**As a special treat for The Books of Blood readers, you can get a free Kindle copy of The Picture Frame throughout January. Send an email to [email protected] and use the special offer code PFJAN15**
A successful author, Blake Price, has moved away from the city for the respite of the country with his wife and son. As a bonding exercise, he and his son, Ricky, go out looking for hidden treasures with a metal detector. They find and dig up an unusual and intriguing picture frame. They soon discover that some things are better left buried.
It’s an enjoyable premise for the story. Whomever’s picture is placed in the cursed frame is destined for a sticky end. It’s in the vein of Final Destination but with much more subtlety. As the picture frame curse takes hold we closely follow the decline of the family. There are deaths and violence related to the pictures in the frame, but the tension comes from watching how the continuous negative events take their toll. You can really feel the stress that the family (especially Blake) is under trying to hold everyone else together. There can also be no greater threat than having your child in danger and feeling helpless when it comes to preventing it. It’s an emotional ride as the plot develops and you find out about the terrible trauma that happened to the family even before the picture frame was uncovered.
The fairly isolated location and small cast of characters means you get to know them well, raising your empathy for their plight. There was one character who annoyed not only all the others, but the reader as well, and it was a joy to see her perish. That sounds a bit morbid, but it made me smile. Despite the suffocating situation of the family, there are some more light-hearted moments. I especially liked the satire about Black Price’s books and selling out to write a teen vampire book called Twinkle.
When the local historian, Thatcher, provides the history of the frame, the curse, and the town of Redlake it’s a fascinating and intriguing story. On one hand, he gives you context and explains a great deal, but on the other hand, it took me a little out of the story, removing some of the mystery and pulling a little away from the subtle reality. The situation intensifies and becomes more desperate, leading to an ending which is satisfying and fitting for the themes that run throughout the book. This book has a fantastic epilogue too. The final twist in the tale could not have been better. Visit Iain’s website at http://iainrobwright.com/
Book Cover Blurb:
Blake Price is the most celebrated mystery writer since Agatha Christie, but a violent tragedy from his past sends him running from his life and into a secluded cottage in the countryside. Selfishly, he drags his family with him.
Trying to connect with his melancholy son and grieving wife is difficult, but Blake tries his best to hold the strands of his life together while kidding himself that everything is okay. One day, while out looking for treasure in the field outside their new home, Blake and his ten-year old son, Ricky, find something buried in the dirt – an antique picture frame. It changes everything.
What Blake first considers a lucky find, soon reveals itself to be something far more sinister. An ancient evil has been released, and it will stop at nothing to complete its mission.
SOME SECRETS SHOULD STAY BURIED…