Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review Animosity

By James Newman
(Necessary Evil Press 2011; Limited HC and E-book)
Reviewed by Colleen Wanglund
Andy Holland is a successful horror writer, both for adults and with a Young Adult novel series.  He had a beautiful wife Karen until a recent divorce and has a young daughter Samantha, who is the most important person in Andy’s life.  Andy still lives in the same house in a neighborhood that he thought couldn’t be more perfect.  It was safe and his neighbors were friendly….until the day, while out walking his dog, Andy discovers the dead body of a little girl.
Andy is horrified by what he sees, but manages to wrangle the dog and get back home to call the police.  What Andy doesn’t realize is that his seemingly good life is about to slowly unravel.  It begins with the police questioning him as though he may be a suspect.  It seems something from Andy’s past is now coming back to haunt him.  As time passes, the neighbors are no longer friendly and the news reports focus more on a stupid mistake made when he was young instead of the girl and her rape and murder.  They stop speaking to him and begin to take out their suspicions on his property.  Initially Andy tries to rationalize their behavior, until they kill his dog.  It seems the once friendly neighbors now believe that Andy is a pedophile/murderer….all because he is a writer of horror fiction.  I mean, anyone who can dream up such horrible things must be an evil person, right?
What strikes me about ANIMOSITY is that these are normal and generally good people, but the mob mentality sets in with a vengeance, making for a potentially real scenario and a very scary final confrontation.  The writing is wonderful and flows without a hitch and Newman’s character development is perfect.  As shocking as the events in the story are, I could see something like this happening, especially in a small, tight-knit community.  With a revealing introduction by author Ray Garton and fantastic illustrations by Alex McVey, ANIMOSITY is definitely one to get your hands on.  And beware of the neighbors.

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