Have you ever read The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty or even The Omen by David Seltzer? Sadly, I haven’t read the books but loved the films (and have now just purchased the books). Both are classic horror stories: The Exorcist is about the demonic possession of a young child whilst in The Omen the child is born pure evil. Now there is another creepy, scary and utterly terrifying child that will keep your awake at night, 10 year old Sammie in Sam by Iain Rob Wright.
Sam by Iain Rob Wright is a classic story of pure evil and demonic possession. It is the first book in the Damienverse series.
Since the death of his father, 10 year old Sammie hasn’t been quite himself and a whole raft of doctors are struggling to find a reason for his illness. He is dirty, malnourished and very disturbed. And there have been lots of accidents and strange occurrences in his home, Raymeady Manor, a large country estate in the English countryside. Coincidence or something more sinister? With his mother at her wits’ end she resorts to drastic measures and calls in a washed up ex-priest, Angela Murs, and a ghost hunter / ghost debunker, Tim Golding, to see if they can have a bit more success. Both believe that a 10 year old child can’t be to blame for what is happening within the walls of Raymeady Manor.
As Angela and Tim try to rule out demonic possession and find a more logical solution such as environmental factors or psychological issues, they begin to realise that there is more going on than either could have imagined, and they are in extreme danger. Time for an exorcism to banish the demons, but will it work?
Overall, Sam is a story based on classic horror stories of demonic possession and whilst there have been a few of these (notably The Exorcist and The Omen) I found it to be a very engaging and gripping read.
Sam (or Sammie) is an excellent character. Clearly disturbed and possessed, he comes across not as a child but that of someone much older, much darker, creepy and evil – his speech pattern is creepy enough in itself. And then he has his vulnerable moments when he switches to child mode. Sam is the perfect possessed child.
I also liked the character of Angela, an ex-priest who has lost some of her faith and has fallen into a downward spiral of alcohol and chasing young girls in student bars. She is a strong and feisty character.
Tim, the ghost hunter, I just found him to be meek and insipid, but the story wouldn’t work as well without him. He balances out the strength of Angela with his cowardness.
The characters change throughout the story as more of their past is slowly revealed and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way including one that I didn’t see coming.
I thought that the story was well written, and Sam was an excellent creepy and dangerous character. It is a fascinating book and a good horror story packed with tension and suspense, one that is hard to put down.
The story moves along at a good pace before speeding up towards the end, delaying and building the excitement. An excellent read with some excellent plot twists and revelations.
RRP: £16.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £0.99 (Kindle)