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Wesley McCraw is a speculative fiction writer. Right now he is working on a stand alone novel and two new series, all to be released some time in 2015. His debut novel, The Forgiving, was horror, but maybe his next will be romantic, comedic fantasy or gritty, erotic science fiction.
He graduated from the University of Oregon, where he completed the much-acclaimed Kidd Tutorial, a one-year intensive writing clinic which he hated. During his time at the university, he was also a member of Write Club, where he trained under screenwriter Omar Naim (The Final Cut, Dead Awake).
on Aug. 19, 2013 :
Review originally posted on my website, From the Mind of Tatlock
A few parts horror, a dash of haunted house and a sprinkle of the occult, is the perfect recipe to describe The Forgiving, a book who's story takes you on a journey with three people, whose lives are about to change, for the worse...
Short nitty-gritty plot description from the back cover is as follows: Three lovers, as a way to save cash, seek out a real estate agency that specializes in poltergeist activity. What they find in their prospective house will test their faith in God and their faith in each other.
The Forgiving introduces us to three lovers, Howard, Isabel and Grip, who after all experiencing troubles in their lives, come together and feed off each others love and devotion. After deciding that things are real, the threesome decide to go house hunting and due to the fact that Howard is very much into the occult and other spooky stuff and they are strapped for money, the trio decide to look for a house that is supposedly haunted, to cut down on the cost of it. That's when the Jacobi House comes into play. A mansion, that has had some interesting history throughout it's years, first being a brothel, then an insane asylum and last, but certainty not least, a site for a cult, called The Cross of the Lamb. After being left to their own devices to check out the house, the three discover they are locked in and that's when the real terror starts to unfold.
The Forgiving is fantastic. I'll get that out of the way first. It's a multi-layered story, that isn't entirely what you think it's going to be. In fact, I can 100% guarantee you, that you'll be pretty damn surprised come the ending and won't for a second, guess what's going to happen next. Wesley McCraw, weaves you a tale that's full of intrigue, spooky happenings and misdirections, lovely, lovely misdirections. Also, each character is expanded upon generously, with possibly only Isabel, who could've afforded to be a expanded upon a little more, as the ending owes a lot to her and I would've liked to understand some of her decisions a little better.
Any problems? Only a few. Besides the aforementioned character development issue, I would've liked to explore the house and it's history a little more. I understand where McCraw was going, with making the story streamlined, by using a brilliant ploy, as acting as the editor on the story and not the actual author. (Confused? McCraw, writes at the beginning, that this story was found in an estate sale and he is merely providing you the story, with a few edits and cleaning up. So, some chapters are missing, but notes are provided. It's pretty different take on writing and I really enjoyed it.) Even with enjoying what he did, I still would've liked a little more exploring with the Jacobi house and it's history, which honestly doesn't boil down to a serious complaint, as it just goes to show that Wesley McCraw, crafted a story that I'm really interested in finding out more about.
The Forgiving is a winner in my book. It's got a well crafted story, that is layered and isn't just your standard haunted house tale. The Forgiving can be best described as a pot filled to the brim with different ideas, that have been boiled together to form a compelling narrative journey and will leave you wanting more come the end.
Rating: 4.5/5 (-0.5 for an ever so small bit of character development mishap and missing back story on the house. +4.5 for a story that is equal parts horror and mystery, with an ending that stuck with me.)
(reviewed within a week of purchase)