Thursday, December 5, 2013

Night Chill Tour, Review & Giveaway!

Night Chill 
by Jeff Gunhus

Publication date: May 31st 2013
Genres: Adult, Supernatural, Thriller


Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined. Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.




Night Chill
 by Jeff Gunhus 

 Review by Scott
  4 of 5  Stars

Jeff Gunhus’ Night Chill is an adult paranormal romp that will scare the bejesus out of parents, and drive horror readers deep into winter nights to discover exactly what the hell is going on in the sleepy, creepy small town of Prescott City, in western Maryland. Jack Tremont is a tortured middle class husband married to an understanding doctor, who have recently relocated their family to Prescott City because Jack killed a young girl in a car accident in California. A fresh start. A small town. Peaceful, right? And at first, the novel teases us with Jack’s past. How will it come back to haunt him?  And when? Gunhus does not hold back the emotional punches. Night Chill owns its share of action, but the majority of the thrills have to do with parental anxiety towards losing one’s child.

There’s Max, Jack’s new friend, who may or may not be what he seems, and his emotional battle with the bottle, and the potential death of his daughter from cancer; his inner conflict echoes Jack’s past troubles, which doubles with the portents of danger offered by a drunk struck dead by lighting in front of the local watering hole.  There’s the to good-to-be-true town shrink, Scott Moran, and the growing rifts between him and his teenager daugher. Not to mention the mysterious disappearance of a junkie teenage girl, and the mysterious death of a young Latino woman from a strange disease. Soon, Jack and his wife, Dr. Lauren Tremont, find themselves at the emotional axis of these events when their young daughter is threatened, and eventually kidnapped.

The opening act is anchored by Jack’s confrontation with the sadistic Nate Huckley, who assaults Jack and his daughters at a rest area in the middle of a cold early winter night. Of course, the memory of his recent past comes back to haunt him, and when his own daughter is threatened, it begins a daisy chain of events that will eventually connect Jack and his family to the paranormal “source,” a seemingly limitless energy that dates back before the local Native Americans.

As the novel corkscrews to a satisfying conclusion, that will thrill action and horror fans alike, Jack wrestles with his sanity, and Joseph Lonetree, a Native American crackerjack SEAL, who may or may not be trusted.  Along the way Jack discovers a small town medical conspiracy, a super secret cult sucking “the source” dry for eternal life, and psychic powers, for decades. Gunhus keeps the plot boiling by pacing the red herrings, the easter eggs, and the conspiracy reveals so the reader is drawn into his thick web. Gunhus' foray into adult horror is reminiscent of the big dogs, King and Koontz, as his layers of supernatural, paranoia, and small town detail overlap and knot together. If you are a fan of his YA work, do not go into this novel lightly; your YA reader might be scared out their proverbial pants.

For my money, the rotten town officials are a satisfying group of antagonists, but the use of Nate Huckley as a psychopathic, supernatural muscle man puts the stranglehold on the tension, as Gunhus ratchets the prose with mechanical precision. Huckley’s a borderline pedophile and rapist, and Gunhus keeps most of his creepy salacious leanings off page, but gives the reader enough to hate and root against while the imagination runs away with the details. When Huckley’s lust for power pushes him to make serious mistakes towards the end of the novel, the reader's fist will be pumping for his blood.

Gunhus balances the good and evil out with the use of Lonetree, the Navy SEAL, as Huckley’s foil. The gruff, smart-ass, gun-toting, tracker also happens to know a lot about Native American mythology, thanks to his dear old departed Dad and brother, for whom Lonetree is seeking revenge against the cult's boss, a hidden figurehead who guards the source. Lonetree's a lot of a fun as he plans and plots circles around the supernatural coterie of small town wanna-be gods who hold Jack’s youngest daughter, Sara, hostage.

If you are looking for a book to keep you up late at night, and a book that delivers action as well as suspense, look no further than Night Chill.  Four stars.

This book was provided free of charge as part of the tour for an honest review.

 Scott - 

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In addition to writing supernatural thrillers for adults, Jeff Gunhus is also the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. ( The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born and recognized as a 2012 Forward Reviews Book of the Year Finalist. Jeff has been a Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan since he was a kid reading their novels under the covers at night. Seeing Night Chill next to King and Koontz on the Amazon Bestseller lists has been a surreal experience. He leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole and five incredible kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.


1 comment:

  1. I love these kinds of book - horror is my fav genre! :) It sounds creepy and with great characters too! Glad you liked it! :)