The Haunting of Matthew Keys

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
271 Pages
Reviewed on 10/04/2019
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Author Biography

Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Michael S. Vassel joined the US Army after high school and served as an Indirect Fire Infantryman at Fort Hood in Texas. After completing active duty, he joined the Ohio National Guard for an additional 3 years while he attended college.

Since 1989, Michael has worked as a mechanical engineer in the materials handling industry, designing conveyor systems for warehouses throughout the United States.

In 2018 Michael completed his first novel - a romance entitled "Fine Again". Since its publication, Michael has written several dark fantasy novels - most notably, "The Castle Chronicles" series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Haunting of Matthew Keys is a work of psychological thriller fiction penned by author Michael S. Vassel. Toying with concepts of paranormal possibility and the tortured mind of someone who is in shock and grief, we find our central character Matt mourning the loss of his dear Samantha after a tragic and grisly accident. Though he tries to move on with his life and even begin dating again, strange interjections interrupt his plans to rehabilitate himself into the world. His possessions are damaged and objects seem to fly across the room without warning, leading him to believe that Samantha may not yet have left this plane of existence after all.

I really enjoyed this concise, sharp thriller for its many interesting psychological properties and the very satisfying way that the plot comes together as a whole right at the very end. Author Michael S. Vassel has created a truly successful work with this cohesion of mind and spirit, putting poor Matthew at the center of a powerful and malevolent tale just as he is at his most vulnerable. The writing style allows for plenty of tension and emotive moments, poised on a knife-edge between tenderness in grief and sudden, violent possibilities. There are plenty of smatterings of horror and paranormal for fans of those genres, but it is the commitment to the psychological at its very core that makes this work both realistic and genuinely frightening throughout. Overall, The Haunting of Matthew Keys is a super and highly recommended work of thriller fiction, not to be missed.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Haunting of Matthew Keys by Michael S. Vassel is a psychological thriller. Matt has lost the love of his life. His wife, Sammy, was killed in a hit-and-run accident and, for him, there is nothing left. His best friend Alex finally gets him to see that it's time to move on and start dating again but when he does, strange things start to happen. Things in his house are broken, his car tires slashed, people he is involved with are being injured. And all of a sudden he starts to smell Sammy’s favorite perfume in the house. Matt starts to believe that Sammy hasn’t quite moved on but why would she try to harm him and people he is connected to? Is it Sammy or is there a more sinister reason?

The Haunting of Matthew Keys by Michael S. Vassel is compelling reading. It starts off as a gentle story about a man moving on after losing his wife, a story that gradually creeps up a hill; when it reaches the top, hold on to your hats. This is an incredibly well-written story, full of suspense that grows throughout, gradually building up and then letting go as it takes you on a rollercoaster race towards the bottom. The characters are really well developed and the story moves between the present and the past with ease, building up the backstories of the major characters. There are plenty of twists and turns and the clues are there but you won't spot them until the last minute when the whole story comes together. And you probably won’t suspect the ending either – it certainly came as a surprise to me. Great story, I really enjoyed this book. Michael S. Vassel is definitely an author to watch out for.