Our Trespasses by Michael Cordell

Our Trespasses by Michael Cordell
Publisher: TCK Publishing.com
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Paranormal, Horror
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

Deliver us from evil…

Drowning in a meaningless existence flipping burgers, Matthew Davis suddenly collapses from a powerful psychic connection he shares with his twin brother, Jake. The pain is violent and immediate, and Matt knows exactly what it means… hundreds of miles away, Jake has been viciously killed. But instead of severing their connection, the murder intensifies it and Matt begins to suffer the agony of Jake’s afterlife.

Hell bent on solving Jake’s murder in order to break the connection, Matt travels to his troubled hometown of Hatchett, Nebraska, where an old lover and savage new enemies expose the festering wounds that Jake left behind.

Matt tries atoning for Jake’s sins, but when a demon infests the connection between the two brothers, Matt must find a way to sever their bond before his world, and ours, become engulfed in the flames of hell.

Our Trespasses is an unpredictable mystery but is so much more. It is labelled as a legal thriller; however, it has the feel of a spiritual thriller. The supernatural elements are key to the plot and add much to make readers sit on the edge of their seats, so to speak.

The story takes place in a small town, and the author has done a great job with the setting. Little details set the mood. When strange, otherworldly things begin to happen, the thriller aspect of the book comes into play. The stakes are high, and things do not look good for the protagonist who is trying to solve his brother’s murder. If he does not do this in time, evil will be unleashed into the world.

Family and friendship are important here, as is the idea of forgiveness. This gives a depth and more meaning to this fast-paced tale.

Backseat in The Dark by Milton Dewar

Backseat in The Dark by Milton Dewar
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

An about-to-be ex-husband is forced to confront his own demons, and something far worse, on his way back home, on a lonely stretch of road.

Backseat in The Dark is aptly named for the eerie suspense that drives the story.
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It is often difficult to write a short story that is not only complete, but has enough suspense to keep those pages turning; however, this author has done that. The main character, Ian, after receiving the surprising news that his wife wanted a divorce, got behind the wheel angry and upset. Right away, this signals that something could go wrong. His inner dialogue inspires sympathy from a reader, and one wonders what is going to happen—nothing typical it soon seems.

His drive down a dark road, while swimming in his impassioned thoughts, creates a spine-chilling atmosphere. Is something scary and unnatural going to happen? This mood is created almost poetically, the words flowing in a way to further evoke feelings of dread. The mundane details are not so under the pen of this author. Details create the world Ian lives in, building up the sense of alarm.

Things escalate. His car breaks down on this dark road. He remembers a scary legend about a witch who was burned in this area many years before. But then she appears, right before Ian!

His reaction and what happens next serves to further develop this character, his life, his regrets, and his wishes. But will he get the chance to see all these things resolved? Predicting will only take a reader so far. This ending sweeps one into a whirlwind of surprise.

The imagery and writing gives a reader an immediate sense of urgency, making this a page-turner. Occasionally, a detail or two caused confusion, but this could also be seen as inspiring deeper thought. For such a short story, it packed an emotional punch. Recommended for those who like suspense.