The Right Hand of Evil by John Saul

The Right Hand of Evil rating

(No Series)

When the Conways move into their ancestral home in Louisiana after the death of an estranged aunt, it is with the promise of a new beginning. But the house has a life of its own. Abandoned for the last forty years, surrounded by thick trees and a stifling sense of melancholy, the sprawling Victorian house seems to swallow up the sunlight. Deep within the cold cellar and etched into the very walls is a long, dark history of the Conway name--a grim bloodline poisoned by suicide, strange disappearances, voodoo rituals, and rumors of murder. But the family knows nothing of the soul-shattering secrets that snake through generations of their past. They do not know that terror awaits them. For with each generation of the Conways comes a hellish day of reckoning. . .

I read this one over Spring break, when I didn't have much time to read. I still finished it in a decent time, though, due to its storyline sucking me in. True, there was cheese there and sometimes dangerously close to overdoing it, and the tale was a bit cliché and used a very stereotypical villain most stories should avoid unless they're going to do it perfectly, but Saul wrote it relatively well so that you cared about most of the characters and wer curious how far he would take it and what would be the outcome.

Opening the story with a severe alcoholic as the husband and an unhappy marriage kept it flowing with unhealthy drama. I do have some curiosities with the resolution - was it always the same person who inhabits the people? Did the person inhabited redeem at all? I'm guessing he did have something in him as well for his charismatic ability rose highly. The ending felt too cut off - the ending happened but there was no afterword to see what happens with the family, even the reaction outside the door. The beginning skids off a bit from back story horror to delve into family drama buildup. This slow start still kept me into the story because it was akin to watching a train wreck.

I do have to say that, despite his easy flowing style and keeping something exciting always happening, he overdoes the comma rule. I read two books in a row like this. Eck. It's not a grammatical rule that he's breaking, but it does interrupt the flow of reading for me. A lot.

The twin bond is overdone in stories. Not much stand out character wise. The animal deaths really need to leave. Having the priest as the real controlling force of the town interested me. In a weird way I wish I could have gotten to see the improved, non-drink dependent father’s true face. I’d also have loved to learn more about the weird bargain that was made.

Overall, animal deaths are the most disturbing part of the book. Gore is moderately splashed, certainly there. Some creepy scenes but nothing too chilling. A decent story that keeps it interesting, but for a house tale likely one I won't remember forever.

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