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Gilchrist: A Novel by Christian Galacar


4 Stars


Date of publication: October 17th, 2017

Genre: Horror

Where you can find Gilchrist: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Bag of Bones meets Stranger Things. . .

Gilchrist is as beautiful as it is terrifying—a novel of mounting suspense, with an unsettlingly human heart at its core. . . black as it may be.

Two years after losing their infant son to a tragic accident, Peter Martell, a novelist with a peculiar knack for finding lost things, and his wife, Sylvia, are devastated to learn they may no longer be able to have children. In need of a fresh start, and compelled by strange dreams, the couple decide to rent a lake house in the idyllic town of Gilchrist, Massachusetts, a place where bad things might just happen for a reason. As bizarre events begin to unfold around them—a chance encounter with a gifted six-year-old boy, a series of violent deaths, and repeated sightings of a strange creature with a terrifying nature—Peter and Sylvia find themselves drawn into the chaos and soon discover that coming to Gilchrist may not have been their decision at all.

Set against a small New England town in the summer of 1966, Gilchrist is a sinister tale about the haunting origins of violence, evil, and the undying power of memory.

Trigger Warning: suicide, child death, spousal abuse, talk of rape

My review:

I like reading horror. My grandfather introduced me to Stephen King when I was 10-11 years old. I was an advanced reader and had run out of books to read while at my grandfather’s lake house. I guess I was annoying him because he shoved It in my hands, told me to read it and to leave him alone. My mother wasn’t thrilled but she allowed me to read more Stephen King novels. I have been a fan of reading them ever since.

I am originally from the North Shore of MA. I grew up and lived there for 37 years, before moving to NC 3 years ago (yes, I gave you my age….lol). So when I read the blurb and saw that Gilchrist was set in a fictional town outside of Concord, I was interested. When I realized it was horror, my interest grew. I am glad that I decided to review this book. Gilchrist reminded me of a Stephen King book. Which is a good thing.

Gilchrist had a slow beginning. The first few chapters were dedicated to learning about Peter, Sylvia and the tragedy that almost cost them their marriage. While some people might not like the slow beginning, I felt that it benefitted the book. I like it when the author takes the time to explain the backstory. Too often, I am left scratching my head when reading a book and things are mentioned but not explained until later in the book. I would rather everything be explained up front than to be left wondering.

The book does pick up speed once Peter and Sylvia are in Gilchrist. New plotlines are introduced but are kept separate from each other until almost the end of the book. Again, that might not be someone’s cup of tea. And again, it was something I liked. I liked not knowing how these people would intersect during the book. That kept me reading the book.

The sub-storylines added an extra depth to the book. The glimpse that was given to the town and the evil that crossed the barrier was chilling. I do wish that more description was given about the creatures stalking the town. I wouldn’t go as far to call them vampires but in a way they were. They fed off the violence and negativity that they created in the town.

While Peter and Sylvia were the main focus of the book, there were a few other characters that the author focused on. The police chief, his daughter, and the bad boy are all pivotal characters in the book. Their storylines happened the same time the town started to go insane. That was the perfect backdrop for the events that involved all 3 of those people.

The end of the book was explosive. No other words to describe it.  There were no happy endings in this book either. While the storylines were resolved, they were not resolved happily. I do have questions about what exactly happened to Peter. I have my suspicions but I will be left wondering.

I would give Gilchrist a rating of Adult. There is sex, language, and violence.

Pros of Gilchrist:

*Interesting plotlines

*Characters that are fleshed out

*Was able to hold my attention for the entire book

Cons of Gilchrist:

*Slow start to the book

* The evil entity didn’t make a full appearance until the end of the book

* Questions as to where the main character went at the end of the book

This is a book that I would read again. I have a feeling that it will be better the second time around. I would also recommend it to family and friends but I would include a note that there is graphic violence and some scenes that could trigger.

I would like to thank Christian Galacar for allowing me to read and review Gilchrist.

All opinions stated in this review of Gilchrist are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

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