Plot: The Horror Writer offers a highly original plot that keeps the reader intrigued and invested. The author reveals details little by little, building up to a tense and riveting conclusion.
Prose: Carroll is a superb writer, with a clear gift for not only prose but for plotting, pacing, and characterization.
Originality: The author offers up an inventive, unique story that, like the best plots in the horror genre, makes the impossible seem plausible and allows the reader to suspend disbelief.
Character Development: Carroll's characters are masterfully created, warts and all. As a result, his protagonist, Thom Hearn, is a living, breathing being with qualities and personality traits that readers will immediately associate with someone they know.
Blurb: With a gripping narrative that will hook the reader from the very first page, this haunting story is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Date Submitted: March 13, 2017
Jerry Carroll has invigorated the dramatic cliches of the traditional horror story in his latest work without abandoning the wit and whimsy that illuminates the best selling author's five previous novels. The tribute to the slash-and-gore genre is there in the lurid cover of "The Horror Writer" and the plot unfolds not unexpectedly on a remote tropical island. But the narrative is Mr. Carroll at his most intriguing.
The island draws some of the world's rich and influential people to a conference on international understanding sponsored by a prestigious foundation. Thom Hearn, weary founder of a money-making gang of hack writers, learns his invitation was a mistake, a telling point as gruesome violence besets the idle pursuits and exquisite dining of the guests. The staff members of the foundation are apologetic but not helpful as characters from Hearn;s own hack fiction join the bloody carnival.Hearn's travails are shared by the cool Wall Street professional Carrie Alexander, who flees with him into the jungle's green hell to escape the worst monster of all, a lopsided, flesh-rending creature who may be drawn from Hearn;s own nightmarish boyhood. The romantic thread is a traditional element and warmly welcome in this new experience of the old scary story.