Written by John Passarella
Published by Pocket Star Books
Twins share a special bond that can allow them to share each other’s thoughts, complete each other’s sentences, and sometimes feel each other’s pain. In Kindred Spirit, the newest offering by Wither series author John Passarella, that bond can even transcend death. <!– zoom:/img/Reviews/ –>
The book opens twenty years in the past, as twin sisters Hallie and Heather seem perpetually engaged in a game of one-upsmanship. When one falls from a tree and lapses into a coma, her sister feels the loss of their special bond, leading to a vow that they would never leave the other alone again. Twenty years later, that promise is seemingly broken by a heinous act of violence, leaving one of the sisters dead. Over the course of the book Hallie, the surviving sister, is determined to solve her sister’s murder, spurred on by the strange paranormal events that lead to her taking over parts of her sister’s life. Those events also lead her toward a chilling maniac that might bring her sister closer than she really wants.
Passarella proves again that his is a strong voice in horror. Through his attention to detail and fine eye for the extraordinary, he’s able to bring the town and characters to life with vivid focus, demonstrating a knack for creating scenes that resonate with readers. Many creepy moments are likely to stick with you for hours after you’ve finished reading.
One of Passarella’s greatest strengths in this book is his characterization. Hallie is believable as the host of a fluff-news segment trying to gain respect and save her job. Equally well written are the characters of Tom and Shane, the murdered sister’s husband and son. Passarella handles the description of a grieving family, willing to do anything to get their missing part back, with delicate hands. The killer’s character is equally well written, with a backstory that makes him seem almost sympathetic despite the monster he’s become. The most vividly painted character, however, is Heather, who is dead throughout most of the book. Through the other characters’ discoveries, her life comes into stark focus, especially when Hallie begins taking over her life.
Another interesting point which shows the author’s dedication is his attention to detail. Whether in the realm of police procedure or ghost hunting, Passarella has taken obvious pains to provide accurate portrayals of every facet of his characters’ lives, but does so without beating the readers over the head with his knowledge. The way he writes it’s as if he’s lived the life of a detective, a news personality, an exp-display builder, an auto-shop detailer, and a ghost hunter, using his matter-of-fact style to make the reader trust whatever he says without question.
There are, however, a few moments that keep the book from being as good as it could be, though they are few and far between. Scenes in which the entire contents of an apartment are levitated or in which Hallie gains access to the killer’s lair with a little too much ease tend to ring untrue to the reader, taking them out of the story. However, within the space of a few pages, Passarella is able to re-hook his audience.
Taken as a whole, Kindred Spirit has a great deal to offer readers. It’s a compelling story, with just enough creepy moments to keep any horror reader happy and at the same time intelligently examines many relationships not just between family members, but between the living and their departed loved ones. Overall, an excellent read.
Discuss Kindred Spirit in our forums!