Summerhome by Thomas R. Clark
After Maureen Coleman is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, her children bring her to live at SummerHome. As her condition deteriorates, siblings Sean Spencer and Meghan Coleman are unsure if they have made the correct decision. They grow concerned when their mother claims to see the ghost of her dead husband, and a series of tragic, unexplained events impact the community. Now, with the residents of SummerHome believing their complex is haunted, the world-famous Para-Hunters come in to investigate. The ghost hunters soon learn this isn't a typical haunting. Because slinking through the shadows is an evil, unleashed from underneath the Mound nearly 300 years ago, and it doesn't want to go back.
SplatterFolk In Its Finest
Summerhome is a harrowing tale that brings to light the sentiment what we don’t know, will hurt us! Meghan’s Mom is an elderly woman with a lot of secrets. She has recently been diagnosed with Dementia and is going down-hill quickly with a knowledge that she refuses to relinquish. Meghan and her brother decide to put her in Summerhome where she can continue to be as independent as possible but still get help when she needs it. Little do they know, there is darkness in every corner. Summerhome residents see and feel things that they are not entirely sure is real. Some residents have no idea that something is going on and live their life as they see fit. A paranormal team gets word that the residents are seeing things and weird stuff is happening so they go to investigate. They, along with Meghan and her brother discover what the darkness is and it’s more than they ever imagined! Clark masterfully wove in character ties to his previous books by letting us see more of the periphery of their lives. If you have not yet read the other books, it is ok as this stands on its own. The background does not detract from the story and Clark skillfully makes it work. But if you have read the other books, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the nuggets and references thrown in. Clark continues to hone SplatterFolk and gets better and better! This is a horror story, so there are some gruesome scenes. There are some scenes that I as the reader cannot unsee! Clark has figured out how to pull from folk tales, oral and written histories, and legends and make it his own world of chaos! So come and delve in, if you dare!
A poignant and graphic tale
I could write forever about the depth and complexities of the story, but it’s important to first note that it is a good story. It’s entertaining, engaging, evocative. It has laugh-out-loud moments and I-might-hurl moments (seriously, Tom, I was eating during that one scene with … oh, no spoilers). It has moments that are like a knife to the heart and other like a knife to the mind. It has tension, suspense, and diverse characters. And oh, the characters! This is a truly diverse lot, a realistically diverse representation of real people and real life. They are believable, likeable, unlikeable, and entertaining in their interaction with one another. The O’Connors leave a specific and lasting impression, but I won’t tell you why, that would spoil it. In addition to the horror and the humor, the suspense and the action and the pure entertainment are the layers of the story itself and all they encompass. Summerhome ties in with and ties together some of Clark’s other books, forming and cementing the bloody and brutal world and mythos he has created, a world where horrors past and present come together in ways otherwise unimaginable. Summerhome is about our history and our ancestors living within us and around us. Influencing us. Controlling us. It’s about the collision of dark lore and darker contemporary realities. It’s about the confines of old age, Alzheimer’s, addiction, and obligation. It’s a poignant and graphic tale, a combination of folklore and Splatterpunk that grabs you by both the mind and guts and twists them together into balloon animals that will in the shadows of your thoughts for days. The synopsis does not really do justice to this story. It’s not just a ghost hunter story. The investigators are only a part of the story as a whole. This is a fully fleshed story. Read it because it is horror entertainment or read it because it’s more than that. If you can handle the graphic intensity of the extreme, read it.