Phantom by Thomas Tessier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I first heard of Tessier’s Phantom via the Horror Reading List on the Horror Writer’s Association website. The list is available here: http://www.horror.org/readlist.htm in alphabetical order.
It is a well-used story of a young boy (pre-teen) whose family moves to a rural area, near an abandoned building, with a tainted past. A classic, supernatural-presence tale of horror and suspense. While offering nothing “new” to the genre, the book was still able, through a tight narrative and descriptive writing, to offer lots of frights and tense moments. And without employing too many twists or turns, the author managed to create an ending that was not what I was expecting. A welcome surprise, considering the book mainly followed the plot structure of a classic ghost story.
Overall, it wasn’t bad. A quick read - very crisp and concise. But it wasn’t anything to write home about either. Would I put it on my list of top 40 horror novels? Probably not. But I can see why people liked its simplicity at a time (it was published in the 1980s) when horror writers seemed to be getting more and more convoluted.
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