Saturday, February 28, 2015

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash

There aren't too many modern day writers who are as articulate and thorough as author Michael Phillip Cash.  From the first page of Cash's newest novel, The After House, the reader is transported back into time into the 1800s on a whaling ship .  Written in an authentic style, every piece of vivid detail brings the story to life.  His style is reminiscent of the classics of fiction. Even before the reference to Melville's Moby Dick, while reading the opening scene, that is the first thought that came to mind: a modern- day Moby Dick.

Even for those readers with little to no nautical background, the concept of the "After House" is mysterious and alluring and makes for a fascinating concept by which to build a supernatural horror novel. As the whaler sinks with the ship, in the end of the first scene, his last thoughts before he drowns is that he should have sought the safety of the after house. Throughout the novel, the story switches scenes, transporting the reader from the present back to the past.  Not only does the author have a talent for telling a believable piece of fiction, providing authentic historical details based on painstaking research, his complex characters have lives of their own as well.  Remy, the heroine of the After House, is portrayed as a needy, newly divorced, co dependent mother of a young girl. Her parents are dominant and at times overbearing.  The dyfunctional family context adds an authentic element. The incorporation of psychology and accurate cultural details makes this a three dimensional paranormal story.

For those readers who want more than the newspaper-esque, elementary narration often seen in contemporary fiction, Cash's supernatural suspense novels  will not disappoint.  Three dimensional characters, and story that digs deep into history, will leave the reader engaged until the end. With Cash's talent for storytelling, it probably only a matter of time before his books will be available side by side the great horror story greats such as King and Straub. As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.  This book is available online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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