Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review - Asylum Lake by R. A. Evans

Title: Asylum Lake (Amazon)
Author: R.A. Evans
Publisher: Chapbook Press
Release Date: July 30, 2010
Pages: 208
Genre: Horror
Source: Author for review

After the sudden death of his wife, Brady Tanner moves to the small Michigan town where he spent summers as a youth. But he soon learns that small towns can be stained by memories...and secrets too. As Brady is drawn into unearthing the secrets of the town and of the abandoned psychiatric hospital on the shores of Asylum Lake, he discovers a new love in an old friend. But there is an evil presence lurking beneath the waters of the lake. What is the source of this evil--and what does it want with Brady Tanner? (Goodreads)

Kim’s Take – I am a horror book lover and this has got to be one of the best I have read in quite a while. It was amazingly suspenseful and kept you constantly on edge and wondering what would happen next. Once I started, I could NOT stop reading!

After the tragic death of his wife, Brady Tanner returns to the home his parents owned on Asylum Lake where he spent his summers as a boy. It seems as if the second he comes into the door, strange and unsettling things begin happening. He begins to remember a terrifying event which happened to him as a teen while swimming in the lake one evening with friends. He has never been able to explain what happened that evening or his uneasiness with it. 

The book starts in 1972 with the conviction of a minor child convicted of the slaughter of a family of 4 which was extremely cruel and heinous in execution, and the youngster’s attempt to murder responding officers. Two of those responding officers happened to be “Buck” Tanner and his son, Brady’s father. Brady’s father has never spoken of the event and Brady’s grandfather died before he was born in a mysterious suicide.

Though Brady’s father and grandfather were both policemen, Brady turned to reporting as opposed to following the family footsteps. After returning to the Up North house, as the family had called it, Brady finds unsettling evidence in his father’s office of a case he had continued working. With the help of a former partner of his father’s, Brady is cast into a sinister and baffling history of events involving the insane asylum, Lake View Asylum, across the lake from his home. The asylum was closed shortly after a massacre that occurred in the asylum in 1958.

After strange and supernaturally terrifying things occur during their investigation, they are eventually led to the asylum for answers. The author’s descriptive writing throughout the book makes it feel like you are watching a movie, making you feel you have also entered the many creepy places and events the characters are facing and can also feel their fear.

The ending leaves just enough mystery to possibly mean a sequel may be in the works but doesn’t leave you without a feeling of closure for the characters in the book, with the exception of one. I would be extremely excited to learn a second book was being written.

I have to admit that another exciting thing about this book were references to areas where and near I live since this was written by a local writer. My hometown was even mentioned at one point which I, the dork I am, was rather geeked about!

Words can’t describe how great the story was and I often found myself unable to believe this was the author’s first book. I would rate his story and writing right up there with Dean Kootz and feel he has an amazingly bright future as a writer. I will be excited to read anything he may write in the future and would expect it would be nothing less stellar than his first. I cannot recommend this book any more highly!

Kim’s Rating – 


  1. Awesome! I can't wait to read this book! I live in Michigan, so it will probably be that much more creepy for me :)

  2. It sounds really spooky!!!
    I'm not exactly an horror girl, but I kind of want to read it.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. This SOUND SO creepy! And the cover totally reminds me of Jason!!

  4. Thanks for the great review and your comments! Asylum Lake is a love story at heart - it just so happens that sometimes love can lead you into darkness.