It’s been a while since I’ve read a good in-your-face horror novel. Don’t get me wrong, I read and enjoyed an abundance of excellent work in 2016, but when I compare them to The Haunted Halls, the latest from up-and-coming horror writer Glenn Rolfe, they’ve all been rather tame.
The story takes place in The Bruton Inn: “Better Beds, Better Service, Better Stay.” For those unfortunate enough to be booked there, the slogan doesn’t exactly live up to the promise.
On the surface The Haunted Halls may seem like a ghost story; after all, the word “haunted” is right there in the title. In reality this is much more than a few spirits hanging around on aging hotel. The evil is dark, malevolent, and sexually charged.
The terror starts right from the very first pages…
The ice queen reappeared behind the body of Edward Young. She spared no smile, only a cold glance over the shoulder of the frozen soul before her. She slipped away, back to her place beneath the inn’s heated pool.
On a personal note: I really enjoyed the many music and book references in Rolfe’s story, as they all added to the narrative in ways that made me smile.
With horrors coming from all directions, The Haunted Halls is a wonderfully twisted tale filled with characters to both cheer and despise.
Be advised, this is a story heavy on both sex and violence. If it were a movie, it would certainly be rated R, if not NC-17 (if that’s still a thing). If that’s not your cup of tea, you might want to choose something else for your next read. But if you like your horror to have a bit of meat on the bone, you should consider adding this book to your personal TBR list.