Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan Review

Friday 8 November 2019

     If you’re anything like me you get an email from Book Bub every day informing you of daily deals on ebooks. Sometimes they’re at a reduced price (.99 to 3.99ish) and sometimes they’re free. I believe free books get a bad rap. One tends to wonder why the book was free? Could this author not sell it? Could they not even get a dollar for their book? But that’s unfair. The world of publishing isn’t easy and also giving a book away could be a good idea because it could spark interest in the rest of your work.  But sometimes a free book is exactly what you expect. Here’s my review of Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan.

     I wanted to like this book so bad. I wanted a new horror author to get into. I wanted a book that reminded me of movies like The Conjuring, Insidious, or Paranormal Activity. I love Stephen King, but I find him to be more thriller and less horror. Let’s say, supernatural thrillers. So the prospect of finding an author that does straight up horror complete with hauntings was something I found very interesting.

     The premise is basic. Robert’s wife dies while driving home from spending time with her lover. He finds out she had maxed out credit cards and had changed her life insurance policy making any payout questionable. He’s on the verge of bankruptcy thanks to her and when he gets a letter from a Aunt he never knew he had, it could spell his salvation. She’s dying and wants him to take care of her during her last days. If he does, she will bequeath her estate to him. The problem is the house comes with a secret past that doesn’t want to stay buried.

     That sounds like a very basic premise for a haunting themed horror movie, right? Right! The question is, does it translate well to the written word. The answer? Yes and no. There were times when it sure was creepy but other times the horror fell flat.

     The book is broken up into two parts. The first introduces us to the characters and sets the stage for what happens later. This part is a little more slow moving but well paced. The second half of the book is where Patrick Logan hit the fast forward button and introduced us to a new character who might as well have been called Miss Exposition. This new character shows up, just happens to know everything that’s going on in this mysterious house (thanks to the internet) and knows exactly what has to be done to put the spirits to rest.This new character was deus ex machina incarnate. How do we solve this unsolvable problem? Let's go to Reddit.

     There were some other issues I had with this book. The first being that Logan never hesitates to remind us that Robert is an accountant. If he completed some impressive physical feat, it was surprising since he was an accountant. If he knew anything outside of his normal expertise it was always surprising because he was an accountant. I wouldn’t have minded this if Robert’s job actually mattered to the story. But he could have been anything from a part-time laborer to the CEO of a fortune 500 company and it wouldn’t have changed the meat of the story. There's also a lot of swearing and while I don't mind swearing, it felt disingenuous. The swearing felt like it was just used to be edgy.

  Shallow Graves had a lot of promise. It really did. I never find books to be scary, but I still find horror books enjoyable, and this could have been a good read. But the last half of the book was disappointing when it should have been the most exciting. Maybe the other installments in this series get better, but with a lackluster start, I don’t have much desire to find out.

Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan gets a 3 out of 11

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