This absorbing, fast-paced story grabs readers from the very first pages, zeroing in on characters embroiled in engrossing situations including a battered wife determined to end the cycle of abuse, an overtired trucker pushing his limits to earn a much-needed bonus, and an unemployed ranger who is about to be taught a painful lesson. Most of the story centers on the Barner family and their arrival in Cold Hollow, an idyllic town in Vermont that quickly shows it has a dangerous, sinister side. The novel is well written, moves along at a good pace, and holds the reader’s interest throughout. However, there are a few inconsistencies with characterization, and the author clearly wants to end the book on a happy note -- but in doing so wraps up the story too quickly and a bit too happily. But while the ending may be too neat, by the time the imperfections in the storytelling materialize, the reader is too invested in the characters to do anything but overlook these flaws to learn how it all ends.
Date Submitted: June 08, 2016
Cold Hollow has a very strong cover, with a very evocative image that clearly conveys tone and genre. The interior is well–designed and laid out, and is easy to read on a variety of different devices. The first chapter, the prologue, really packs a punch, as several different residents of the town either plot to commit murder, actually commit murder, or die. A family with young children, the Barner family, moves to the isolated Vermont town of Cold Hollow, only to learn that there are horrifying and dangerous forces at work in the town. The writing has a smooth and commercial feel to it, and the sense of menace at work in the town is palpable. Sophia and Angus are strong characters, very well-drawn, and their desire to keep their family safe is compelling. There were several big twists in the novel, which were somewhat surprising, which was refreshing from a horror novel, which can be quite predictable. ~ Judge, 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards