REVIEW: OLD FLAMES BY JACK KETCHUM


OLD FLAMES
JACK KETCHUM
GENRE: HORROR/THRILLER

SYNOPSIS


Burned again. Men never treated Dora well. This latest cheated on her and dumped her. The last decent guy she knew was her old high school boyfriend, Jim. He'd said that he loved her. Maybe he did. So with the help of the Flame Finders, Dora's found him again. Turns out he's married with two kids. But Dora isn't about to let that stand in her way.

Includes the bonus novella A Right to Life.






MY TAKE

4 STARS


Okay, anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of Ketchum's work—The Lost being one of my favorites. With this book, Ketchum delivers two captivating novellas, Old Flames and A Right to Life.

Old Flames is a story of obsession that ends tragically. The female lead, Dora, is a nut-job. It's obvious within the first few pages that she's a bit unhinged and it only gets worse from there. Moral of the story—if you run into an old flame, leave it in the past where it belongs!

The second story is A Right to Life. Honestly, at first, I didn't know if I wanted to even read this one but decided to give it a chance anyway. I am not a fan of reading about child horror and I thought this is where this story would go, but it didn't. This is a gripping story about a woman named Sara Foster. Right off, I felt bad for Sara. She's in her early forties and finds herself pregnant by her married lover. Some years ago, Sara's lost her only child Daniel when he drown in a frozen lake. Now she's pregnant and is about to walk into a clinic to abort her baby. Before she can even get to the clinic doors, she's kidnapped by a couple who has big plans for her and her unborn child.

What Sara goes through at the hands of her captors is unnerving and made me very squeamish at times. Up until the last couple of chapters, I kept wondering where Ketchum was going to take this story. I had no idea how the heck it would end. It was a very open novella that could have had several possible endings. Thankfully, Ketchum went with the ending I would have chosen. After feeling tense and hopeless during most of the story, the ending left me with closure and a good feeling.

Both of the novellas contained in this book are pretty good stories. Very well worth the read.
 


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