Title: Dead of Night
Author: Victor J Banis
Publisher: MLR Press
POV: 3rd person
Book Cover Rating: 4
“Doctor,” he said before he said anything else, “I am haunted. By ghosts.”
His parents are brutally murdered in a Manson-like intrusion and Calvin narrowly escapes the same fate. He spends time in an expensive private mental hospital, but when he returns home, he senses the presence of evil in the shadowy old mansion. Someone seems to follow him along the halls, and whispers just beyond his hearing.Gradually the terror escalates. A hand shakes him awake at night, just as it did on that fatal night. Cringing in his bed, he hears his father being murdered all over again, and then his mother. But is the mansion haunted-or is it Calvin?
Dead of Night is one of those gripping stories, not so much in the scary/horror sense but more on the type that has it’s reader feeling pain for the character that really never had a chance from the start, type. So you know things aren’t going to go well for him because they just can’t.
Calvin was very young when his parents were murdered in their mansion one dark night. He never really recovers from the horrors of that night, and he spent several years in a very secluded very expensive mental hospital to overcome the shock of that night. Being the second son of the wealthy businessman should have come with perks, should have come with a tad bit more freedom, should have come with happiness, but poor Calvin had none of that. His older brother left home as soon as he could due to their father’s distaste for his bed partners. The brother was gay, and Calvin? I’m not so sure, I’m not sure he even knew of his sexuality. The story wasn’t about romance, or sex, though his older brother was gay, that wasn’t the main focus here.
Calvin and his unstable mind is the focus. He’s released from the hospital deamed cured and is met by the cold housekeeper who really gives two shits about the poor kid. She’s as rude as rude can get and I for one, disliked her. His older brother refuses to stay at the mansion, so Calvin is on his own and when night falls, he relives the horrors of that one fateful night of his parents death. Over and over he feels his father’s presence and his mothers bloodcurdling screams, so much so that he finally admits that he’s either losing it again or the mansion has ghosts.
There is no happily ever after, no sex, no romance, but there is a lot of heartfelt pain and as I sit here writing this review, I find myself wondering where Calvin is now.