Review: Hell Spawn by Declan Finn

This is the best horror story I’ve ever read. I say that having not read the second book in the series… yet. What makes this book such an absolute win? Finn goes against the trend of so many authors in recent history and created a likable hero. Tommy Nolan doesn’t wring his hands and mope. He doesn’t sit around and curl up into existential dread. Instead we get a devoted family man, an unapologetic Catholic, and an action hero that discovers he has what are essentially super powers. He’s also funny and a genuinely good person. Good riddance to the boredom that is the anti-hero.

With Nolan’s partner Packard we get glimpses of the buddy cop genre. Always a plus. Packard might come off as annoying in any other capacity, but amid the gruesomeness of some plot points his odd, dark sense of humor helped to break up the horror elements. Nolan had a few thoughts and lines that had me laughing out loud throughout.

The supernatural elements reminded me of the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. This is much more horror than that. The antagonist here is about the most disgusting, hateful villain I’ve seen on the page. I won’t go into detail, because I don’t want to revisit the actions of our hero’s opposite. The back cover tells you right out that Nolan goes up against a demon. And demon it is.

While the gruesome bits were hard to handle, the payoff was well worth every cringe. The action scenes were more gripping than those found in a Brad Thor novel. They gave the likes of Larry Correia and John Ringo a run for their money. Each bit of action tries to outdo the previous action scene and succeeds. They actually grab you because, as mentioned before, it’s impossible to not like Detective Nolan. When something bad happens to him, you want to keep reading to see if he comes out on top or not. And just when you think the book has hit its climax, Finn pulls the rug out and hits you over the head with a big finale.

If you like the horror genre, you can’t do much better than this. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy for yourself and a few for your friends right here.

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