Friday, January 22, 2016

Revenge from the grave

Death Do Us Part

By J. G. Faherty

Publish: Samhain Publishing

Pub. Date: January 6, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Vengeance can be nasty business, as J. G. Faherty so creatively demonstrates in his short work of weird fiction, Death Do Us Part. Catherine Stanhope has allegedly committed suicide by driving her car off a cliff. What would be a tragedy to most has mixed blessings for her husband Art. He is mostly relieved, for the vindictive and tumultuous Catherine has made his life and his son’s life miserable. He has asked for a divorce shortly before the suicide and is in love with Catherine’s sister, Missy. It appears his life with his son and Missy can proceed without the viciousness of his now deceased wife. Yet odd and violent incidents are happening in the house and Catherine appears to be reaching out from beyond the grave to enact her revenge.

Faherty’s almost a novella hits hard with a tight plot and lots of action for an approximately 80 page story. There is a mystery involved but it is a thin one. We know from the first chapter that Catherine did not commit suicide but we do not know who killed her. It isn’t really that hard to figure it out but it is Catherine’s obsessive and murderous obsession to wreak havoc on everyone she blames, which seems to be her entire family, that drives the story. There is a gypsy-like medium who helps out the bad-luck Stan and his family. Stan is maybe the weakest link. Despite his unenviable situation, there is not really enough background and development to feel all that bad for him. He seems to be a sounding board for the terrors to come. Yet it hardly matters because Catherine steals the show as the harbinger of evil whether it is as a threatening poltergeist or a murderous entity. One of the cool moves in this tale is how Catherine develops from a scary threat to a truly terrifying bringer of death. We know from the first page, Catherine is bad news and we are taken along for the ride. Faherty’s main success in this tale is the development of a growing terror that becomes stronger and more threatening to Art and his family.

In many ways, Death Do Us Part is a typical ghost story of spectral revenge. But it is how the reader stays hooked in watching the evil grow and rises up that makes it way above average. There are some interesting twists in this story mostly centering on Catherine and her evil vendetta. The shortness of the book will make this an exhilarating can't-put-down type of read for most. Faherty rarely fails to scare and entertain and this short but loaded story is no exception.

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