"Slattery Falls" Book Review

Written by Janine Pipe

Published by Silver Shamrock Publisher

slattery falls brennan lafaro poster large

Written by Brennan LaFaro
2021, 152 pages, Fiction
Released on July 18th, 2021


Something you should know about me going into this review. First and most important, I am terrified of ghosts. We have a strict no paranormal movies in the dark policy as I likely won’t sleep. Yeah, I know – I’ll return my Horror Card on the way out…

Also, Brennan LaFaro is a friend of mine, and I beta read Slattery Falls way back last year. However, this is my honest review. Despite being scared of ghosts, of course I read stories about them (in the daylight, with all the curtains open and lights on) because we like being scared, right?

But something else I thoroughly appreciate is believable friendships and banter between characters and we get this in spades with these enjoyable characters. It isn’t always easy to pull off a balance like this and a relatable first-person narrator, but LaFaro executed it perfectly.

We follow buddies Travis, Josh and Elsie’s growing relationships as they grow older and embark on some amateur ghost-hunting adventures, culminating in a thrilling finale. What starts off as almost as a dare, breaking into allegedly haunted premises and adrenaline-charged encounters, leads years later to the origin story of the town of Slattery Falls and the discovery of the infamous Weeks House. The evil that dwells there is old and familiar and leads the hunters to become the hunted…

Haunted houses are a popular theme for both books and movies and it is easy to make comparisons to more famous works such as The Amityville Horror or The Haunting of Hill House. There is a reason this trope is tried and tested and tends to work without much need to change up a formula that just tends to work. It is perfect for any time of year, but there is something extra especially spooky about reading about the supernatural during the fall and winter. Ghost stories just tend to be synonymous with cosy blankets and warm fire since they tend to send shivers down your spine...

LaFaro’s description is all killer no filler, allowing you enough to easily visualise the setting but without all the extra fluff. For a debut author, he sure trusts the reader and it pays off big time.

There are more than a few genuinely creepy moments. I remember frantically scribbling down ‘Blair Witch Vibes’ and was even more freaked out upon learning afterward that there is an actual backstory to that particular scene *shudders*.

It is hard to say too much about the ending without spoilers, but it sticks the landing, and I was there for it. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, whether you think there are actual spirits out there or imprints of evil left on buildings, you’ll get a kick out of this debut (debut for goodness sake!) published by the mighty Silver Shamrock.


Overall: 5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.
Buy from Bookshop.

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Janine Pipe
Staff Reviewer
Janine has enjoyed horror from an early age, frightening herself with ghost stories and learning the craft from Stephen King. After trading in a police badge and an apple for the teach (ing assistant) er, she decided to try her hand at something she loved – writing her own scary stuff. She has many terrifying tales published and has been nominated for a 2020 Splatterpunk Award. She hopes her mum never reads a certain story about a hole in a tree … As well as reading and writing, she is an editor and publicist for Kandisha Press with her BFF Jill, where she is always on the lookout for new women’s voices for their anthologies. Her favourite authors and influences are quite obvious when you read her work. But she’d like to remind you they are: Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Tim Meyer. When not writing, reading or reviewing, Janine can be found at home with her husband and daughter, planning their next trip to Walt Disney World and drinking obscene amounts of coffee.
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