Psychic Medium Sarah Lynn Beauchamp thought she understood the dead, but the dead have a new plan for her.
In a small church meeting in the middle of the southern United States, a group of people have gathered to listen to a sermon from their favourite pastor, Brother Zeke, and many have come with the hope of meeting faith healer Thaddeus Johnson, who also happens to be a crack addict. Yolanda and her husband Rodney, an Atlanta police officer and military veteran, go to church hoping Johnson can heal Yolanda of her terrible migraine headaches. However, during the healing, something goes terribly wrong. Thaddeus experiences things he’s never felt before and when the healing concludes, Yolanda is somehow different.
Johnson goes on to perform another healing, thinking his experience with Yolanda was a fluke. Frank is up next to have his back pain healed. Feeling much worse this time than the last, Johnson fears the devil is healing these people, not God. He does one more healing because he needs to earn enough money to buy his crack cocaine. Rashelle is a 14-year-old girl suffering from a muscular disease that she has had since birth, causing her to live her life in a wheelchair, unable to move or speak. Thaddeus lays his hands on her and the strain of the dark energy flowing through him is too much. He collapses on the floor and despite the fact that Rashelle begins to move, things don’t go her way. (That’s an understatement!)
As the story progresses, it gets much darker. Frank and Yolanda go on a killing spree, murders begins happening elsewhere, and in the killers’ wake, horrific shrines appear, made out of human body parts.
Enter John Mitchell. Mitchell is an overweight detective sent to investigate the killings. What he thinks is a simple case turns into something so dark, evil, and sinister, he can’t sleep without a having the lights on.
Mitchell teams up with Yolanda’s husband Rodney, A WWII veteran named Menard, and an FBI agent to solve the crimes, and we learn that the “bad guy” in the book is a demonic force by the name of Liche. Liche controls the monsters, but at this time, we don’t know a whole lot about this force.
The Immortal Body is my first William Holloway book. I own Lucky’s Girl, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. After reading this book, I can’t wait. The Immortal Body has everything I want to see in a horror novel: likeable characters, great dialogue, plenty of gore, and unrelenting tension. There’s even a few bits of humour thrown in for good measure. This is a classic good versus evil story with one hell of a supernatural twist.
My favourite character was Mitchell. I loved everything about him from how he handled himself out in the field to him coming to terms with what he was dealing with. He began as a harsh man who lacked empathy, but when faced with monsters, he softened and opened his mind to the horrors before him.
As I was reading, I felt a very strong Stephen King vibe which, when that happens, always makes me happy. The world that Holloway creates completely immerses the reader in a terrifying, yet completely believable setting, and combined with his realistic characters, The Immortal Body a very enjoyable novel that I think would make an excellent film. I was drawn into the story the minute the first faith healing went awry, and happily stuck with it until its terrifying conclusion.
My only complaint? Book 2 isn’t out yet. C’mon, Mr. Holloway!
Published by Horrific Tales Publishing, The Immortal Body comes out the first week in October, 2015. Whether you like supernatural tales or you’re like me and prefer the darker, more extreme side of the horror genre, this is one book you don’t want to miss.
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