I love the horror genre. I grew up with it, staying up late, watching bad horror flicks and even badder ones, sometimes alone, sometimes with my grandma. “Alien” had been my first real taste of horror, when the chestburster blew out of John Hurt’s heart. Last night, the wife and I watched “Aliens” and it was her first time to, and she was terrified. That’s a timeless piece there, folks. It’s not much data, but to me, it’s proof why “Aliens” is highly regarded as the best in the entire damn franchise.
Tom Deady, winner of this year’s Bram Stoker Award for his debut novel, “Haven” has that timeless feel swirling in me. Anybody who’s new to this might say it’s reminiscent to Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” which is, to me, a tribute to some dude named Stephen for his stories “It” and “Stand by Me” (Originally, “The Body”). Both are excellent stories that should become required reading in schools.
The story begins with Paul Greymore walking out of prison as a free man, where he returns to his hometown called Haven, the place where he was arrested 16 years ago, accused of murdering children.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. We know Paul is innocent all along and it’s just a matter for us to find out what’s really happening. Deady drops hints early in the book to confirm that, so we don’t overthink things through.
What I loved about the book was the depiction of the monster. Better yet, monsters. A lot of people in Haven are pissed that Greymore has returned, and many of them are wary, paranoid, and ready to kill.
While in a way book feels like “It,” “Haven” is much shorter, and points you toward the action without introducing too much backstories from random people that would no longer be breathing and be in one piece by the chapter’s end.
“Haven” is a story about family. Yes, there is a monster in the book, and don’t be surprised by that. But it plays more in the sidelines, always hidden in the dark, compared to the real horrors humanity may inflict on to each other: The horrors what an angry lynch mob can do, domestic abuse, police brutality, and bullying.
I love this book. I gorged through it in two nights. And it’s exciting what other things Tom Deady can come up with.
To wrap things up, here’s “Dead Memories” by Slipknot. Cause, Paul Greymore reminds me of Paul Gray.