When I first read the synopsis for author Kristopher Rufty’s new book, DESOLATION, I have to confess I was a bit skeptical about reading it. The premise sounded like a typical revenge-for-past-wrongs plot, and I didn’t see how it could be interesting again. But I should have known better…after all, I’ve reviewed and loved four of Rufty’s previous works. Sure enough, after I finished the book, I had to swallow all of my doubts and admit my skepticism was blatantly unfounded. DESOLATION is a hell of a read, and it’s one of the best revenge stories I’ve read in a long time.
If you are not familiar with DESOLATION, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
There’s no escaping your past. Especially when it wants revenge.
Grant Marlowe hoped taking his family to their mountain cabin for Christmas would reunite them after his alcoholic past had torn them apart, but it only puts them into a life and death struggle. On Christmas Eve, a stranger from Grant’s past invades the vacation home and takes his wife and children hostage. His agenda is simple—make Grant suffer the same torment that Grant’s drunken antics have caused him. Now Grant must confront his demons head on and fight for his family’s lives. Because this man has nothing left to lose. The only thing keeping him alive is misery—Grant’s misery.
Rufty’s imagination is as sharp as a serial killer’s meat-cleaver, and it never dulls. I’m a huge fan of his Lurkers series, and JACKPOT, which he wrote with three other great authors, is a terrifying gem. In short, he’s quickly becoming an icon in the horror genre.
DESOLATION is written well and flows at a smooth pace. The story has a quick progression, which works well here; several revenge tales I’ve read in the past have focused way too much on the buildup. Rufty does a skillful job of weaving the story together with plenty of tension, but he does not drag it out.
The characters in DESOLATION are realistic. They are all damaged in some form, and all display characteristics of people the reader can relate to. I found the depth of Grant Marlowe to be very interesting, as we get a lot of emotional insight into his character.
The horror in the story is delicious, and I gobbled it up by the handful. I like the tension that hangs in the air once Dennis is in the cabin. There’s so much of it in the air that I could picture it like smoke.
DESOLATION is another big win for Rufty and Samhain Publishing, and I highly recommend it. If you’re not a fan of Rufty already, you will be after reading this one. The book is available now in a variety of formats, so make a note to check it out.