Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Book Review of Sold by Brad Lee Hayword

Book Title: Sold
Genre: Horror
Pages: 167
Author: Brad Lee Hayword
Date Published: 28 February 2015


Mumps said the doctor/ Measles said the nurse/ Hiccups, said the lady with the alligator purse. . .
Kate and Carl Spradlin want a home. Kate wants children someday soon. Carl wants security. Kate has a past. Carl is part of it. The apartment is a lot better than living in the car, but it’s tiny. The couple cannot believe their luck when they see a house for sale in Williamsburg's Historic District—going for a pittance in back-taxes—cash sale, as is. It’s a chance of a lifetime. But there’s a toxic evil in the old Packer house. He was the American West’s first serial killer until the voodoo Sovereign of the Sevis Gineh found him. She made him the perfect killer and a courier between the living and the dead.
Dead said the doctor / Undead said the nurse/ Mine! said the lady with the alligator purse . . .
Kate’s sins have found her.


SoldSold by Brad Lee Hayword
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a chilling horror story. I loved it!

Kate Spradlin is a character I neither liked nor disliked. She came across as rather ordinary and boring at first. However, she has a deep secret hidden in a past that is not so happy. But destiny (or is it fate?) will bring her and Carl to an old house where evil lurks.

Carl Spradlin is Kate's husband. He is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot more than Kate. I don't really know why. I just felt that he is a good man, who is willing to work hard to provide for his family.

This is a genre that I very rarely read. However, I had the opportunity to help edit a rough draft of this book, and wanted to see what the finished article looked like.
When I first read that rough draft, I had felt chills run up and down my spine, but reading the final story had the hair standing up on the back of my neck.

This story is told through various characters' points of view, which I really enjoyed. The story is peppered with weird and wonderful characters. Alfred Packer is one of the first serial killers and lived in Williamsburg in 1887. His exploits are rather gruesome, and some of the details of his actions are a little graphic. Therefore, readers beware. He is the original owner of the house which Carl and Kate move into.
I really didn't like Rex Fontaine, Kate's ex. He is a creepy character, who is obsessed with his former wife. He is incredibly cruel and abusive. However, I felt his character could have been utilised better by the author as the story progressed. Nevertheless, his presence is chilling and carries a menace that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what he was planning next. I really liked Mrs. Goddard, she is a wonderfully sharp character whose feud with one of the ladies from the Historical Society called Jane Dillard made me smile, though it's no laughing matter. Secrets are revealed and lives are in danger, but watching Kate grow into her potential as a powerful witch has been an adventure that I wouldn't have missed for all the world.

The difference between the rough draft and the complete story is amazing. The story has changed in various ways, but also remains the same. There are several twists and turns which were not in the original draft I read, and I found myself swept into a story that is suspenseful, atmospheric and chilling. The ending has a twist that definitely sent a shiver down my back. I wonder if we've seen the last of Alfred Packer?

Brad Lee Hayword has written a chilling debut horror story. His writing style is not particularly fast paced, but his ability to describe scenes with such clarity made the story stand out. The flow of the story could have been a little better, as some of the scene changes (I feel) caused the pacing to be a little jerky. I found this story to be highly entertaining, though there is room for improvement, and I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Due to scenes of violence which are on the graphic side, I do not recommend this book to young readers, or those of a nervous disposition. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love classic dark thriller or horror genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


About The Author:

I'm an Old West history buff, an obligation if you live in Texas. I mean look around, what else could produce this? It's a different world here, folks, and I only know that because my work occasionally demands travel. My education is the normal run, high school then EMT and firefighting academy. That didn't last. I went back to school after my accident and got a degree in fire science. Going back to school, having just lost my soon to have been fiance, I discovered solace in writing my thoughts. I've been writing since, but Sold is the first story I've ever shared with anyone. I write in this journal pretty often and I guess sharing some stuff about me isn't all that bad. I still don't see why anyone would want that and you might agree after reading Sold and wonder, "what kind of mind could go there?"

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