Speed Dating with the Dead
by Scott Nicholson
Ebook, 349 pages
Published June 25th, 2010
by Haunted Computer Books
Book Source: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars
From Amazon.com: When Digger Wilson brings his paranormal team Spirit Seekers International to the White Horse Inn, he is skeptical that his dead wife will keep her half of the bargain. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, and just before she died, she promised to meet him there. But when one of the conference guests channels a mysterious presence and an Ouija board spells out a pet phrase known only to Digger and his wife, his convictions are challenged. And when guests start to disappear, Digger and his daughter Kendra must face the circle of demons that view the hotel as their personal playground. Because soon the inn will be closing for good, angels can’t be trusted, and demons don’t like to play alone…
Danielle’s Review: I picked up this book off Amazon for Kindle simply because it looked like a good little spooky paranormal, and it was free. What I got was a terrifying horror story that I couldn’t read at night.
If I was rating this book on my own values, taste and experience, I’d have to give it a mere 3 stars, but every book deserves an honest, fair shot about its writing and entertainment. Mr. Nicholson does both. Although for me, the cover and title have nothing to do with this ghost hunter’s nightmare, SPEED DATING is a well plotted journey of terror that threw me back to junior high memories and my first experience with Stephen King’s THE SHINING. Hotel haunts are delicious backdrops, and Nicholson takes every advantage of lonely hallways, dark basements, and a quirky, bizarre cast of characters that leaves you almost happy to see them destroyed.
Kendra Wilson and her father are hosting a paranormal conference at the spooky White Horse Inn in the Carolinas, but unbeknown to Kendra, her recovering alcoholic father has come to reunite with his wife’s spirit at their former honeymoon locale. What nobody knows, is that evil has been brewing beneath the floorboards of the White Horse for years and the conference offers the perfect recipe of souls to bring everything to a paranormal explosion.
At times the cast numbers become almost overwhelming with all of the point of view switching, but again, the tension and heart palpitating suspense keeps the pages turning as Kendra Wilson struggles to come to peace with her broken relationship between her widowed father and herself. Slowly realizing she is surrounded by a murderous evil, she carries the story’s pacing on her shoulders, but her gritty courage and self-respect carry off the novel.
There are genius moments when the writing stops the reader. They have nothing to do with the formula or the genre; and more than once I asked myself why the author chose to delve into the shallows of cookie cutter genre writing when his gift is apparent between the lines.
There is something as gritty as Kendra in his words; something deeper and more thoughtful beneath the in-your-face screams of demons and ghosts. I would venture to predict that more thought provoking, literary prose lies hidden somewhere in his own basement, and when he finds the courage to set it free he will write stories that will stand taller and touch more lives than scary ghost stories we share around the campfires.
Content Warning: Crude, vulgar language and mild sexuality. Not recommended for YA readers.
About the author: With more than 200,000 books sold worldwide, Scott Nicholson is an international bestselling thriller writer. He won the Writers of the Future Award in 1999 and was a Stoker Award finalist in 2003. His Fear series will be published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint in December 2011.
He’s also published a number of supernatural, paranormal, and fantasy books and stories, as well as children’s books, comics, and screenplays. His 2006 novel The Home is in development as a feature film. He’s also a founding partner of eBookSwag.com.
Learn more on Goodreads/ his website