Prince of Nightmares - John McNee

Having read so much mediocre horror fiction recently it has been a pleasure to read something with real originality and style and outstanding evil that resides at the Ballador House Hotel.

 

An eclectic mix of characters are in resident at the Ballador Hotel all hoping to encounter and meet paranormal apparitions as night approaches. One particular resident Victor Teversham is praying that the hotel will supply an answer as to why his wife Josephine booked a getaway break here before committing suicide.

 

We meet the mysterious and beautiful Gia, the night manager Mrs Dempsey and the loud and boisterous Heinrich Stritzel. The author accomplishes, what many writers fail to do, he makes all the players that we encounter very believable. At times I felt this was almost a modern horror remaking of Casablanca where all meet and encounter horror at a central point with no means of escape. What was extraordinary in the story telling , not only for the main antagonists but also for the reader, was the inability to distinguish between what was real and what was fiction....what was a dream and what was reality. This confusion added greatly to the constant feeling of dread and fear that permeated the unravelling of the mysterious ghostly events taking place.

 

There is a clever connection between Victor and his wife and a woman from the past known as Evelyn Burgess, and when the true intentions of the ghostly "residents" becomes apparent it is too late to stop the ensuing bloodbath..." The Residents are the parts of ourselves we wanted to keep hidden. The parts we didn't like. The parts we suppressed. Invasive thoughts, base urges, and hateful impulses."

 

So a highly original story with a gruesome and bloody conclusion, a most enjoyable treat for lovers of good horror. I received an advance copy of Prince of Nightmares for an honest review and that is what I have written.