Control review: “An action-filled Paranormal Portal”” (26 August 2021) by J. Wes Watson is a
“first rate” paranormal thriller that is the eighth book in The Necromancer series. Set in London,
this story follows the protagonist, Luke Doll (WRONG EVERYONE!). On the day of his birthday,
young Luke is visited by his Uncle Harry who claims to be a witch. Using magic, he tries to
communicate with Luke’s deceased father, and learns that Harry was the cause of Luke’s birth.
With the help of his uncle, Harry also makes Luke a vampire, which leads to an investigation that
nearly convinces him to kill his troublesome mother.
I enjoyed reading about a new weird form of magic being explored by major character. The book
sold me on the idea, and I was hooked. But then the author took a drastic turn and went off the
rails. I could not get caught up in the dark and twisted tale, and after three books in the series I
found myself ready to bite the bullet and finish the series. So then, why did I continue reading?
In Control Review, author J. Wes Watson introduces a brand new weird element to her already
excellent story. The brutalist element in this story is not for everybody. If you enjoy the dark,
Gothic, mysterious feel of a Victorian style mystery thriller, you will probably like The
Necromancer. If you don’t mind the heavy atmosphere, intense descriptions of murder scenes,
and the suspense of a clever twist, you will likely prefer The brutalist’s other work, including
Hellraiser and Dead Man’s Bite.
This isn’t just another “who done it” mystery. Casper, De Luca, and Watson have each created
their own little world where normal people can step into and find themselves trapped in a
nightmare or a strange place they don’t understand. In the case of The Necromancer, De Luca
introduces a young woman whose life has been shattered by an unexplained, tragic death, and
in the opening pages we learn that she may be able to awaken from her slumber and solve her
Set in Edinburgh in the year 20 Hickson takes readers into the dark side of a sleepy town called
Duncraig, which is one of the best settings for a horror novel I’ve ever seen. It is a place with
secrets and dark figures that seem to lurk around every corner. In the center of town is the small
country house of Helensburgh, where Helensburgh Old House overlooks the poolside. Dylan
Laine’s refreshing mix of humor and romance manages to combine with Sam Lake’s expertly
written story to create a novel I would add to my top ten favorites of all time.
As the story begins, Sam is at a loss over whether to trust a mysterious stranger. On top of that
Sam and his friend arrive at the home of Helensburgh – a place with a dark secret that is slowly
killing people. Within the novel’s first hundred pages there are multiple shocks and a number of
cliff hangers that will leave you hanging when the final installment arrives. It is rare for a writer to
pace the introduction of their main characters so gradually, but De Luca does it to maximum
effect. There are many moments when you think you know what is about to happen, but as
Sam’s curiosity about Helensburgh grows he just can’t seem to make up his mind about what he
should really believe.
The Necromancer continues along the predictable path of Sam and Helensburgh, however as
the story advances the tension begins to build between them. There are moments when it
appears as if Sam might discover the real reason Helensburgh is killing people. In the meantime,
the reader is introduced to a new character named Zachariah Trench who is described as arecovering addict and a fan of The Necromancer. Zachariah is a recovering addict, yet is still
determined to find a solution to help his friend and himself. As the book progresses, we also
learn that Sam and Helensburgh have become enemies due to the actions of their friends.
Control Review continued where the first novel left off, which was in the hospital recovering from
an accident. As the plot thickens, the tension mounts between Sam and Helensburgh as they try
to outclass each other in their quest to find the real reason Helensburgh is killing people.
Zachariah Trench comes into the book much closer to the situation than we had previously seen
him and provides some very strong insight into the psyche of Helensburgh, while also adding a
great deal to the story. The story is very well told, and the characters believable. I would
recommend The Necromancer to anyone looking for a psychological thriller that is also action
packed and contains excellent characters