Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hawkes Harbor by S. E. Hinton

Jamie Sommers is a confusing case to his doctor at Terrace View Asylum. He is a young man who will cheerfully and calmly tell stories of narrow escapes from hungry sharks in his days as a sailor, but starts panicking as soon as the sun starts to go down. From what the doctors have found out, Jamie was never a coward and lived a dangerous life few would risk, until he moved to Hawks Harbor. There he went mad under the apparent employ of a strange, old-fashioned man.

This book was very enjoyable. Some people may find it too jumbled and oddly paced, but I thought it was a good way of conveying Jamie's mental state. Jamie himself wasn't a particularly interesting character, but the development of some of the supporting characters (Kell and Grenville, especially) made up for that lack. Character interaction and the dialogue felt very real and solid. The writing sometimes took a turn t'wards the melodramatic, but for the most part was steady and clear.

This is a supernatural horror story that doesn't rely solely on things that go bump in the night to creep you out. Some of the most frighteningly intense scenes only contain threats, but one can easily see how Jamie would go crazy under the constant threat.

The book is pretty short, but manages to pack quite the emotional wallop into the 250 pages. If you like horror that is almost entirely psychological, you may want to give it a go.

4 Stars

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