Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen. Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her and she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems. As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect.
*I received a free copy of The Torment of Rachel Ames from Jeff Gunhus in return for an honest review.*
I am giving The Torment of Rachel Ames by Jeff Gunhus 5/5 stars.
I had the honor of reading The Torment of Rachel Ames by Jeff Gunhus recently and I have to say I loved it. I am a huge fan of novellas, but all the novellas that I have previously read have been part of series that I’ve read and this was my first stand alone novella. Now, I was a bit worried about it being a stand alone, because I didn’t think I would be able to connect to the characters, but by the end of The Torment of Rachel Ames, I found myself emotionally attached to the characters of Rachel and John. Gunhus was able to write an emotional and anxiety filled story in just over 100 pages that I could read over and over again.
When The Torment of Rachel Ames started, I had a feeling that it was going to be a retelling of The Shining by Stephen King, but I was shocked by the end of how it resembled The Divine Comedy instead. Now, I am not the biggest fan of The Divine Comedy, but I found myself so interested in The Torment of Rachel Ames that I will have to go back and read it again with a fresh pair of eyes .
I have to say that my favorite part is how Gunhus was able to get me anxious throughout the whole story trying to figure out what was going on. The whole time I was reading, I was trying to figure out what was going on while I read, but I just couldn’t figure it out, until the end of the story came and it hit my like a punch in the face in the best way possible. When I got to the end and figured out what was happening, I had to stop for a moment and think to myself “Wow, that is was the last thing I expected.” Any story that does that to me, I fall in love with.
So, if you’re a reader who is looking for a short book that has a wide range of emotions, horror, suspense and a WTF ending, The Torment of Rachel Ames is for you. I highly recommend it to anyone.
About the Author:
Jeff Gunhus is the author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.