Do you ever wonder whatever happens to those people that win the lottery? Do you assume that they’re sitting on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun and counting their money? More often than not, they piss away their dough and end up being broke only a few years after winning the lump sum. For Harris Whitecomb, he builds a huge mansion in the middle of nowhere Indiana before getting his head chopped off by one of his sons. Ever since, the Whitecomb house has been a realtor’s nightmare. I can’t imagine a multi-million dollar house is easy to sell in rural Indiana, especially one with a past like this. But, low and behold, for Hershel Merkley, his ship may have just came in in the form of a Russian filmmaker who has more money than he knows what to do with and is looking for a lavish, quiet place away from everything. Now all Hershel has to do is seal the deal. Ahh…wouldn’t you know it, there might be more to this house than meets the eye.
This is my first read of Wesley Southard’s work. I met him at StokerCon 2019, which prompted me to pick up a couple of his offerings. CLOSING COSTS was my first one and I like it. Wesley’s young, but the guy has the chops to be in the upper echelon of horror writers. He has a fast and furious writing style that borders on the minimalist side that’s pretty popular right now. People aren’t writing those 500+ doorstoppers anymore, unless your last name is King or Hill. Novella length seems to be the big sellers now and many authors are stripping away those page after page of descriptive prose for the lean and mean approach to accommodate the market. For me, I still like my books to have more meat on the bones and, yes, this is a preference thing. For people that like their reading to fall into less than a 100 pages, CLOSING COSTS is a fun, adrenaline paced read that will scratch your itch. While I like his writing, I still would’ve liked to have seen a more fleshed out story. CLOSING COSTS seemed to be over for me before it even got started. That’s my only complaint. So its all about what you’re looking for. I have no doubt that Southard can continue to grow as a writer and make a dent in the horror scene, and I’ll be right there reading him as he does.
4 Protective Rings of Salt out of 5
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