Stories that scare make for a thrilling read. Who doesn’t like a good tale that gets the heart pounding? But horror stories can be hard to do, I have read so many that start well and either fall flat on their face or just go so overboard that they become more comedic than horror. Iain Rob Wright is an author of horror fiction, and I was very impressed when I read Escape! as that definitely didn’t go down the comedic route and I have just finished The Picture Frame which was just as enjoyable.
The Picture Frame is a horror story about a buried picture frame with malevolent intent, a story that I am glad didn’t stay buried!
Blake is a very successful author, respected the world over and doing very well for himself. He is a mystery writer and arguably the best mystery writer since Agatha Christie. But when violence and tragedy enter his personal life, he uproots his family (wife Liz and ten year old son Ricky) and moves them out of the city and into an idyllic secluded cottage buried away in the idyllic English countryside.
Secluded away in the countryside, surrounded by fields, Blake is enjoying his life and family. His wife not so much. His writing is on hold for bit, and he is enjoying spending quality time with his son, out in the fields with an old metal detector. When his son unearths an old-looking picture frame they are both delighted with their find. There is just a small problem with the frame, when a photo is inserted their dog is killed, his mother-in-law drops down dead and a mystery curse grips the family and could be the death of them all.
In a race against time, Blake must now try to protect his family by finding a way to break the curse, but that is proving to be a whole lot more difficult than he could have imagined. How can you break something that you can’t see or necessarily believe in?
Overall, Iain Rob Wright’s The Picture Frame is a very accomplished story. He has taken a trinket as bland and uninspiring as an old picture frame and turned it into a horror story that makes for thrilling reading.
Set in the peaceful and idyllic English countryside makes an ideal location for dark, deep buried secrets and horror. Iain Rob Wright has created an atmosphere that is perfect in a small town location with a very troubled past. Once the curse is unleashed and slowly starts to build, we are introduced to bizarre accidents, evil rabid foxes, mystery illnesses and a bleak landscape that makes The Picture Frame a really creepy and engrossing read.
My only niggles with the story were that the characters were not the strongest with no real depth and despite it being a British novel, set in the English countryside with English characters, the overuse of Americanisms was slightly annoying, just because they didn’t entirely fit with the story. Also, the first half of the book built up the story very nicely but then started to feel a little rushed the further I read.
Despite the niggles that I had with the book, I really did enjoy it. The story itself was very good, creepy and enjoyable. If you like horror stories then this is definitely worth a read. (And if you do enjoy reading it, visit the authors website and sign up for his newsletter to receive 6 FREE e-books!)
RRP: £7.99 (Paperback) / £0.99 (Kindle)