An Occult Horror With Plenty Of Dark Humor!
Overview: Looking to increase their powers thirteen-fold, thirteen teenage vampires kidnap Emily, a thirteen-year-old girl whom they plan to sacrifice to Satan during The Thirteenth Hour, on All Hallows’ Eve.
Author Alan Zacher puts his best detective, James Hurts—a familiar protagonist to his fans—on the case when Emily’s friend, Amanda, learns about the teen vampires’ gruesome plan and convinces him to launch a rescue. What ensues is a raucous and rowdy, albeit dark and dangerous mission to save Emily from certain death.
The telling of this modern story comes off like an old crime novel from the Spillane era with supernatural undertones and a passel of vampires added in for good measure. Zacher’s no-nonsense writing style flows naturally, with each sentence punctuating the one before in a bullet format, leading the reader directly into the nitty, gritty world of his grumpy, worn-out detective with the heart of gold.
One drawback to this modern story is the underlying antiquated attitudes expressed by the main protagonists toward different groups of people, such as the gay community. For example, young Amanda—a teenager—describes a young man as “WEIRD” because he’s gay, “... more boy than girl”, to which Detective Hurts—with his old-fashioned mindset—responds, “Oh, you mean queer.” Amanda then expresses minimal outrage by defending a lesbian friend, describing her as “... the best”, even though her prior statement hints that she, herself, has a general malaise toward the gay community. Authors sometimes imbue their characters with inherent prejudices to serve a purpose in a story, but this tale could have been told just as effectively without demeaning anyone due to their race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Aside from the aforementioned issue, Zacher’s characters are larger than life, his overall story contains more than a healthy dose of dark humor, and there is plenty of danger to go around. “The 13th Hour” hits the mark for its particular genre. This occult horror story is a fun and entertaining read. The author finds a way to create scenes that are, at the same time, scary as heck yet quite humorous. I recommend this read to anyone (ages 13 and up) who enjoys occult horror and detective novels with a supernatural twist.
Find "The 13th Hour" by Alan Zacher on Amazon & Kindle here.
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