Not only has Philip Tucker created an atmosphere of fear in this novel, he also highlights the weakness of human self interest and the damage it can do to the people around you.
Here is the book summary: Down in the depths below Buffalo’s abandoned State Insane Asylum the shadows writhe and wait, hungry for a new cycle of revenge and despair.
Into their web of madness disappears Henry, forcing his older brother to begin a search that will lead Thomas into the darkest corners of his soul.
For the dangers that lurk in the interstices of Buffalo’s haunted heart care not for flesh but for the substance of the spirit, the resilience of the mind and the strength of one’s will to survive.
And Thomas, fleeing as he is his own troubled life, soon finds his very sense of self under attack.
Accompanied by Julia, his younger brother’s tormented ex-girlfriend, Thomas forces himself to walk the same downward spiral that claimed Henry.
But the hunger that Henry awoke has broken stronger men than Thomas, shattered their minds and consumed them whole in the darkness. What hope does Thomas have in the face of such ravening despair?
CRUDE SUNLIGHT is a tale of modern psychological horror that will appeal to fans of SILENT HILL, THE RING and Shirley Jackson. Complete at 85,000 words (about 350 pages), CRUDE SUNLIGHT will haunt you long after the final page has been turned.
Crude Sunlight appears, at first, a story of a haunted insane asylum and I expected people to get killed off one by one until the hero finds his brother and they ride off into the proverbial sunset.
By the way, that would have been fine with me because I love scary, gory horror but Philip Tucker went deeper.
The building with the creepy sounds and sights is NOT the focus of the story. Thomas is. His lack of prior involvement in his younger brothers life causes him to wait months before making an effort to find Henry. Assuming Henry is off partying it up or what have you, Thomas is in for a surprise when he stumbles onto the knowledge of what Henry was doing in the days preceding his disappearance.
Julia, Henry’s ex-girlfriend seems indifferent to Thomas and his belated quest to find his brother but Mr. Tucker gives us a glimpse of Julia’s soul which suggests differently. It is also disturbing.
The antipathy in Thomas’s life has put his marriage in jeopardy and the search for Henry starts out as an excuse to get outta town and avoid his own problems.
He ropes his best friend into helping him, when he knows things could tun out bad, but is not overly worried at involving him.
When things do get wildly out of hand, Thomas has to re-think his true purpose and decide exactly how much he cares for friends and family and what he is willing to do for them.
Do not mistake the character work I am describing as a complete picture of Crude Sunlight. It is a real and clever part of the story Philip Tucker has crafted but beware, this story is gonna scare the crap out of you. Philip Tucker doesn’t create monsters you can kill or control or reason with. The evil that Thomas has to face will make the hair on your arms stand up.
This story has all the makings of a great Horror read with a dash of Speculative Fiction and human psychology thrown in to make things a little more real. I loved it and I am positive fans of this genre will too!