Henry Gilman has spent years trying to separate himself from his father’s legacy of murder and insanity. Now he has the chance – all he has to do is figure out who’s been killing people in Innsmouth. Then he’ll be a hero and win the heart of the woman he loves, Flora Marsh. But soon he’s caught in a web of danger, with the undead stalking the streets at night, a terrible monster lurking below the city, and a prophecy of destruction about to come true. In the process, his actions cause unwanted consequences and to save Flora he has to do the very thing he’s spent his life trying to avoid: follow his father’s footsteps into madness.
Hi and welcome to my review of Sins of the Father! Massive thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and to Flame Tree Press for the review copy!
Once again I let myself be seduced by Flame Tree. (I am weak, I know.) The blurb of this one piqued my interest and that cover sealed the deal. You might disagree, you might even think I’m crazy, but I absolutely love that cover, I thought it hinted at old-school horror and I was definitely down for that!
Sins of the Father is a kind of horror I haven’t read in a long while: I usually read contemporary horror, but Sins of the Father is set in the Victorian era and as a consequence it has an extremely Gothic and broodingly atmospheric feel to it, like you’d turn a corner and bump into Jack the Ripper. Although in truth, turning a corner in Innsmouth you would more likely bump into a bunch of walking dead or find yourself entrapped by some tentacles.
Henry once had a promising future. And then he found his father elbow deep in his mother’s insides, claiming all the while that he could save her, bring her back from the dead. And just like that, Henry’s present and his promising future fell apart. Now, Henry has to live under the dark cloud of his brilliant but seemingly insane father’s actions. All things considered he’s done alright for himself, he has a job, good friends and a woman he loves, although he’s not the only one vying for her attention. However, Innsmouth is not a safe place, there is evil lurking from the waters and when Henry finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, things go to hell in a handbasket faster than you can say: oh boy it reeks of dead fish in here.
Sins of the Father has a lot going on. It’s partly Gothic, partly Frankenstein inspired, partly Lovecraftian, it has monsters, it has zombie like beings, and underneath it all, it even has star-crossed lovers. I have to admit, I loved some angles more than others. Regular visitors won’t be surprised that I adored the Gothic bits, but I also found myself enthralled by the love story, which is exactly the kind of romance I like in books, not the cheesy, lovey-dovey kind, but the cruel and mostly doomed kind.
If you like slow-burning horror, move right along, this is fast-paced, action-packed horror. The action scenes are so vividly depicted that I felt like I was watching a film, the events playing out effortlessly before my mind’s eye.
If you’re in the market for an entertaining high-octane horror story that is all-encompassing yet quick, be sure to check out Sins of the Father!