Review: Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk

Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk
Flame Tree Press (March 2019)
240 pages; $24.81 hardcover; $12.38 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I finished reading Brian Kirk’s latest novel over a week ago and put off writing my review to allow this story time to gel in my mind. Or, maybe ferment is a better word. The whole concept of Will Haunt You is a bit of a mind-altering experience.

I’ve taken the liberty of paraphrasing the story’s synopsis, as it does a better job of explaining the premise than I ever could:

Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the corners of the dark web. A tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror.

Jesse Wheeler—former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead—was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book.

But Jesse is wrong. The legend is real—and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on and resurrect the ghosts from his past.

Jesse is not the only one in danger, however. By reading the book, he has volunteered to participate in the author’s deadly game, with every page drawing him closer to his own personalized nightmare. The real horror doesn’t begin until he reaches the end.

That’s when the evil comes for him.

There’s even a warning at the beginning of Will Haunt You. One that flat out tells you if you continue reading the author won’t be responsible for what may happen to you. Nice.

This is one of those stories where the line between what is real and what is imagined dissolves rather quickly. I found Will Haunt You to be like a season of Channel Zero on SYFY.  Only, instead of having the reaction of “What did I just watch?” it was “What the hell did I just read?”

While undoubtedly Brian Kirk’s best work to date, Will Haunt You left me a bit perplexed. Let me put it this way: while I really enjoyed the ride, I had no idea where I was when I arrived at my destination. About halfway through, I noticed the first letter in each word of the title spell the word WHY. Why, indeed.

Recommended…but be prepared for the weird.

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