Page Count 256
Publication date October 2021
Publisher Flame Tree Press
How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood behind, he retreats to his aunt’s empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion.
But he’s not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose..
Hunter throws the reader straight into the deep end with a brutally violent first chapter in Faithless. The sort of incomprehensible behaviour that leaves you stunned at the capabilities of the human race and desperate to know, WHY?
Immediately I knew this would be another emotional ride from Mr Shea, the master of heartbreaking horror.
The writing as I’ve come to expect from this author, is raw and powerful.
Raul is grieving. Feeling he has nothing more to live for and certainly no reason to uphold his faith as a priest, he holes himself up in a remote creaky old house inherited from his deceased aunt.
With a daily regiment of alcohol and meds, accompanied only by a persistent stray cat, who can tell whether the strange sounds and occurrences in that house are real or a byproduct of Raul’s tortured mind?
When Felix- a childhood friend from Raul’s dark past- visits with the offer to hunt down his family’s murderers Raul agrees, if only to be left to grieve in solitude, but what Felix finds will blow everyone’s mind.
Faithless is written in third person following the stories of Raul and Felix. I very much enjoyed the relationship between fallen priest and ex con, the bond of a life long friendship that endured two character’s opposing paths in life.
The side character of church caretaker Samson complimented the story brilliantly. A priest, a retired cop and an ex con, what a line up! The dynamic between all three added a little timely humour and some much needed humanity to this dark story.
Faithless starts out as ghostly presences in a tired old house but becomes so much more. The pace picks up in the last third of the novel as revelations burst from the pages thick and fast. I found the twists unexpected yet they fit the narrative without feeling gimmicky as some do. I won’t say more, nobody likes a spoiler!
At around the middle of Faithless I started to wonder if the plot would pick up. A lonely man in a lonely house on a repetitive cycle was likely going to lose my interest soon. I kept reading, if you find yourself at this point I promise you should too, it’s about to get wild!
Top marks from me once again to Mr Shea and Flame Tree Press, label me a fan for life.
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Thankyou as always to Anne at Random Things Tours and Flame Tree Press Publishing