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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
The Montague Portrait by Matt Drabble is a horror fiction revolving around an ominous painting of Hugo Montague and his wife Eleanor, a masterpiece by Benedict Worthington in 1923. Driven by his degenerating mental stability and his cruel nature, Hugo accused his young wife of cheating. He killed her in a blind rage and perished in the fire which also destroyed his home. The painting, however, still exists and mysteriously remains intact. The story’s transition from three different time settings is flawless and deftly done. In 1991, eight-year-old Charlotte Goode tragically witnessed her father, who was possessed by Hugo Montague's rage and hatred, kill her mother. Fast forward to present; it has been two years since 36-year-old Travis Parker lost his wife, Amy, to cancer. Ridden with debts, Travis is about to lose Amy's art gallery. Enter Telfer Vargas, who offers Travis a lucrative job to track down the Montague portrait for him, a job that will save his wife’s gallery.
Overall, The Montague Portrait reminds me of some of the best horror novels that I have read in my younger days. Matt Drabble's prose is straightforward with a dash of thespian flair. The setting and characters are a rich tapestry, easily a vivid story for any readers to imagine. I particularly enjoyed the suspenseful and thrilling chain of events in search of the painting. His concept for The Montague Portrait is incredibly attention-grabbing so that pages and time flew by with me barely noticing my surroundings. This novel will definitely delight horror fans.