NightWhere by John Everson

After reading reviews of this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. They were all pretty favorable so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I was a little concerned about the “erotic” nature of the book. I’m sick of paranormal erotica books being lumped in with horror. When browsing Amazon or Barnes and Noble it’s all so diluted, it’s hard to find the legitimate horror books. Ok, rant over. That said, this book definitely contains no emo creatures of the night. While there are themes of love in the book, for the most part they’re either perversely twisted or unrequited. A husband and wife in the swingers scene are on the look out for something more. They find it when invited to the very exclusive roving BDSM club, the titular NightWhere. The story follows the wife, Rae’s, descent into her carnal desires and the husband, Mark’s, attempt to save her before it is too late. BDSM is rife throughout the book as is torture, pain and suffering. There is a fair bit of sex in the book. It happens often but always seems quite mechanical and doesn’t come across as sexy at all. Thankfully the author can write horror better than erotica and the scenes of torture, violence and gore do not disappoint. The goings on at NightWhere are imaginative and detailed. Even the most ardent fan of extreme horror will wince at a few of the scenes in this novel.

The main players in the novel are interesting, but some of those on the periphery are not. I was never quite convinced with Mark’s motivation to risk so much to save his wife, who was clearly beyond saving and pretty awful. I would have said good riddance to her, but I suppose that would have made for a short book. Mark’s character could have done with some more inner dialogue and thought over his situation, rather than blindly following the mantra, she’s my wife, must save her. My favorite character was Sin D, the bartender. She was vivacious and a hoot. Selena, the voice of reason and support for Mark, was also well written. As threatening as the people of NightWhere keep saying they are, Mark has a pretty easy ride, coming back and causing trouble at the club repeatedly. That is, until his climactic trials. The horror is all based on gore rather than scares and it’s effective at what it tries to do. After a while you do get somewhat desensitized to it as you read on and it loses some of the impact.

The conclusion is satisfying and there is room for a follow-up. Overall, I’d recommend giving this a read. Not for the prudish or squeamish, but I suppose if you were either of those you wouldn’t be here.

7/10

Back Cover Blurb:

She yearned to go beyond… but some curtains should never be opened.

When Rae broached the idea of visiting an underground sex club, Mark didn’t blink. He should have. Because NightWhere is not your usual swingers club. Where it’s held on a given night…only those who receive the red invitations know. Soon Rae is indulging in her lust for pain. And Mark is warned by a beautiful stranger to take his wife away before it’s too late.

But it’s already too late. Because Rae hasn’t come home. Now Mark is in a race against time—to find NightWhere again and save his wife from the mysterious Watchers who run the club. To stop her from taking that last step through the degradations of The Red into the ultimate BDSM promise of The Black. More than just their marriage and her life are at stake: Rae is in danger of losing her soul…

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