Book Case #89 – Through A Glass Darkly

Book and Author Details:
Through A Glass Darkly on Good Reads
Through A Glass Darkly on Amazon
Donald Allen Kirch’s Website
Donald Allen Kirch on Good Reads
Donald Allen Kirch on Facebook
Double Dragon Publishing

Description from Author:

The House loomed over the city like a beacon of malevolent evil. People spoke of it only in whispers. Others tried to own it, eventually coming out in a body bag. Darkness dripped from its windows, spilt blood made up the foundations of its property, and Satan seemed to have a claim on the land. Houses built along its borders nailed their windows shut so that they wouldn’t have to see it. Evil resided within its ancient walls and did not care who knew it!

Manchester House was a legend – the “Mount Everest” of Haunted Houses!

Professor Jonathon Holzer knew he had scored the opportunity of a lifetime. With an international crew of paranormal investigators, and a mysterious “shaman” named Indrid Night, the man hoped to find some answers. There was one proviso: The City Council was not aware of his venture, and the police could not help him. He would be alone.

Sometimes when one stares into an abyss, the abyss stares back into you!

My Review:
How do I start this review? There are those books that you read and enjoy. Those ones that you read, write the review and move onto the next one. Then, there are those books that you read, rush through to the end because you HAVE to know what’s going to happen next, and then find yourself reflecting on all the multifaceted levels of the book. 

This, was one of those books. I finished last week and I have taken this time to really revel in the enjoyment I felt from this novel. Huge kudos to the author, Donald Allen Kirch. I really hope this novel catches the eyes of a lot of readers; if it doesn’t they are surely missing out.

We are met with a self-assured parapsychologist who is aching to take on the “Holy Grail” of all paranormal /haunting cases. The very case he has sought out lands in his lap with a call from a Lt. Wells from Atchison, KS. There’s a house, Manchester House, that has taken the lives of many over the 100+ years since it was built. 

With the chance in his grasp, he gathers a group from his team of experts. S.O.U.R.C.E. This team represents the “ideal” team; this is a team I would die for in my investigations. Even though there’s bickering amongst the team, the team is stronger than any family I’ve ever met. There’s a saying in my family, “We fight hard, but we love harder.” This holds true to Professor Holzer’s dream paranormal team. 

This team goes through thick and thin; literally..thick mud and thin plastic veils. The come out with a hellish ending, and bigger tale to tell others. Without giving too much more of the plot line away, I will say that this was a well thought out, well written and thorough book. The author deserves to be promoted highly for his imagination and novel born of it.

I really hope that he does write a continuation. Donald Allen Kirch has left it wide open with the end in this book. If he does opt to continue this storyline, he focuses on some of the “cons” I’ve listed below. 

Pros: There are so many pros in this storyline. 
A. Team. I absolutely love the dynamic put together for Pr. Holzer’s team. Miranda, completely scientific based. Teresa, psychic medium whose power is believed in by the rest of the team, even though some are strongly science based. Sinclair, “non-believing” camera man who’s just there for his knowledge of camera and video equipment. Professor Holzer, parapsychologist, firm believer and researcher of all things supernatural. Finally, Indrid Night. Indrid is the Elvis of religious beliefs. He’s a cross between Indiana Jones and Roland of Gilead. I love this character. I could really see Jeff Bridges playing this character in a movie, should a major film company ever pick it up as a screenwrite. 

B. Verbage and word usage. Donald has a strong grasp of the English language. I love when an author makes me think because of their work. I am electrified when an author causes me to keep a dictionary handy to look up words. I felt electrical pulses for words like, “incongruous.”  I found this throughout the whole novel. This alone should be a reason to read this book. I have found that a lot of self publish authors do not possess the knowledge behind a strong vocabulary. I found this to be one of the solid aspects of Donald’s writing.  

C. Plot line. There were no real questions left behind in this novel. Donald did a marvelous job at covering almost all points in his story. I was only left with two questions. Everything from the start of the Manchester House to the hell within. All circles of life were completed. The author brought in Religion, and did it with grace and class. As mentioned above, Indrid Night was the team’s religious guru. I compared him to Elvis, because Elvis wore symbols from every religion. Night, he was versed in religions from new to archaic. There’s a quote in the book that I felt was appropriate. “Charms, spells and icons of every faith and religion. Good, like evil, had many faces. Though Night was partial to the ‘faces” of his own faith, he realized that God was great enough to have other faces in His battle with evil.”

D. Even subtle references to kick ass fiction characters, “Bubba Ho Tep.” Because, Ho Tep man.

Cons: There were only a couple that left me pondering. 
Character building was a little lacking. I would love to have known more about their psychic, Teresa, and her background. The tidbits fed to the reader about her parents was just enough to meet the character, but not enough to satisfy the hunger. Each character was described enough to understand their roll within the book, but not enough to understand their idiosyncrasies and what makes approach the paranormal in the ways that they do.  I do hope that if he goes into a book II, he covers their background a bit more. 

The plastic sheeting was never covered. Although it covered the pages of the book within the storyline, the author doesn’t cover the meaning behind it. 

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