Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Review: 'The Disembodied' by Anthony Hains

Wisconsin author Anthony Hains is originally from Port Chester, New York and earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. His employment is as a professor of counseling psychology, while counseling children and adolescents, cognitive behavior therapy and conducting research on cognitive and behavioral factors related to adherence problems in teenagers with type 1 diabetes. His ‘spare time’ is devoted to writing horror fiction: THE DISEMBODIED is a prime example of that forte. Anthony’s other books are DEAD WORKS and BIRTH OFFERING, and he adds short stories to that output. .

Anthony’s gifts as a psychologist certainly add to his depth of understanding and ability to create a character with Depersonalization Disorder. His writing skills are polished and his ability to create both real people and paranormal embodiments is uncanny. The mark of a fine psychological thriller is to make the incredible credible – and that Anthony does in this very fine story of odd twists and turns that make the novel riveting.

Anthony provides a well—turned summary of his book: ‘Thirteen-year-old Griffin Rinaldi seems like a normal kid. He plays basketball at the Y and he’s just learning to talk to girls. But Griffin doesn’t feel normal. He’s been diagnosed with Depersonalization Disorder—he feels disconnected from his body, and at times, he doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive. And it seems to be getting worse. Following the brutal death of his abusive father, Griffin is haunted by a red-haired kid only he can see and who wants him to do things he doesn’t understand. Griffin's only sources of support are his grandfather, Soren - a regional author of Outer Banks ghost stories - and his same-aged cousin, Tanner, a boy coping with his own troubled life. When a rare blizzard strikes the Outer Banks, Griffin recognizes the red-haired boy as a vengeful specter from Soren's tales. To make matters worse, his well-meaning aunt has convinced his mother he’s under some sort of spiritual attack. Unsure if the mysterious boy is a symptom of his disorder or an entity with evil intent, Griffin finds himself in a struggle to save his life, his sanity and maybe his very soul.’

Anthony’s fine sense of atmosphere places this novel along the Outer Banks of North Carolina – a perfect setting for a ‘ghost story’. This is a book that will appeal to all readers who love to explore the unknown. Grady Harp, December 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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