✰✰✰✰½ The line between where imagination ends and reality begins can become blurred especially when someone suffers a tragedy so early in life. Such is the case with Henry the artist who paints against the darkness. He's been painting against the darkness for so long that he can no longer remember how it all began. However, when he finds himself all alone in an isolated farmhouse, he must finally face the demons that he has tried so hard to suppress through his painting. With his inner fears surfacing and manifesting in a physical form, Henry must rediscover his father's words of wisdom in order to survive.
The Bottom Line: Horror fans looking for a quick fix of terror will enjoy this little novella. The chapters alternate between the past and the present; it's a style that has a powerful effect and works well for this story. Additionally, Jill Bauman's artwork enhances the eeriness of the book. It's a real page-turner with a twist ending that's both terrifying and a little sad. While The Painted Darkness is a bit reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining; it is suspenseful and thrilling in its own right. Highly recommended for anyone who loves horror. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from author Brian James Freeman.
Details: The Painted Darkness by Brian James Freeman. Illustrations by Jill Bauman. Advance Uncorrected Proof published by Cemetery Dance in 2010. 175 p. ISBN: 978-1-58767-208-8 Note: I received a complimentary Advance Uncorrected Proof from Cemetery Dance Publications in exchange for a review. This was made possible by the Early Reviewer program at LibraryThing.