Christopher Payne's Reviews > Asylum Lake

Asylum Lake by R.A. Evans
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Dec 09, 2010

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Read from November 21 to 27, 2010

I do love a good horror story, and Asylum Lake fits the bill. It reels you in while developing the storyline and main character and then slams it home with one of the more horrific murder scenes I have read in a long time. Hello, has anyone seen the twin’s hands and feet lately. Try looking in the kitchen sink if you have the stomach for it. All that being said the book itself falls short with more grammatical errors than something I would have written, and an ending that left me as a reader flipping through the back pages wondering if I had missed the climax.

Brady was an ace reporter; this is in the past tense since he seemingly has moved on due to the death of his fiancé. She died in a freak accident that defines being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Brady's only true friend is his dog Gruff, and the two of them decide to venture up to Bedlam Falls, MI where he had spent many a summer relaxing by the lake as a child. Brady's parents, both recently deceased, had a cabin which had been remodeled into a home away from home. What better way to forget about the past than dredging up old memories from your childhood.

The only problem with Brady's plan is the damn scrabble game is acting like an Ouija Board. Remember that little circle with an eye and the hole in the middle that allowed you to talk to spirits. Damn, it still creeps me out thinking about it, and now thanks to Mr. Evans I might not be able to play scrabble again. Apparently there are a few spirits meandering about the old cabin and we really are not sure if they are friendly, or plan on consuming Gruff and Brady for dinner.

So Brady begins poking around and come to find out his father, a former detective had found some clues about an old murder and was doing his best to figure out what happened. Throw in an old flame, April, and you have the mixings for a perfectly formed romantic death trap. As I said before, the storyline was really impressive and I did find myself flipping through the pages rather quickly in order to find out what was going to happen next.

As always I try not to give away too many details and I strongly believe with this book the story is the punch line, so if you want more insight you will just have to read it. I will now bring up a few shortcomings of the book and things that will hopefully change in volume II.

Brady's dialogue was just not believable. The guy is a reporter for a major newspaper and at times he talks like he didn't graduate high school. I could have done without the tampon scene; it is just too stereotypical to bother writing down. The lack of editing had me scratching my head in wonder. Granted Mr. Evans did tell me my copy was an advance edition, but it really needed a lot of re-work. I know, I know, how many people say that about my writing as well, but I have to put it in here if it is what I believe.

My biggest disappointment was the ending, or really lack thereof. The book just kind of stops after building up your tempo to the highest point possible. It would be like licking that lollipop and when you decide to take the final bight, anticipating that tootsie roll center, only to realize it was hollow. Nothing there. Empty. I think part of the reason I was so disappointed in the ending was because the rest of the story was so damn good. If the author would decide to re-write the last couple of chapters, or add in a chapter with some sort of climax this book would go from being ok to being awesome.

Anyway, even with the negatives the book is definitely one of the more entertaining reads I have picked up in a while. I would suggest perusing through it with grandeur expectations on what Mr. Evans would be writing for a sequel. He is very talented and I for one will be keeping up with his work going forward.
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message 1: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Maze R.A. wrote: "As the author of Asylum Lake, I want to thank you for taking the time to read and review my novel. It's my debut and your comments have really taught me a few things."

@ R.A. -- that is a great attitude and it will only further your novel-writing career. When my first book was published , it had been edited a lot, but came out with WAY TOO MANY grammatical errors. I had it re-released a few months later after going to a professional editor, and now I no longer get comments about the errors (it stinks when they are masking an incredible story!).

I am going to read ASYLUM LAKE -- it sounds really different!Ellen C. Maze

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