I’ve made a resolution to myself to start reading more horror. I was all set on kicking things off with Stephen King then this wonderful book landed in my postbox.
Amber Hollow by Edgar Swamp
On July 15, 1991, an isolated village in Northern Wisconsin is ground zero for an unprecedented, fiery tragedy. Of the community’s 600 residents, there are only five survivors. Detailed accounts by the victims contradict each other; the only link is a man named Anthony Guntram, but because he is presumed to be dead, this claim can’t be verified. Further investigations reveal a culture enshrouded in mystery. What are the survivors hiding?
Only the villagers know the secret of Amber Hollow, a place where sanity is checked at the town line and the parameters of reality become blurred. An unconventional horror story by design, Edgar Swamp delivers an action-driven page-turner that will keep readers guessing until the calamitous ending.
Edgar Swamp does an almighty job at setting up a creepy atmosphere. First, there is the location of the story. Amber Hollow is a town in middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin, 100km from the nearest town, I believe. Then we are old that the people of Amber Hollow never leave the town for good. They might leave for a little to go to university or something, but they always breathe their last breath in the town. Creepy.
This dark vibe continues through the book and the dreary descriptions created in the build up to the action had me looking over my shoulder once or twice. The creepiness of Amber Hollow can even be seen in the timing of the book. It appeared to me to be set in the late 90s, based on conversations about current music, etc. However, what spooked me out the most was the reminder that mobile phones weren’t a thing back then. There was no quick way to get help when the horror of Amber Hollow had you gripped by the throat. The book even has an old typed report-style font that reminded me of the reports seen in serial killer documentaries.
Slowly but surely, Amber Hollow became a binge read for me. The fact that it kept me guessing until the end added to this. The only thing I wasn’t really a fan of was the flirting between police colleagues Jeremy and Sadie. Still, that wasn’t enough to defer my opinion that. Amber Hollow is a great read.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.