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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Upon first glance, one assumes that Hell Is In Me by Colleen A. Parkinson is a supernatural thriller. Okay, it is. But it is so much more nuanced than what you would expect from such a facile expectation. First, it is significantly more literary than much of what passes for this genre in today’s general market. Sometimes, even more than King. Second, this remarkable book meticulously avoids clichés, requiring the reader to reassess even hellish creatures for their motivations. And third, it does not rely on the myriad of unbelievable plot twists so common in so many books today. No, this is writing at its finest. With complex, believable characters developed by an author who understands the natural contradictions, inconsistencies, and inevitable compulsions held by real people in this world. And all of this makes Ms. Parkinson’s supernatural thriller a literary accomplishment worth savoring.
Colleen A. Parkinson presents the reader with several interesting, engaging, highly-nuanced individuals in Hell Is In Me. Again, no clichés here. Quinn may be a young man who sees dead people, especially when restoring a long-forgotten cemetery. Stephanie may be his exuberant but socially distant girlfriend. Caleb may be a mystery, but likable. And Jake may be a demon or disenchanted ghost. None of this, however, will tell you who they really are. Instead, Ms. Parkinson performs her task by exquisitely revealing them to each other over the course of a truly wonderful story, masterfully told. Again, this is a book to savor, not to devour piggishly in greedy gulps. Unless, of course, like me, you simply cannot stop reading until its perfect end.