Review: 'Hannahwhere' by John McIlveen

Hannahwhere by John McIlveen
Macabre Ink (a division of Crossroad Press) ( June 2015)
379 pages, $4.99 Various e-book formats
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
hannahwhereJohn McIlveen is a relatively new voice in horror, having appeared in a number of high profile anthologies over the last few years including Epitaphs, Borderlands 5, Eulogies II, and Of Devils and Deviants.  October of 2014 saw publication of his first collection of short fiction, Inflictions from Macabre Ink, a division of Crossroad Press. Hannahwhere is his first full-length novel and it was worth the wait.

Twins Hannah and Anna Amiel were only seven years old when they witnessed the worst crime imaginable, right in their own home in Elm Creek, Nebraska. Two years later and fifteen hundred miles away, Isaac Rawls is making his rounds hauling trash in Riverside, Massachusetts, when he discovers a little girl, laying right by a dumpster. Lucky to be alive, it’s days before she speaks her first words to Debbie Gillan, the caseworker assigned to look into her situation. It’s not long before it’s discovered the girl is Hannah. Where has she been for the last two years? Why doesn’t she look any older? What happened to her sister Anna? As Hannah’s secrets are revealed, the reader is thrown into a mystical world where the impossible is proven to be reality.
Hannahwhere is a smooth blending of fantasy and horror filled with mystery and a number of surprises.  John McIlveen proves to have a vivid imagination and tremendous storytelling skills. As if the tale of Hanna and her sister wasn’t enough, there’s also the history of the caseworker which is a gruesome tale in its own right. I heartily recommend.

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