The Damned by Andrew Pyper
Published: February 10th 2015
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist, called “smart, thrilling, utterly unnerving” by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, comes a spine-tingling supernatural thriller about a survivor of a near-death experience haunted by his beautiful, vindictive twin sister.
He’ll have to go to hell and back…
Danny Orchard wrote a bestselling memoir about his near-death experience in a fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ashleigh, but despite the resulting fame and fortune he’s never been able to enjoy his second chance at life. Ash won’t let him.
In life, Danny’s charming and magnetic twin had been a budding psychopath who privately terrorized her family—and death hasn’t changed her wicked ways. Ash has haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he’s met the love of his life and has a chance at real happiness, she wants more than ever to punish him for being alive—so she sets her sights on Danny’s new wife and stepson.
Danny knows what Ash really wants is him, and he’s prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save the ones he loves. The question is: will he make it back this time?
Pssst…Can I take a minute to fangirl over the literary genius that is Andrew Pyper? This mans creative genius makes me incredibly proud to be a fellow Canadian. He carefully selects each and every word he uses to bring his characters to life. There is no filler, no nonsense – just quality crafted writing. He has a style of prose reminiscent to the gothic horror kingpin Shirley Jackson.
After reading The Demonologist years ago, I had to devour his entire catalogue of work. Utterly incredible writing. If you haven’t yet read it, do yourself a favor this spooky season and pick up a copy.
Now, let’s discuss my personal favourite from his impressive body of work. The Damned was a deeply disturbing story. The darkness of this story envelops the reader and you simply cannot put it down until you’ve turned the very last page. It may indeed bring you nightmares. It’s that bloody good.
Danny is the perfect protagonist to appeal to reader’s emotions. He is deeply flawed and has had a literal hell of a life. We identify with him because we all are in the pursuit of our own happiness and peace. With him, happiness is impossible. He is bound to something much bigger than choosing right or wrong to control his happiness. The small, fleeting moments of happiness are so important in his dreary life.
Enter his sister Ash, she is a character with absolutely no redeeming qualities. It is easy for the reader to detest her, and consistently root for Danny to banish her for good. I can’t elaborate more on Ash without spoiling the story (which I refuse to do.) This is one you must read for yourself!
Pyper has beautiful prose. It is stunning, horrifying and enthralling. The bond between the characters is unique to state the very least, and the story has an authentic voice.
This book has a sinister charm that horror readers will swoon for. One of the best horror stories I have ever read. Absolutely flawless storytelling. This is one I re-read every year. Once the dark half of the year begins, this beauty of a book jumps off my shelf.