In the last couple of weeks, vast numbers of Scott Nicholson's work have become available, for a few days at a time, for free on Kindle and, after seeing a lot of his titles get good reviews, I decided to give his books a go and see what I thought.
Speed Dating With The Dead is the first of his titles that I have finished and, though often a bit predictable and very similar to A LOT of other books by fellow authors, really isn't that bad. Set in an old hotel situated close to the Applachian mountains, the book follows the adventures of a team of Paranormal Investigators whose Spiritual Confrerence stirs up old demons that, until now, have lain dormant deep beneath the hotel. Before long, guests attending the conference start to go missing, the Investigators begin experiencing phenomena on a scale they have never seen before and members of the Hotel staff find themselves exhibiting increasingly more extreme behaviour, almost against their will, as they fall deeper under the influence of powerful demonic possession.
Many of the themes and ideas explored here are ones many of us old school horror fans will have seen countless times before. For example ~ the main character and host of the Spiritual conference, Digger Wilson has come to the hotel to get in touch with his late wife ( a la the video game, Silent Hill 2) and is a recovering alcoholic (Stephen King's The Shining). The rest of the plot is not much better taking its inspiration from the likes of John Carpenter, Sam Raimi and a whole host of others, almost too obviously so at times!
And yet, for all this, the book is quite fun to read and only the muddled climax really lets the whole thing down! Towards the end, it becomes increasingly less clear exactly what is going down other than the fact that the Investigators have stirred up SOMETHING! And when we do get the big reveal in the final pages, it just all seems a little bit....well, disappointing.
That said, Nicholson shows some great potential here and with a whole host of other titles to pick from, it will be interesting to see what I make of some of his other work! Certainly, I would definitely give this author another go and look forward to reading more by him even this was, at times, ever so slightly average at best!