Golem by P.D. Alleva

Publisher: Quill and Birch Publishing

Date of publication: October 5th, 2021

Genre: Horror, Paranormal

Purchase links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Detective. Angel. Victim. Devil.

A haunting tale of suspense, loss, isolation, contempt, and fear.

On November 1, 1951, war hero John Ashton was promoted to detective. His first assignment: find the district attorney’s missing daughter. But his only lead is Alena Francon, a high society sculptor and socialite committed to Bellevue’s psychiatric facility.

Alena has a story for the new detective. A story so outlandish John Ashton refuses to heed the warning. Alena admits to incarnating Golem, a demonic force, into her statue. A devil so profound he’s infiltrated every part of New York’s infrastructure. Even worse, he uses children to serve as bodily hosts for his demonic army, unleashing a horde of devils into our world.

When Alena’s confidant, Annette Flemming, confirms the existence of Golem, John is sent on a collision course where fate and destiny spiral into peril, and the future of the human race hangs in the balance.

First Line:

Annette Flemming sat on a wooden stool with a large round salad bowl filled with candy – Charleston Chews and Tootsie Rolls – at her feet waiting for the next trick-or-treater.

golem by p.d. alleva

I am a massive fan of the horror genre. But lately, I haven’t been reading much horror. I haven’t found a book in the genre that interested me. That was until I read the blurb for Golem. I thought that this book would be a perfect way to break back into the genre. And guess what? It was!!! I couldn’t put it down.

Golem had an exciting plotline. Alena is a well-known high society sculptor and socialite in Bellevue. She had set fire to her family’s legendary hotel after suffering a mental collapse. John is a newly promoted detective who has been tasked with finding the missing daughter of the local DA. His investigation leads him to Alena, and she tells a story that seems impossible. But the more John investigates, the more Alena’s story seems the truth. Will John find the daughter? Will his investigation find out if Alena is telling the truth? And who or what is Golem, and what role does he play in Alena’s descent into madness?

Golem was a fast-paced book that kept its pacing up for the entire book. There was some lag towards the middle of the book, but that did not take away from how much I enjoyed the book.

I liked John but found him naive at the beginning of the book. I also felt terrible because he was given such a complex case. But, as the book went on, he lost his naiveness and progressed into a character willing to solve this case no matter what. And he did, but it was at such a cost that it did change him.

I liked Alena. She came across as such a simple character at the beginning of the book. I mean, she was at Bellevue for a reason. But her character grew during her chapters, and I loved it. She went from a somewhat shallow character to one with so much strength (inner and outer) that I was amazed by it.

Golem was such a fascinating character to read. Of course, he was pure evil, but I still hope that he wouldn’t end up that way when he was created. He had layers that I didn’t think a villain would have. He scared me to the point where I had to finish this book during the daytime, and I don’t scare easily.

The horror angle of Golem was wonderfully written. There is so much that I want to say here, but I can’t. I will say that I haven’t been this scared while reading a book in a very long time. I was sufficiently spooked during Alena’s retelling of how Golem came to be and his rise. A couple of scenes will never leave me, but the one that stands out to me the most is with the newborn baby. I knew during that point that I had to read this book during the day, and I had nightmares about it at night.

Golem is full of trigger warnings. I will warn you that you should go into this book knowing about them. The trigger warnings are child abuse, gore, and talk of pedophilia. There might be more, but I remember these major ones. I strongly suggest not reading this book if any triggers you.

The end of Golem was not what I expected. There was a massive twist in the plotline. It was so huge that I didn’t see it coming, and I wasn’t a fan of what the author had the main characters (well, mainly John) do. This book did not end with a happy ending. I was shocked by the very last chapters of the book. So shocked that I did wonder if the author was setting up for another book.

I would recommend Golem to anyone over the age of 21. There is sex, gore, violence, and mild language.