Review: The Siren and the Specter by Jonathan Janz

The Siren and the Specter by Jonathan Janz
Flame Tree Press (September 6, 2018)
288 pages; $24.95 hardcover; $14.95 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

It was almost two years ago Jonathan Janz first came to my attention. I kept hearing about his novel, Children of the Dark. This is what I said in my review of that workThis is one time where all of the hype was dead on.

I’ve been fortunate enough to read and review the initial books from Flame Tree Press and I’m not surprised they’ve recruited Jonathan for their inaugural offering. Twist after twist has made The Siren and the Specter into one terrific ride.

David Caine has made his living as a professional skeptic. When his friend Chris and his wife Kathryn hire him to spend a month in the oldest haunted house in America and then write a book about his findings, David expects the experience to be much like his others…but that wouldn’t make for much of a story now, would it?

There is just so much to love in this book, but at the top of my list is the way the author draws his characters with such care. Even the supporting players have great depth. Take David’s neighbor, Ralph Hooper, a crotchety old man who takes David under his wing when things start to go South. Ralph has a wonderful sign in his house: Education is important but fishing is importanter.

Such a simple saying, yet it speaks volumes about the man who has it hanging in his home. And Ralph has a way with words, too:

I’d no sooner set foot in that house than I’d use my testicles as catfish bait.

If The Siren and the Specter doesn’t set your heart racing, there’s a pretty good chance you’re dead.

Don’t miss this one.  100% recommended.

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