Book Review: The Siren and the Spectre by Jonathan Janz

I am delighted to be taking part int he blog tour for “The Siren and the Spectre” by Jonathan Janz today, hosted by Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

The Blurb:

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; US paperback edition edition (6 Sept. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1787580059
ISBN-13: 978-1787580053
When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different.
Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering taint of bloodshed. David is haunted, as well. For twenty-two years ago, he turned away the woman he loved, and she took her life in sorrow.
And David suspects she’s followed him to the Alexander House.

About the Publisher:

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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.
You can sign up for his newsletter and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

My Review:

Good. Grief. This was, by far, the best book I have read in a long while, and that’s saying something as I have read some crackers lately.  I was hooked from the start and had to actually stop reading at one point for fear of scaring myself too much – despite the fact that I don’t scare easily. Jonathan’s way with words certainly got my imagination (and pulse) racing!
The characters are so well written – David for one is an easily unlikeable person but you can’t help but like him and are certainly rooting for him in the end. I LOVED Ralph .. well until I didn’t but you’ll have to read to find out why. He was sassy and funny and I know someone just like him!
The one character that .. shocked/awed/gobsmacked/angered .. and so much more was Honey – All the way through the book I was waiting to find out why she was like she was but it never comes and that was quite a breath of fresh air – I mean she is just a despicable person!  I spent a lot of time with my chin on the floor, eyes wide and shaking my head when reading her parts .. for may reasons!
I love the humour – who says horror has to be scare tactics all the way through?! I loved that Janz didn’t shy away from the hard stuff too – I mean there are some pretty graphic scenes and he didn’t wash over them which I admired.
The relationship between David and Jessica was a little predictable and whilst it was great that they teamed up, I felt that they didn’t really need to become involved .. but as it wasn’t thrust in your face, I let it slide! 😉
There were a couple of places that I had to go back and rad a page again – mainly because, and don’t tell me you don’t do this, when you’re at the good bits, you tend to speed up excited t find out what happens next .. and sometimes that can derail you when revelations are made – but that’s my fault and not the fault of the author (well it kinda is .. I mean he wrote the bloody brilliant story!).
I am also not sure about the link between the Siren and the Spectre and found that the Siren storyline felt secondary tot he Spectre but that’s nit-picking on my behalf really.
Seriously, if you are in any way a horror fan, READ THIS BOOK!  I do not hesitate in giving this a full 5 stars and will immediately go in search of Janz’ back catalogue to read as he obviously writes in a way that scares me good!


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