Book review: The Man With the Blue Hat by Wendy Potocki

Uptight perfectionist Beth is having a very bad time. After a fitful night’s sleep, she learns that her young daughter has answered the door to the eponymous man with a blue hat who has one message – he’s coming for Beth. She then begins to spawn awful, murderous thoughts towards her child, and the people of her sleepy New England town also start to become aggressive as insomnia takes hold of the population. As the blame for everyone’s madness turns on her, Beth must remember Continue reading

Review: Dark Passage by Griffin Hayes

Tyson’s nightmares are overwhelming him, fracturing his mind, his family life and his business. In a final, desperate measure he takes on a clinical trial of a new drug, allegedly designed to aid his sleep, which soon reveals some rather grim side effects. At first, things seem to be going well and it brings him considerable benefits. However, nothing is quite what it seems, least of all his encroaching nightmares and the real source of his problems. We reckon it’s not exactly what the reader will expect either.

This unpredictability made Dark Passagea very compelling read. While at first it appears to be a typical thriller outline, and the order of character deaths are not really going to shock you, there were enough curveballs in the mix to keep us pushing on to the next chapter, eager to get to the next scene and chew on the next crumb of information. As we said, it’s not quite clear what’s going on until it all clicks near the end. Another character attempting to make sense of insanity is the ambitious, and obsessive, Doctor Hunter, and he is nicely woven into the uncanny web of Tyson’s problems.

The tightly written characters were a pleasing range between banal, brave and pure evil. Really, really evil. But it’s also great to have a real hero to root for amidst all the horror, and Tyson was a very likeable lead. Your eyelids will ache in sympathy as he battles his sleepless state, attempting to dodge his debilitating dreams. It was very easy to get behind him as the awful truth emerges, and the battles against his nightmares become increasingly lethal.

From its sinister opening chapter, to a rather clever finale, this was a solid horror thriller that made great use of some very surreal twists. We were thoroughly hooked on the story, from its unsettling start, all the way up to an unexpectedly heart breaking conclusion. Vividly written (although we’d still love to see a graphic novel version), if you enjoy well-written action, not-entirely gratuitous gore, and freaky monsters from Beyond (and who doesn’t?), then Dark Passage is very definitely for you.

Strongly recommended.

The Eyeball picked up Dark Passage in January during a Kindle sale.

Griffin Hayes – related links Blog: Twitter: @griffin_hayes Griffin’s spooky mailing list (excellent image on the site)! Facebook Goodreads Find Dark Passage on Amazon author page