Halloween is almost here and what better way to celebrate than with vampires and creepiness lurking in the dead of night! I recently finished R.H. Hale’s book, Church Mouse: Memoir of a vampire’s servant and left a review. If you like creepy, supernatural, and horror in a collective swirl of spooky goodness give it a shot, but don’t blame me if fear sets in and you wake up at 3am thinking someone is watching you, they very well may be! 😀
Posted below is my review posted on both Amazon and Goodreads!
5 out of 5 stars!
In R.H. Hale’s novel, vampires are reimagined in a gripping supernatural tale that haunts long after the final page is turned. With Hale’s mastery, this offering explores the darker side of life and the creepier side of our greatest fears, all with fangs and shadows aplenty. It’s seen as human frailty meets immortal hunger when needs and wants blend flawlessly with desires and cravings.
In, Church Mouse, readers are presented with the main character of Rona Dean, a child lost, an adult even more so as we bear witness to the world through her eyes thus setting the stage for the darkness that soon follows. Down on her luck and forced to reevaluate her entire life, Rona will soon find that the one place she always felt the safest will be the one place she struggles to escape alive. Blending the past and present in expert memoir detail, Hale takes her readers deep inside Rona’s driving forces while gently offering whispers and hints at the human condition evident in her main character and within ourselves.
Joining Rona as she lives in and explores the shadowy confines of a large and very old church, we are introduced to several characters all with different personalities and weaknesses. Hale masterfully showcases each character as having more than one side, a skill that increases the tension throughout her work. Friend or foe weave together with each addition to Rona’s life as caring becomes cruelty and, much like in our own private world, what one sees is not always the truth.
Love them one minute, hate them the next as we are treated to a game of cat and mouse with no clear winners, no safe players. Hale purposefully baits and switches her characters traits, views, and overall personalities creating an atmosphere of light and dark, confusion and compassion much like the world Rona finds herself in that mirrors our own daily lives. How do you trust when switches continuously flip and the game constantly changes?
Dripping with historical references amid some modern surroundings, Hale takes her readers on a slow-burning vision of supernatural shadows and the creatures that fairytales warn us are lurking deep within the darkness, some even more ferocious within the light. Staring deeply into troubled souls and understanding the plight of mere mortals, Hale exposes the fears and shortcomings of more than just the characters she has created. Expertly detailed, she brings the haunts with penetrating effectiveness that seem to sink their teeth into flesh keeping everyone on edge before her prose allows the creepy to rush readers headlong into horror.
While not a quick read, Hale’s work will engross many a reader long after the sun sets and darkness rises across the land. Her in-depth descriptions and tightrope walking of characters and their well-being within a creepy world of shadowy danger will entice throughout. Considered a tale of horror, readers will no doubt find that beyond the bloodshed there is hope, beyond the examination of the psychological constructs of human nature comes a glimpse of the metaphysical, and beyond the grip of death a spark of life. Highly recommend!