Monday, July 10, 2023

The Dark Hour

In the beginning of K.J. Young's The Dark Hour, set in the 1970s, a young guy named Mark is attempting to secure a brand new job. He finds himself interviewing for a home health aide position at a deteriorating mansion in the bad section of town. The job seems simple enough, pays well, and mostly consists of assisting the primary caregiver, a young woman named Lisa, take are of two elderly siblings named Roy and Alma. She'll clip the toenails and trim the ear hair, he can just do the easy stuff.

Like a terrifying prophetic warning, Lisa advises Mark that she feels that something isn't quite right about Roy and Alma. She claims there are weird photographs on the mansion's unused upper floors. Seconding the sentiment is a hippy sketchy neighbor that warns Mark to stay away. But, Mark slowly becomes entranced by Roy and Alma's past lives as magicians, and quickly becomes infatuated with the idea of wealth. Roy and Alma have a tremendous amount of money, own a pricey sports car, and seem to take a liking to Mark as if he is a family member.

Mark notices that Roy and Alma belong to a weird society that seems incapable of aging. When Lisa flings herself off the top of the mansion, the narrative escalates to introduce Mark's girlfriend Michelle, and her new role as Roy and Alma's friend and health aide. Is she leapfrogging Mark to capture a possible inheritance?

The Dark Hour is an average thriller that uses old-school gothic horror tropes to propel the narrative. The central mystery is easy to figure out, and Mark and Michelle's involuntary participation in their “eternal youth” is an overused literary plot that dates back centuries. But, Young's writing is enthralling enough and has a unique twist that makes the chief protagonist unlikable until the end. This concept challenges the reader's allegiance to the character and makes for an interesting presentation. Overall, if you like this sort of modern goth (like Darcy Coates), then The Dark Hour should be a pleasant experience. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment