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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Oak Hollow: A Nightmare in Riverton Novel is a work of fiction in the horror, suspense, and action subgenres, and was penned by author Dan McDowell. The work is suited to a more mature reading audience due to mild coarse language throughout and some graphic and/or violent descriptions befitting the horror genre. We find ourselves checked in at the newly-reopened Oak Hollow Hotel, where the events of the previous novel, Level Zero, have been buried, albeit in a shallow grave. Nancy Helbens Richards is keen to keep things that way as she continues rebuilding her life, but the arrival of Vic Ramsey and his prying ways could spell disaster for them all.
Reading Dan McDowell’s atmospheric horror prose makes you want to visit Riverton again and again for its creepy happenings and bizarre goings-on. One of the features that I found particularly impressive about this piece was its strength as a standalone read, supplemented by the author’s ability to weave events from the past into the work with natural dialogue and background. Vic is an excellent source of exposition and a formidable figure to follow around the mystery. At the same time, Nancy presents some wonderfully sharp edges and emotionally raw moments to deepen our investment in the story’s outcome. The storytelling is concise but detailed, delivering just the kind of short, sharp shock you’d expect from the genre. Overall, I would highly recommend Oak Hollow to horror enthusiasts, but also to mystery, thriller, and suspense fans looking to step into a shadowier world for their next investigation.