Title: In the Still of the Night | Series: Supernaturals #2 | Author: David L. Golemon | Publisher: St. Martin’s Press | Pub. Date: 2017-10-17 | Pages: 368 | ISBN13: 9781250103109 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Child Death mentioned | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration
In the Still of the Night
Set in the world of The Supernaturals, one of Riffle’s Ten Best Haunted House Books of All Time, In the Still of the Night, a supernatural thriller from New York Times bestselling author of The Event Group series David L. Golemon, will make your Halloween extra spooky this year.
Five years ago, the ghost-hunting Supernaturals disbanded after being accused of faking their footage of the haunting at Summer Place. Now, the eccentric, but brilliant, team of scientists and paranormal experts are being asked to join forces once again― this time to save the President.
Through strenuous investigation and mysterious messages about returning home, the team soon discovers the long lost home of the president: a small town in California called Moreno, a modern ghost town.
When the Supernaturals go to Moreno for answers, they find a presence; something came to Moreno after WWII, something that’s still locked in a steel vault in the basement of the town’s old movie theater.
To make matters worse, the thing in the basement is starting to pull them into its time, Halloween of 1963. With the body count rising, it’ll be up to the Supernaturals to find an explanation for what this paranormal being is and how to defeat it.
In the Still of the Night Review
I requested In The Still of the Night on the basis of the synopsis and the cover. The author’s name didn’t register with me until later. I immediately had a serious twinge of regret because I had never successfully finished one of this author’s books before. I had that thought my initial problems with Golemon’s writing were just stylistic differences. That that was why I couldn’t get into his Event Group thrillers. As it turned out, that was not the case. It was more that I just can’t stand to read a lot of this man’s writing. But I sucked it up, got the first book in this series, and dragged myself, kicking and screaming, through it.
But I did read it. I finished the Supernaturals, and then put this book off as long as I possibly could before guilt got to me and I decided to read it. Maybe – I thought – this would be different. The Supernaturals was seemed like Golemon’s first attempt at the outright spooky, so I was willing to cut him some slack. He gets no such slack-cutting on In the Still of the Night. The first quarter of this book was positively one of worst I’ve read this year.
I got my first clue that this was going to be more than a bit painful upon reading this line:
“His power of mind deduction had finally driven (character) to the edge.”
His. Power. Of. Mind. Deduction. MIND. DEDUCTION. It was followed up by this beauty.
“(Character) felt as if he wanted to cry at his failure to dramatically end his own life.” – Yes, folks, that’s an actual sentence in this book.
Now, I know, I know, this was an ARC copy that I read, so I have to account for the fact that it may not be fully edited. Well, I did expect at least some editing to be present! (And if this is the version that was already edited, God help us all.) For a writer that is as well-known as he seems to be, his writing is positively painful to read. It’s filled with unnecessary details (not world building, either. Just flat-out unnecessary details.) And, though much more minor this time, there are still inconsistencies. Like referring to a certain person as both currently First and previously First in the same paragraph.
I had a case of indigestion while reading In the Still of the Night (not related to the book itself – I think), and ended up reading a good portion of it sitting on the porcelain throne. Well, that was convenient, as it allowed the crap I was reading to go in my eyes and promptly make a swift exit from my backside. At least that’s what I told myself in a (vain) effort to cheer myself up. I was very, very close to marking this book as a DNF and being done with it.
But then – inexplicably – at about the 25% mark, In the Still of the Night improves an amazing amount! The middle of In the Still of the Night is the best portion of the book. Golemon’s writing miraculously loses its awkwardness and the story becomes easy (easier, at least) to read, and rather engrossing. I found myself rooting for the characters, wanting to know how things ended, and anticipating the ending. There was tension, intrigue, and all sorts of fun stuff. The writing was so different in fact, that I wondered what in the world had happened. But I just decided to count my blessings, in the end, and finish the story.
But, alas, the almost goodness of the middle portion slowly degraded as I neared the end. While it never again achieved quite the same roughness of the first fourth, I found that I was unable to continue to enjoy the book. Goleman has, to me, an inability to write scenes which immerse the reader in the experience.
I will say that I was happy that In the Still of the Night seemed less like a mash-up of better known novels, and more of a unique take on a vaguely familiar tale. However, I have learned my lesson and will never again willingly pick up another one of the author’s novels. While his writing style is, undeniably, accessible, it has the overall charm of a talented high schooler’s attempts at a novel. By this I mean: It’s obvious the talent for story telling exists, but the chasm between the talent for telling stories and the ability to write engagingly is rather large.
Overall, In the Still of the Night was much, much better than The Supernaturals, and I know that many people have reviewed it positively. I’m just not one of them.