I’m on the constant search for a good story on the written page. We have our go-to’s like Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz whose novels, though having stood the test of time, can seem almost as formulaic as the films we’re seeing today. To find something new, to find the taste of something different, I often search the sites of independent publishers like Lulu.com or CreateSpace.com, click on the Horror section and maybe order something that jumps off the page. It was by doing this that I purchased read one of the scariest novels no one else is reading; NEVES by Carlos R Savournin.
The premise is what caught me:
On a quiet night, Cynthia Sheyer and her friends stumble upon their parents’ gruesome murders. The notorious killer, Mason Bayer, meets his match when they fight back. Eighteen years later, the group finds they’ve suddenly taken on traits of the killer known for numbering his victims in backward English. One by one, they turn their backs on each other when they discover their biggest threat is themselves, and the only way to ensure their safety is to kill one another. Though the killer has been dead for nearly two decades, he lives within them, and it is clear he has a job to finish; a victim to number NEVES.
Seems simple, right? It was enough to make me dish out the $17 for the 330+ page book, and once I received it, I devoured it within a few days. In all sense of the phrase, this is truly a page turner that manages to keep you on the edge of your seat with the kind of suspense it takes years to perfectly craft. The synopsis is simply the backbone of the story, but the events that put the characters in motion are unpredictable, and therein lies the tension. It is horror in its truest of forms as you find yourself caring for the characters that are being placed in danger (something missing from most horror these days), as things that go bump in the night are not what they seem, and the plot twists are as surprising as they are dreadful. The villain is a man we can’t quite understand, but one I will soon not forget. Mason Bayer encompasses all that is treacherous and vile, and downright frightening.
There is no doubt that Savournin is a new writer, but the thing with new writers is that they’re trying their damndest to make their work the best it can be. It’s like a college football player trying to make their way into the NFL; they’re playing for the love of the game and no one can stop that drive. Though there are imperfections in NEVES (I caught a couple typos), it was not enough to keep me away. After reading the novel, I was Googled Savournin and found he has just released his second book (this time through CreateSpace), and though unrelated to NEVES, I am hoping it’s just as frightening.
I will keep my eye on this writer, and I recommend NEVES to anyone who is looking for a great horror read – something that will definitely make you think twice about turning off the light before going to bed.