Review: 'The Damned' by Andrew Pyper

the-damned-9781476755120_lg-1The Damned by Andrew Pyper
Simon & Schuster (February 2015)
304 pages; $21.24 hardcover; $13.82 paperback; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Jonathan Reitan

Canadian author Andrew Pyper began his career by writing “literary thrillers” but now he’s been focusing his time on some amazing works of “literary horror” such as his latest, The Damned.

Twins Danny and Ashleigh Orchard are polar opposites. While Danny is timid and kind, Ashleigh is overpowering and downright evil. Ash harbors early psychotic tendencies and terrorizes anyone near her. A house fire ultimately claims her life and almost takes Danny’s as well.

As an adult, Danny finds stardom after his bestseller is released, chronicling his near-death experience and encounter with the afterlife. While things seem to be going good for Danny with his success and recent marriage, he’s still plagued with events from his childhood, and the fact that Ash has haunted him for 20 years. Ash never accepted being dead while Danny lived and thrived. While her ghost played a minor character in Danny’s life through the years, it’s now back with a vengeance and wants his life as well.  

With the hope that investigating Ash’s mysterious death will calm her vengeful ghost, Danny travels to his childhood home, to the place of her murder, only to uncover more chaos, death and more questions than answers. In order to protect the ones he loves from Ash’s terror, Danny must enter a place where the dead meet the living, a dream-like afterlife where an ultimate showdown between the two twins takes place.

The Damned is a fantastic and original story with plenty of scares. Andrew Pyper writes with the whimsical lyricism of Jonathan Carroll and the flowing narrative of Stephen King.

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