Released in 2012, To Evil Comes a Daughter is a paranormal mystery novel by Allen Caraway.
"English magazine journalist, Sam Munro, is in Montana interviewing classic car collector, Doug Bamber, for an article when, to his horror, he discovers that his hotel is haunted, the paranormal activity terrifying him, and the disruptive and restless ghost pursuing Sam wherever he goes.
To Sam’s astonishment, he also learns through Doug that a murder committed seven years earlier is directly linked to his tormented youth, catapulting him into a maelstrom of terror and vengeance when retired Chicago homicide detective turned PI, Gunther Parkinson, asks Sam to assist with his investigation. As he uncovers a horrific trail of violence and deception, Sam discovers that he has trusted the wrong person, and he could be the killer’s next victim..."
The plot of the book is quite standard for the paranormal mystery / detective genre; an unassuming, skeptical main character is pulled into a dangerous situation by visits from an unnerving spectre. However, the identity of the paranormal presence is unexpected, mainly because it is a character who is not previously introduced. This is also true of the name of the killer as well, with double identities and coincidences being vital to the plot.
Unfortunately, some of the coincidences seem somewhat forced and far-fetched, serving only to create a twist at the end. The title of the book, too, is taken from one line in the book that seems thrown in specifically to create a catchy title rather than any other reason.
Having said that, Caraway's writing style is wonderfully descriptive; he creates the beauty of the landscape in Montana just as vividly as the horror of gory murder scenes. However, the details don't become tedious and are punctuated by character developing dialogue and internal monologues. This is especially well done with the conversations between Sam and Doug, as they not only help to flesh-out the two friends, but also the other people they meet / know and discuss. It also ensures that all the characters introduced are more than just one dimensional husks and helps to keep the plot moving.
As well as great descriptions, the use of humour to break up the dramatic and traumatic scenes is effective and makes the book a little lighter than it would have been otherwise. Some of the jovial dialogue does seem a little inappropriate for the moment it's used in, but in general, it's well-timed.
To Evil Comes a Daughter moves at a good pace, has characters with whom it is easy to sympathise and reading it is enjoyable throughout. Even though there are some plot holes and predictable storylines, overall, the novel is a solid, well-written paranormal thriller.
To find out more about To Evil Comes a Daughter, or its author Allen Caraway, visit the links below: