3 out of 4 stars
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Unspeakable Acts by Janet Leigh Green is a gripping supernatural horror debut. I love ghost stories, so I was immediately drawn in by the premise. The author created a good atmospheric story that will truly grip you. There is nothing like a good paranormal/ghost hunting story to get your juices flowing!
It isn't your typical ghost story, and the spirits aren't your run-of-the-mill cast either. This is a chilly tale of a haunted home, restless entities, and raw evil. It isn't over-scary, though some parts were spooky and spine-tingling. A horny entity visits our heroine, Charlie Love, in the biblical sense. Yes, you read right, but I better start from the beginning.
Charlie, a successful artist, just broke up with her boyfriend of the past three years. She now lives on her own in her newly renovated house situated in Leigh, Texas. Each night a strong menacing presence is taking over her mind and body and has its way with her. And the worst part of it?! She enjoys it and sometimes even craves for it! Imagine that!
With the help of two handsome paranormal investigators, Doug and Scott McQueen, and their side kick, a psychic by the name of Sheila, they try to figure out what's going on. They befriend Charlie and soon come to realize that she is a definite part of what goes on. Soon they find themselves entangled in a mystery involving the house's dark past. As they delve further into the mystery, more secrets are revealed, passion ignites, and evidences of unspeakable acts, come to light.
The story follows our multiple narrators as it flows smoothly back and forth through time, tracking the tangled chain of how the lot of them are connected. The way the author went back and forth between past and present kept me engaged and wanting to know what was coming next. Ghosts, romance, mystery, a gothic feel, skeletons in the closet, literarily, this book has everything a reader wants in a paranormal mystery. The banter between characters creates much of the comic relief throughout the book. Charlie was definitely refreshing to read about. I love it when the heroine isn't the whining type, but also allows herself to be treated like a damsel. The book carries a punch that will leave you reeling and wanting more. I looked for a read that could give me the chills, the laughs, the romance, and the action and got it in spades!
This book was easy to read, but a few things interrupted the flow of the story. The writing style was somewhat stilted at times and could use some smoothing out. There were numerous run-on sentences and a notable lack of commas. A scattering of commas should be added throughout! In some cases pronouns changed right in the middle of the sentence (from third person to first person), which confused me at first. There was some telling instead of showing in some sections, thought it didn't bother me much. Oh, and the book has two endings, a thing I found redundant.
Saying that, I enjoyed the story immensely. It was creepy, mysterious, fast-paced and full of shocking revelations. It carries themes of love, loss, abandonment, relationship, friendships, fallible human nature, good vs. evil, with a
punch! The author did a great job weaving the two story lines together. Each chapter is clearly labeled with the year to help the reader follow along. Another thing I greatly enjoyed is the way suspense is gradually built as the story progresses. Each detail given adds to the anticipation and the intrigue. The strange occurrences that happen here may be not give you chills, but they will keep you at the edge of your seat for sure. Of course, the reader needs to suspend belief to fully enjoy the story.
You should note that there are a few, select graphic scenes and some cringe inducing moments. There is also a bit of strong language and sexual content, so I would only recommend this book to a mature audience. Although it is the first book in the McQueen Investigation Series, it is a standalone. I truly can't wait for the next book in the series! I enjoyed the story immensely so rate it 3 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it for fans of the genre who want some creepiness in a book without all-out horror.
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