The Stitches on the Stone

Lauradelle's Redemption

Fiction - Horror
443 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2022
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Author Biography

Christopher J. Finn has long been a fan of things that are quirky, odd and dark, believing those aspects make for the best stories. The Stitches on the Stone, his second novel, falls right into those categories.

He lives in Missouri with his wife and three kids. When he isn’t writing his next novel, he is painting, woodworking, playing PS5 with his teens or watching the latest supernatural thriller show with his wife, his dogs, and two pet leopard geckos.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Stitches on the Stone: Lauradelle's Redemption by Christopher J. Finn is an urban paranormal horror novel that revolves around the titular town and impacts those who live there in terrifying ways. The book is narrated from the point of view of several different characters who are interconnected in how they experience and witness the unthinkable events overtaking the people and the landscape. Ladies whose upper bodies twist in a 180-degree turn. A super creepy smiling stone. Young boys with dead flesh and maggots and bleeding inky blood. And that's not even what's happening on the streets or with women in knitted white sweaters. When push quite literally comes to shove, it's left up to a group of youths to figure out what exactly is happening and save what's left of their home town and themselves in the process.

June 2022 will forever be the time when I learned the phrase, “Damsel in a sundress.” What a book! I adore horror but find most of the contemporary literature more cringey than scary and a lot less fun to finish. The Stitches on the Stone: Lauradelle's Redemption by Christopher J. Finn ticks all the boxes of good paranormal fiction. Is it well written? Yes. Is it entertaining from start to finish? Yes. Do the characters feel like people you know when we finish? Absolutely. In fact, the characters are so well developed that I started to connect to them in the way that I might a niece or a nephew. The gore is balanced with intelligent humor and just plain good storytelling. This leads to the most important question: should you read it? 100% yes.

Asher Syed

The Stitches on the Stone: Lauradelle's Redemption homes in on the almost boring normality of everyday life and its subsequent and sudden shift to the decidedly paranormal in this horror novel penned by Christopher J. Finn. A group of three youths is individually exposed to extraordinary events with no explanation and only their arm's-length connection to a river stone is the sole common denominator. The evolution of what happens before their very eyes accelerates from strange but not overtly scary fights between women to a gorge opening up and swallowing storage units and friends. The primary characters share a point of view; Benji, Edward, and Janis. Other ancillary characters fill in the blanks, and others still fill in the lives that can never be called banal again. “Damn voodoo rock, you see, Lizzy? Evil eye, the red one.”

Such an eclectic array of personalities grace the pages of The Stitches on the Stone that all the craziness that happens to them is just icing. Christopher J. Finn brings three people together with completely different backgrounds reminiscent of The Stand, except this is a redemption story that's digestible in a weekend. Benji is my favorite and his acerbic deadpan humor cannot be praised enough. Janis is such a stuffy highbrow and it's hilarious to see her try to preserve this grift in the face of others accusing her of only having the capacity to 'sit around and look pretty'. It is painfully sad to be in Edward's head. The time warps and strangers are stranded together as those with friends are desperate to help them. Very highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

The Stitches on the Stone: Lauradelle’s Redemption is a work of fiction in the horror and thriller subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Christopher J. Finn. The book follows three people who discover a stone in a river that they soon discover to be the center of a supernatural web that reaches into every aspect of their town’s life. As the three begin to find themselves mentally pushed to the limit by the unusual events in town and the even more unusual metamorphosis they seem to be undergoing, they must find the truth behind their hometown and the mysterious river stone.

The sense of unease was palpable in this novel from the very first page, with the establishing of Lauradelle and its denizens striking a perfect balance between the illusion of normality and the subtle suggestion of something darker just beneath the surface. This ability to balance two tones in a way that keeps the reader off-balance is a gift that author Christopher J. Finn utilizes frequently throughout the book as the constant sense of unreality heightens the growing sense of dread and eventually terror. The characterization of Benji, Janis, and Edward is excellent and as the events of the narrative cause their personalities to warp, the author constantly keeps us guessing how much of the change is supernatural and how much is the character's truth revealing itself. Overall, The Stitches on the Stone is a superb dive into eerie and slowly developing madness that showcases some of the best horror writing I’ve seen in a while.