Silvers Hollow by Patrick Delaney
Oblivion Publishing (May 2021)
309 pages; hardcover $19.99; paperback $14.99; e-book $2.99
Reviewed by Dave Simms
Sometimes, the less said about a book, the better—and not because it’s bad, but because it’s a scintillating ride where any specific details can derail the fun.
Others have pointed to countless comparisons in reviews of this book, from The Twilight Zone to Black Mirror to Channel Zero to Twin Peaks, and ALL of them fit in some way or another.
Delaney’s previous novel, The House That Fell From the Sky, hit the horror/weird thriller/scifi world running and set the stage for stories that don’t like to be pigeon-holed so easily. That novel spun heads and received some fine attention.
Silvers Hollow feels like a quantum leap, both in writing and in sheer storytelling (which is not a knock on House—no pun intended). The mere notion of a sophomore slump is obliterated in the book’s first few pages.
A woman wakes up on an abandoned train station. A police officer shows up, not to arrest her but to drive her… somewhere. Along the way, she discovers something is a bit odd about the town she believes to be her hometown.
Back in her childhood home, she discovers it to be empty. Her parents, much older than when she last saw them, are missing as well. Where did they go? Where did the entire town go?
The few people who remain keep mentioning “the Emergency.” What happened and why do they refuse to explain to her what happened? Even the doctor’s appointment she is supposed to attend reeks of a Hitchcockian nightmare fused with Stephen King stepping back in time to where noir is fashionable again.
The puzzle pieces find her bit by bit, yet never quite fit right. Each person or encounter serves to feed her crumbs that she hopes to lead her to understanding who she is and why she’s there, yet the spiral keeps spinning.
That’s too much of a description already, yet readers need something to grasp hold of.
Delaney has grasped hold of the eyes and ears of the writing community and if his writing keeps improving, soon nobody will be able to claim the amnesia of the protagonist.
Highly recommended reading. Serling and Matheson would be proud.