Daniel Hallowell, by all standards, is a tough cookie. Despite growing up in a different foster home every few years and several run-ins with the authorities, he pulled himself up and put himself through college. A few years later, he became a household name as the most wildly successful paranormal investigator that the world had ever known. His success came complete with his own television show and a lucrative contract from the network that owned its rights. With his tight-knit crew in tow, the show would take him around the world to explore and document the most haunted locations the world had to offer.
A chance encounter one evening with a stranger in a hotel bar piques Daniel’s interest. He reluctantly agrees to investigate Ashford—a long abandoned town cut somewhere deep into the Ohio countryside. Having become intrigued by a stranger’s desperate and terrifying synopsis into a decades-long series of unexplainable events that had taken place there, Daniel and his eclectic crew of paranormal investigators clear their schedule and embark on a trip that they would come to regret for the rest of their lives.
As they struggle to unravel the terrifying truth that lies at the heart of the disturbances that plague Ashford, they find that they are being hunted from within the deep, foreboding forests that surround them on every side.
As Daniel slides deeper down the rabbit-hole and watches helplessly as his mind and sanity are slowly ripped away, he and his crew must embark on a journey across Ashford, across timelines and within the deep recesses of their own souls to uncover answers they otherwise would have never cared to know. Answers that will only serve to question the very psychological, physical, theological and philosophical meaning of our existence as a species.
However difficult to stomach, the only way to save themselves from the unimaginably savage force that threatens, not only their lives, but the very existence of humanity, is to decipher the riddle that haunts Ashford.
The town that Satan calls home.
Title: Three Days in Ashford | Author: Ty Tracey | Pub. Date: 2018-Oct-3 | Pages: 451 | ISBN13: 9780692190784 | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration
Three Days in Ashford Review
For a debut novel, Ty Tracey’s Three Days in Ashford is pretty good. The synopsis is a bit misleading, though.It makes you go into it expecting a horror novel and the reality is that while there are horror elements, this is a genre-blending mix of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
It’s well-written enough,and there are fans of the long-winded prose style who might really enjoy it. For me lines like “My hands were saturated with stress-induced perspiration, gripping the steering wheel.” are basically a turn-off. That’s way too many words to say “My sweaty palms were gripping the wheel”. As a reader I already knew he was in a stress-inducing situation inside of a car. Sometimes writers have to trust their readers to know why the character is reacting in a way that he is. Again, Tracey is a new novel writer, so I allow a bit more leniency with this than I normally would, but it was a major problem for me as a reader. It kept disengaging me from the story.
Three Days in Ashford had some interesting elements to it. (Most of which I unfortunately can’t get into too much for spoilers.) I liked the thought that went into how Ashford became a forgotten town, and the fact that the process wasn’t perfect. I appreciated that Tracey tries to veer from the typical explanation, and don’t really mind that he spent some time info-dumping on the reader to make it work.
A smallish section of the novel is told through a deposition of one of the characters. While I didn’t mind this,I do think it needed some tweaking. Pages of italics make my eyes want to go anywhere else but where they’re supposed to be. Also, I think it is maybe too easy as a writer to tell the story you want to tell without thinking about if the telling sounds realistic. I found myself thinking “You know (this person) must have a photographic memory to recall this stuff as clearly as they are.”
Overall, while I can see the potential for Tracey in future writings I cannot say that this was a read I can enthusiastically endorse. Still, your mileage may vary, so it might be worth having a ‘look inside’ via Amazon and seeing if you want to give it a go.
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Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
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