Things Slip Through by Kevin Lucia

Things Slip Through by Kevin Lucia
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Genre: Horror, Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical
Length: Full Length (159 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Welcome to Clifton Heights, New York. Just another average Adirondack town, and nice enough in its own right.

Except after dark, or under the pale light of the moon. Or in a very private doctor’s office at Clifton Heights General Hospital, where no one can hear you scream. Or on a road out of town that never ends, or in an old house sitting on the edge of town with a mind – and will – of its own.

Maybe you shouldn’t have left the interstate, my friend. Maybe you should’ve driven on to the next town.

But you didn’t. You saw our sign, turned down our road, figuring on just a short stay. And maybe it will be.

Or maybe you’ll never leave.

Anyway, pay a visit to The Skylark Diner. I’ll be there. Pull up a chair and let me tell you about our town. It’s nice enough, it really is.

Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when no one is around, and you’re all alone…

Some questions are better left unasked, and some mysteries were never meant to be solved.

Chris has investigated some truly bizarre cases since he moved to Clifton Heights a year ago. Despite growing close to several of the residents in the town he has never been able to convince anyone to explain what they know about the people in their community who died under violent circumstances or disappeared without a trace. Their reticence casts an eerie pallor on the first few chapters, and Chris’ attempts to tease the truth out of them provides smooth transitions between the short stories embedded in this piece.

I requested to review Things Slip Through under the assumption that it was a collection of unrelated tales, so discovering that they shared a common setting and in some cases the same characters was a pleasant surprise. Mr. Lucia wove the lives of the residents of Clifton Heights together in ways that I did not always anticipate. Coming across these connections occasionally helped to explain things that had earlier mystified me about certain plot points.

The author spent so much time amplifying the mysteries of Clifton Heights that I would have liked to see him spend more time explaining how the community became such an unnerving place to live. Some backstory is provided, but given the ominous tone of certain conversations early on I was expecting to have more clues to work with in order to better understand how certain facts were linked to one another.

Given how dark the plot had been up until that point I was expecting a similar tone in the final case Chris revisits. The author’s approach to the disappearance of a small child was unexpected and would have worked quite well as a standalone story, but it did not blend in well with the overall tone of this novel. This was even more true when something from an earlier case that had been used in one of the scariest scenes in the book showed up in this one. With more development the juxtaposition between the two scenes would have added depth to the plot, but as it was written I was a little confused by why Mr. Lucia made the decision to link these tales.

With that being said, reading Things Slip Through was like finally catching a good look at something dark and slithery lurking in the shadows that normally moves too fast to be seen. The author clearly spent lot of time developing the setting, and his meticulous attention to detail pays off every time the tension builds to a new peak.

Things Slip Through is the scariest thing I’ve come across so far in 2013. This is a good choice for anyone who likes the surge of adrenaline that comes from reading extremely descriptive horror.

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