BRING HER BACK by Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Jeff Strand combines the awkward sweetness of Strand’s best characters with a tragedy that ends in brutal violence.
Here’s the Amazon description:
Frank knows that he’s creepy. There’s nothing he can do about it. His creepiness — along with the fact that his father once killed eleven people in an office shooting — has kept him from ever having a girlfriend. When he finally works up the nerve to ask Abigail out on a date, after buying flowers from her every day for the past three months, he’s sure she’ll say no. Maybe she’ll even recoil or spit in his face. But she accepts his invitation. He’s sure it must be a cruel prank. It’s not. These two kind-hearted but weird souls have found each other, and Frank thinks his life is about to change for the better. But this is not a love story. This is a tale of revenge and madness. From the author of PRESSURE, BLISTER, and SICK HOUSE comes Jeff Strand’s darkest novel yet.
Strand divides BRING HER BACK into three parts: a love story, a revenge story, and a horror story. I read the 264-page book in one sitting because I wanted to know what happens to Frank and Abigail, a pair of lonely, relatable souls taking a chance on love. Does love blossom for creepy Frank and quirky flower girl Abigail? Or is the romance doomed?
My 5-star Amazon review reads:
A sad, torturous, and twisted horror tale told from the viewpoint of Frank, one of Strand’s most tragic character creations. What begins as a sweet love story turns decidedly dark as Frank goes from awkwardly shy to insanely brutal, all because of one bad decision that snowballs into a gory sequence of vengeful violence. BRING HER BACK will undoubtedly be compared to Strand’s Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel PRESSURE. However, BRING HER BACK packed more of an emotional punch for me in the end, particularly with Frank’s desperate plea during the climax. It was horrific and heartbreaking. I tip my hat to Mr. Strand, who proves once again why he is a true master of the macabre.
I enjoyed BRING HER BACK as much as PRESSURE. Frank is a sympathetic lug and similar to characters in Strand’s other dark, tragic novels like Alex in PRESSURE and Toby in DWELLER. All of them are emotionally stunted males whose questionable decisions lead to unintended and devastating consequences.
I also liked the rather jarring twist at the start of Part Three. It’s one of those bold writer decisions that potentially could tank the story, but it worked and actually added a subtle layer of depth to Frank’s character for me.
Check out BRING HER BACK (released May 18) on Amazon here.
Check out Strand’s website here.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
MORE HORROR REVIEWS: