Written by: Matt Molgaard
Brian Moreland’s brief prequel to his forthcoming tale of terror, The Witching House makes for the perfect motivator. Read, The Girl from the Blood Coven, and you’ll be itching to get your hands on The Witching House. I guarantee it. This isn’t a lengthy piece of fiction, it isn’t structured in typical fashion, but it plays out like one extended scene of terror designed to prepare readers for a chilling trek into the unknown.
Moreland’s prose is as strong it’s ever been here, breathing life into memorable characters and assembling a disastrous wall that’s sure to come crumbling down in the pages of The Witching House. There’s a measure of realism to this small one-horse town, and its residents fit the ideal back-wood stereotype without teetering over the brink of obnoxious cliché.
Sheriff Keagan is a great character, courageous in the face of danger, and caring deep down inside. The mysterious woman who surfaces in the first few pages of the book, Abigail Blackwood is the kind of creepy broad you steer clear of at all costs. Moreland’s nailing the presence and personalities of his characters here while simultaneously planting the roots of something much bigger to come.
This near-flash read offers a stellar finale, loaded with some graphic imagery that should certainly have the imagination working in overdrive. While I would have loved the chance to take in another 20 or so pages here, I can’t point abruptness, or an anticlimactic finale as a fault. It all seems to work too well to reach for those criticisms. It’s great to read a contemporary (well the story takes place in the 1970’s to be exact) piece of fiction from Brian, who has already proved capable of knocking period pieces out of the park.
This one lands in July, and you’d be damn wise to look into it!