I have read several books by J.G. Faherty over the last year or so (“The Cure,” “Castle by the Sea,” “Fatal Consequences,” and “Cult of the Black Jaguar”) and have enjoyed them all. I was happy to have an advance review copy of his upcoming novella, “Death Do Us Part,” and eagerly dug in hoping for another entertaining fright.
Art Stanhope was in an unhappy marriage with Catherine. He was tired of her commanding ways and the way in which she ran his and his son’s lives. He was so unhappy, in fact, that he had begun to have an affair with her sister although Catherine was not aware of this yet. He was unhappy but he never really wished her dead which is why her sudden suicide took him completely by surprise. After emotionally recovering from her death, it almost seemed as if her death was a blessing for him and his son. He was ready to move on. Unfortunately for him, Catherine was not yet ready to let go.
It starts simply at first with noise and disturbances in the house but Art soon suspects that his dead wife is the one behind the strange occurrences in his home. As things begin to escalate, Art turns outside for help in ridding his house of the vengeful ghost. But is Catherine simply a unruly spirit seeking to disrupt his life or something much more sinister?
“Death Do Us Part” is a short novella but Faherty packs a lot into this little story that is at once familiar and new at the same time. He mentions “Tales from the Crypt” and “The Vault of Horror” in the dedication of the novella and it is clear that these are inspirations for the story as it could have easily been ripped from the pages of these classic horror books. The story plays on the old trope of the vengeful spirit returning after a wrongful death as well as the ties of love, or at least matrimony, lasting beyond the grave. It is at times a little over-the-top and at other times just a touch thought provoking but it is always interesting and even a little bit of a love story although the love in the story is tainted with poor decisions and rash actions.
“Death Do Us Part” reminded me a little bit of “Cult of the Black Jaguar” in that the story almost seemed ripped from the pulps of yesteryear. It is a classic story and yet Faherty gives it a unique spin that makes it feel fresh. This is not great literature but it is not meant to be. It is, quite simply, a fun horror novella that entertains and provides a couple chills as well. I have enjoyed everything that I have read from Faherty to this point and “Death Do Us Part” is another solid story from Faherty and a solid addition to any horror fan’s collection.
I would like to thank Samhain Publishing and NetGalley for this advance review copy. “Death Do Us Part” is scheduled to be released in January.