Reviewed by Richard
Shady Palms has been sat on my ever-growing ‘to-do’ pile for quite a while now. Whilst trying to get settled in our beautifully dreary office space with the dripping pipes, broken windows and ever-present stench of decay, I’ve managed to collect quite a large pile of books that I intend to review. I’m sorry to say that Shady Palms was amongst this pile just waiting to be read. So imagined how much I was kicking myself when I realised just how awesome it is!
When I started the book the first thing I noticed was the foreign names and the foreign references. For all the readers that don’t know me that well, I have two mind sets that I establish when reading books. One is the lazy mind-set, where I just sit back and allow the author to spoon-feed me their story (this usually applies to straight-forward horror novels that are set in the US/UK with simple words and basic plot) my other mind-set is adopted when a book is more complex. For example if the novel is riddled with words exceeding four to five syllables, set in a country I’ve never been to, adopting words/phrases I’m unfamiliar with and/or complex twists that need you to pay attention to, then I need to be alert and focused.
At the time we were still in the process of setting up our new HQ which we have aptly named ‘Erebus Horror House’ (original right?) so when I saw these strange, new words and names my brain really couldn’t comprehend it at that time, so the book was shelved until we got set up. Well now we are up and running and I have since read the book in its entirety. All I can say is – What a story!
I was mistaken thinking that I would have to really concentrate on keeping up with the book. Once I was immersed into the perfectly described setting, story, dialogue and character development, I found it very hard to leave! There’s something about the author’s style of writing that is really compelling. His portrayal of the bizarre, and the gritty, perverted nature of some aspects of the book, really help to keep the pages turning. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but in an ordinary world some of the issues raised in the book would be enough to turn you away. But in Shady Palms, it is almost enticing! Unpredictable twists, fast-paced action and an intense story-line make this book a great page-turner that you will struggle to put down. Allen Dusk is definitely an author to keep an eye on.
So here’s a bit more about the book: