SKULLS by TIM MARQUITZ
Genre: Young Adult Horror.
Published: Damnation Books April 2011.
Amazon description: “Life held little interest for Jacob...until he found death. Abused and neglected, Jacob's only solace comes when he is alone in the woods or in the arms of his new girlfriend. But when he stumbles across a hidden bunker filled with human skulls, he learns what true suffering is. Drawn to examine the skulls, he finds there is more than just empty blackness behind their lifeless stares.
Through their eyes, he watches them die. With every glance, he witnesses another murder, the memories of the dead playing out inside his mind until reality becomes a blur. A primal cruelty awakening, Jacob returns to the morbid comfort of the skulls, over and over again. But when he happens upon a fresh skull, a victim tortured and slain for his amusement alone, he knows his time has come. Face to face with death, Jacob must choose whether to resist the darkness that dwells inside or condemn himself forever, murdering his innocence on the edge of an axe.”
I am a lover of a good horror story, when well told it is the most enveloping of genres bringing to the surface hidden fears in our subconscious that at time are uncomfortable to deal with.
When horror is well done, when the plot and characterizations take you deep into the dark psyche then no other genre works quite as well.
Author Tim Marquitz has not only written a well-done horror story, he has gifted us with something that is of itself original and in this reader’s opinion quite brilliant.
His characterization of Jacob our young hero is utterly real. Jacob is damaged but will refuse to show it, lonely and yet not a character that seeks sympathy at any time. He has resolved himself to a less than perfect life, accepting that the human failings of his parents are an integral part of his world, he doesn’t whine about the lack of connection or love; he simply gets on with life…until that day when he finds the Skulls. He is obsessed and possessed by the horror connected with them, privy to the visions of the way each of them died.
Author Marquitz doesn’t hold back in his descriptions, thankfully his talent is such that in spite of clenching my teeth and holding my breath I wanted to read on, in fact I needed to read on. That is the mark of an artist with the written word; Tim Marquitz holds you in his clever hands and takes you precisely where he wants you to be. The twists in the plot are intricately drawn; the obsession harrowing, the fear of what may happen next is palpable.
I will not spoil this for others; the story is simply too damned good to do that to you.
If you love a damned fine read, if you appreciate your characters beautifully drawn, if you love the delicious fear of wonderfully written horror, this book is for you.
A must read 5/5. Now I am off to bed with all the lights on.