Publication Date: March 31, 2012
Adrian Bolt was convicted by a German court of killing his wife at Verliege Castle, their new home. Adrian is sent back to West Virginia where he hasn’t spoken in the two years since she was found at his feet. Dr. James Pellitier is able to get a terrible story from him and heads to Germany with a paranormal investigator at hand. Will they prove that Adrian killed his wife or are darker forces at work?
[easyazon-link asin=”1475134363″ locale=”us”]Verliege[/easyazon-link] is a perfect October read. It’s complex and haunting calling forth the kind of psychological horror seen in such classic horror films as “The Uninvited” starring Ray Milland. Adrian tells Dr. Pellitier a story of extreme haunting from the moment he and his wife stepped into their new home. The ghosts have a plan in which the happy couple do not play a role and they are treated with extreme prejudice in what should have been a happy safe haven.
The elegance with which Rivers writes lends itself well to this dramatic plot line. When Adrian starts his story, he eases into the narrative. A struggling author who has his big break playing a bit of a trick on his wife who he feels truly deserves the break he’s received. The old tale of a cloud with a silver lining before the storm begins. Rivers style carries the reader easily into the suspense and uncertainty of the situation in which Adrian and Alicia find themselves. The rich back story of the haunting and the Castle is something Rivers clearly carefully weighed before embarking on this unique tale.
In a subsequent story line, Dr. Pelltier takes a team to the house and is met with a level of horror reminiscent of the great Shirley Jackson. There is a bit of a skipping step in perspectives that threw this reader off but only slightly. While the shift made sense in the grand scheme of the story I felt, as a reader, there were some unanswered questions for me though, in a paranormal sense, Rivers does leave room for further thought once the back cover has closed.
The real charm of [easyazon-link asin=”1475134363″ locale=”us”]Verliege[/easyazon-link] for this reader was the effort put into the “spirit” aspect of the story. There’s something of a power struggle between characters. The players are duplicitous and evil and just delightfully interesting to read. All the characters are three-dimensional, but Rivers adds something a little extra special with a multidimensional flavor. There’s a lot going on in [easyazon-link asin=”1475134363″ locale=”us”]Verliege[/easyazon-link] and Rivers manages the flow well. That said, the novel is in no way the perfect read. Given the topic there are some things expected to be left loosely framed but some elements and interactions feel a bit stilted. There is a a minor subplot that feels tacked into the body of the work and conveys itself as something of an afterthought and perhaps only there to make the novel palatable to a wider audience. Overall [easyazon-link asin=”1475134363″ locale=”us”]Verliege[/easyazon-link] is an engrossing story with a few quirks.
While not a horror junkie I do love a chilling ghost story. “Verliege” is certainly an excellent example of the genre. If you’re looking for a good ghost-themed read an excerpt and pick up Verliege by Micheal Rivers today on: