Published by Scare Street on April 22, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Ghost Stories, Occult Horror
Source: Purchased Book
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Shane Ryan returns to Nashua and the childhood memories that drove him to join the Marines. After a prolonged legal battle with his aunt and uncle, Shane has possession of the family home where his parents disappeared over 20 years ago. The house, a monstrous castle filled with ghosts and secrets, is more alive than its inhabitants.
When his aunt and uncle came to town, then vanish, Shane's life takes a turn for the worse. Detective Marie Lafontaine immediately labels Shane as the prime suspect. And in a race against time, Shane desperately searches for clues about his parents.
But there's something lurking beyond the walls and beneath the surface. Something sinister that has haunted him ever since he saw its face in the pond behind the house. And it is not happy that Shane is back.
It is not happy at all.
Berkley Street is a haunted house horror novel. Now, it is known that I love all sub-genres of horror, ranging from slasher to suspense but I did struggle to categorize this into one sub-category. It really is genre-bending fiction. Be prepared to open the first page and get bludgeoned with the brutality of the characters and the intestinal fortitude of our protagonist, Shane Ryan. The house has a mind of its own – it simply takes care of itself. If you haven’t been invited, then be prepared to meet a grizzly end!
Each ghost has a story to tell none of it pleasant but all of it gruesome.
I often found myself scratching my head in confusion. Let me clarify. It is a ghost story so already the realms of the possible are blurred. That isn’t really an issue to me, it’s not why I read haunted house stories. The issue that caused me the most confusion was how the ghosts would kill people in relation to their behaviour to Shane. His interactions with the ghosts were mostly positive and quite often friendly. The two just didn’t add up for me. Oh and another point – why the hell would you fight for a house that quite clearly scares the crap out of you!
The house on Berkley Streets back story is interesting. I particularly enjoyed reliving Shane’s childhood experiences with the house and its occupants. Shane befriends most of the ghosts apart from the dark ones in the basement and the little girl that lives in the lake. The little girl has everyone trapped in a reign of horror. She is responsible for most of the deaths. Shane begs his parents to believe him about their house guests. They are hesitant until an incident changes their minds. Okay, so for the killer blow – they never move out?! Oh, and the double-barrelled shot is that on occasion they are happy to leave their child alone in 125 Berkley Street.
Berkley Street is a horror novella that is told in dual timelines, Shanes childhood and the present day. Shane is back home after spending around twenty years in the US Marines. His aunt and uncle pursued having his parents declared dead too early and wanted the family home. A lengthy court battle has resulted in Shane regaining his home, if only to find out what happened to his parents. It’s a decent story and I will read more in time.
ABOUT RON RIPLEY
Ron Ripley is a husband and father surviving in New England, a place which seems to be getting colder every day. He grew up across from a disturbingly large cemetery where he managed to scare himself every night before going to bed. Mostly because of the red lights that people put in front of the headstones. Those things are just plain creepy to a kid.
Ron enjoys writing horror, military history and driving through the small towns of New England with his family, collecting books and giving impromptu lectures on military history to his family, who enjoy ignoring him during those dreadful times.