Today, I want to introduce you to another amazing new writer and his horror-ific debut novel!
A few months month ago, I had the pleasure of connecting with R.P. Kraul through common social media contacts. At the time, R.P. was preparing for the upcoming release of Mirrors of Anguish (The Belcorte Murders). The novel sounded interesting, so I anxiously awaited its late-May release.
Of course, it took me a few weeks to get to it--the best laid plans, and all that jazz--but I was certainly glad once I did. You can read my review below, but let me share some information about the book and its author first.
Mirrors of Anguish:
Welcome to harmless Belcorte, nestled in these Pocono Mountains. Here, nothing is as it seems.
After her mother dies, young journalist Jill Duport inherits her grandparents’ infamous house. A teenage girl had been murdered in this house by her grandfather—college professor, madman, victim of suicide. His apparition still haunts these halls and empty rooms.
And yet, since his death, a series of grisly killings, all bearing his mark, have gripped Belcorte for decades. Is Grandfather able to commit murder, even after his death, or did he share an enigmatic connection with the unidentified madman known as The Indianhead Reservoir Killer?
Retired police chief Reed Hobson has looked into the killer’s eyes. Reed even remembers shooting the killer, and yet, these events never took place. So he’s told.
A madman waits in a place hidden from the sun, forgotten by time, grooming his spawn of feral children. For his childhood torture, for his suffering, he will make Belcorte pay for its collective sins.
R.P. was born in Pennsylvania in the late sixties, when the last fumes of the Vietnam war were still present. He distinctly remembers bandanas, kerchiefs, glow-in-the-dark monster models, and Cadillacs the size of cruise ships.
As a teenager, he began writing horror stories based mostly on the vast array of horror films he'd seen. Additionally, he took interest in both Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, both of whom became influences.
It was at this time that Mirrors of Anguish first started taking form. At the time, however, the story was called The Dunkirk Horror. He later changed the name when he realized readers closely associated "Dunkirk" with the seaport in France. He has nothing against France, but the ubiquitous question fatigued him. Just for the record—and to clear any ambiguity—Belcorte, the town in which Mirrors is set, is not in France. If there is a Belcorte in France, or for that matter, Europe, it is purely by mistake.
He frequently locks himself in his dark, clandestine laboratory (read: converted pantry). He comes out of this lair only to use the restroom, check for the apocalypse, and fetch more Belgian beer (though Belcorte is not in Belgium, either). Occasionally his wife takes pity on him and slides a piece of toast under his door. He likes toast. Mostly, he listens to operatic death metal, contemplates the meaning of life, and creates the dark characters who inhabit your nightmares.
Barnes & Noble
My Five-Star Review of Mirrors of Anguish:
RP Kraul’s Mirrors of Anguish (The Belcorte Murders) is a tale that transports the reader back to the horror tales of old. It bristles with classic elements: a forgotten town with a tragic past, unwelcome townsfolk, a vulnerable but determined young maiden, a haunted house, ghosts, and layer upon layer of secrets …
From the first sentence, Kraul’s tale drips with latent menace, and he increases the tension and terror like a true master … little by little, at first, lulling the reader into believing he/she knows what’s coming next … and then lowering the boom with twists and turns that are impossible to predict and almost as impossible to bear.
The fast and furious finish is not for the faint of heart—but horror never is. If you’re looking for a novel that delivers everything it promises (and more) and you’ve got the intestinal fortitude to tackle a tale that has more surprises than a haunted house has hidden rooms, Mirrors of Anguish (The Belcorte Murders) is the book for you.
Be sure to check out Mirrors of Anguish and let me (and R.P.) know what you think!
Posted on Mon, July 23, 2012
by Thomas Winship filed under