Dark Hollows by Steve French review

Halloween Thriller Dark Hollows by Steve French

Elevator pitch: 

imagine if Luke of Gilmore girls had a checkered past that came back to haunt him.



In Dark Hollows, Steve French employs a neat cinematic trick to weave past and present together; a word, a sound, triggers the memory of his protagonist, Jacob Reese. These flashbacks make the reader relive the past simultaneously with Jacob. Giving it immediacy. This is a story about guilt, retribution, penance. The impossibility of running from your sins. About not trusting that one stroke of luck, that may change your whole life for the better, when it means that everyone else pays the price, but you.
What I liked about it is a thriller about the consequences. In plays on two familiar feelings: the one you get when everything goes right in your life, and you expect disaster may be lurking around the corner. Now imagine if you did something to deserve having the beautiful life you built destroyed.  You could never really enjoy the spoils. This is the second feeling: Impostor syndrome. Jacob is literally an impostor. Looking over your shoulder is a stressful way to live. So it was convincing that when the past finally catches up with Jacob, he gives up the life he created to atone for his crimes.
I loved the setting; it’s very Gilmore girls, loved the Airbnb angle, and the fact that it’s set around Halloween. I was less keen on the scenes set in the past; they are not as strong, fell a bit flat, the drug-dealer angle has been done. Also, like many books I read this year, there’s a slightly negative connotation concerning the gay characters, and I could do without that.
The part I loved most is the relationship between Jacob and his trusted dog Murphy. Putting in peril the pooch was the masterstroke that makes the pages turn at warp speed.

The Gist: 

Jacob Reese a bit of a loser. He works as the bagman of a drug dealer and thinks the job isn’t that dangerous because he only traffics with college students. But when someone fails to pay up, it all goes wrong. And Laura, his girlfriends up dead. Scared and eaten up by guilt, Jacob manages to escape. He turns his life around. Opens a coffee shop and an Airbnb in a picture-perfect New England town. And he even gets an offer to open a franchise. Soon he will be a rich man. Then a woman who looks like Laura rents his Airbnb. Laura is dead. Jacob is sure of it. Only somebody is trying to sabotage everything he worked for. When on Halloween, his dog goes missing, Jacobs understands that someone from his past came back to make him pay, once and for all.