[490]: The Damned by Andrew Pyper

DSC_0980GOODREADS SUMMARY | Simon & Schuster Canada | ARC, 287 pp. | February 10, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Horror | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Andrew Pyper’s latest tells the story of a Detroit-native best selling writer who knows a thing or two about dying. Having survived multiple close calls gives him the perspective of what being dead – even for a few minutes – felt like. In this novel, Andrew explores the afterlife, unfinished business and the limitations (or lack thereof) of twin intuition.

Death Becomes Him.

From the moment of birth, Danny and his twin sister Ashley were already familiar with death. When they were born, only one of them came out the womb breathing. You can say that their mother made a bargain with any one listening to save her children. It just so happens that the bargain came with a hefty price. From then on, Ashley has been a different creature altogether.

She seems to have something evil lurking inside her. Her powers of manipulation knows no bounds. She can will anyone to do her bidding; even persuade someone to hurt themselves to the point of suicide. When they were teens, Ashley and Danny died in a house fire. While Ashley stayed dead, Danny, somehow came back wearing their dead mother’s watch; a watch that was buried with her when she died. Everyone’s theory was that Danny was saved by his mother in the afterlife.

His memoir has garnered some nationwide attention. The story of how he almost perished along with his sister in a fire many years ago gave him the morbid reputation of being somewhat of an expert. And while he’s determined to forget about the past, and move on to the land of the living, his dead twin sister refused to let things go.

From the Grave and Beyond.

When Ashley was alive, Danny didn’t have much of a life to speak of. He lived in his sister’s effervescent shadow. But they know something was wrong with her. She’s feared, especially at her own home. Their mom drank herself to oblivion, and ended up drowning in an apparent suicide. Their dad worked all hours just to avoid being at home. When she died, it was almost a huge relief for both Danny and his father. Because then, they’ll be able to live without the every day fear of being around Ashley.

Years go by, Danny couldn’t hack college. He had no social life. Relationships are non-existent. That is, until he meets Willa and her son, Eddie. Now that he’s happy, however, Ashley couldn’t let him have his peace. She starts haunting his little family.  But if there’s one thing Danny understands about restless ghosts, it’s that they have some unfinished business that’s anchoring them to this world. If he ever has any hopes of achieving a peaceful life, he needs to find out what Ashley wants even if he had to die over and over again.

 With One Eye Open.

Sorry for the over long summary. It was the only way I could explain why this book was terrifyingly good. I mean, what’s scarier than a ghost? Hmm. I don’t know. Maybe a psychotic ghost? Ashley was that and more.

I’m the type of person who needs to watch a horror flick in broad daylight. The first time I watched Paranormal Activity, it was one sunny summer afternoon. Even then, I ended up hollering for my husband to turn the tv off. And I ended up sleeping with the lights on for at least a few days.

This book was a freaking nightmare. Sometimes, I had to calm my racing pulse before I could continue reading. It is why it took me a while to finish this less than 300-page novel. If I could read with one-eye open I would. But we all know that’s impossible. There is nothing worst than a violent ghost. And Ashley is the absolute worst.

If you can stomach reading with raised gooseflesh, The Damned is highly recommended. Dark family secrets, sinister vengeful ghost, and a glimpse of the different kinds of hell that await the dearly departed. This spine-tingling book is terrifyingly good!

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