Until Death


PARANORMAL: Hope Hendricks is a recently widowed radiographer who has moved to a small town where her cousin lives to make a fresh start. The house she has rented is dated, cold, and empty. She is still grieving, trying to come to terms with her husband's suicide, and the mess hes left behind. Her loneliness is all-consuming. Her past is haunting her, and her mind starts playing tricks on her as disturbing occurrences in her house rattle her. Or is the house haunted? Reed lives next door and is in an abusive relationship with his live-in girlfriend. The relationship is getting worse, and he is drawn to Hope. They offer each other a shoulder to cry on. But as their attraction grows, so does the danger from their pasts.

This tale starts off well, with an intriguing mystery surrounding the death of Hopes husband. It then takes a swift turn into the paranormal as creepy things start happening in the rental shes moved into. Hopes grief allows her to accept and explain away the incidents, somewhat believable but bordering on the absurd. Her first visit to the hospital should have raised red flags. The second occurrence should have her leaving the house. Hope appears to be a character that has never had control over her life and decisions, which might explain her bland acquiescence. Reed is the more rounded character, with virtues and flaws. The subplot of domestic abuse towards men makes this a more intriguing story. Both Hope and Reed seem incredibly dependent on a relationship, so the chemistry — though not forced, lacks true depth. The twist comes at the end, and the high action sequence at this point is a good page-turner. Chilling!

Rika Chandra