cop aiming to be a detective who falls for the quirky artist and the secondary characters of Lisa and Jennifer who help Addie at times of crisis.
It would have been interesting if at all the twisty reveals packed a punch. The twists and turns in the story should have been thrilling with the apparition intruding into Addie’s life at every given opportunity but the adrenaline rush never materializes. For first-time readers of this genre, this is a book that has everything and more going for it but for someone like me who has read many a book in this category, this is a 3.5 star read.
This is a debut work by the author and I would be happy to read more works by Alan Lastufka.
Many thanks to Net Galley, Short Wave Media, IBPA, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
“This outstanding novel is reminiscent of early works by Stephen King and Peter Straub. An impressive, complex horror tale—two (rotting) thumbs up.”
– Kirkus Reviews, starred
Rookie sketch artist Adriana just drew the wrong face. A face with no name. With no voice. But with one hell of a secret…
Adriana Krause has a talent for bringing subjects to life. Until she draws a rotting, mangled face instead of the described suspect. Shocked, she realizes she’s drawn the man who haunts her nightmares. No one has seen this face before—except Adriana.
With few allies on the force, Adriana is alone in her pursuit of the hellish figure from her dreams, while battling her father—the mayor—as he tries to take custody of her young son. She needs this job to save her family, but now the unknown man is all she can draw.
When her nightmares become waking dreams that lead to a series of violent outbursts, Adriana turns to near strangers for help. She must keep her son, unlock the mysteries of this strange face, and uncover one of the darkest secrets ever buried in her small town.
For fans of supernatural horror, this gripping thriller will lure readers into the false comfort of small-town life, before dropping the kind of scares that’ll make your nightmares rival Adriana’s.
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