“Ghosts could walk freely tonight, without fear of the disbelief of men; for this night was haunted, and it would be an insensitive man who did not know it.” ― John Steinbeck
Okay, this one scared the freaking bejeezus out of me. I may never walk in the woods alone again, and guess what…I’m surrounded by trees.
Let’s start at the beginning, the build-up so to speak.
Zebulon’s father has just died from a stroke, leaving Zeb as sole caretaker of his younger siblings, Hannah and Donnie. Zeb and Cale are best friends. Unbeknownst to Cale, Zeb has secretly had a crush on Cale since they first met in high school.
While driving back from a business trip dealing with the sale of Zeb’s father estate, Cale spots an old road which he has Zeb turn off onto. There they come across a lake that Cale seems to think will make a prime real estate investment, considering the beauty and the isolation of the surrounding area. This is where it starts to become a little creepy when we learn from two neighboring children that the lake is call, Haint Lake.
Returning home, Cale convinces his father, Malcolm and a real estate developer, into purchasing the area around the lake. Seems Cale has a knack for spotting a good investment just like his dad. With that out of the way, Cale surprises Zeb that he also is attracted to Zeb and would like to further their friendship. So starts the romance between the two.
But Zeb has his set of problems that are forcing him to grow up fast. With his father’s death, he’s stressing over the fact that he now has two siblings to raise, that he has to quit school to get a job, and he’s worried that child welfare will not see him as fit to take care of his family. So Cale comes up with this brilliant idea to take Zeb and his family for a weekend camp out at Haint Lake to do a little unwinding. Yeah right, major creepy starts at this point!
I must say that after my minor case of heart palpitations, I really enjoyed this one. Mr. Evan Gilbert weaves a very credible tale of horror with a dash of romance. I loved where his imagination took me, but haven’t quite made up my mind whether this ended just right or if he could have dragged it out a little bit more with both the romance and creeped out horror. Really had me going there!
I’m giving this one a 4.5 rating. A perfect story to read when it’s a stormy evening with the lights flickering and you’re all by yourself.