This mainly follows the story of Ethan and Mel, an American couple staying in Japan. When their trip to climb Mount Fuji is cancelled, they are left stranded in the local area with a group of people and nothing to do. So, with nothing better to do they decide to camp out in the Aokigahara, known to locals as “Suicide Forest”.
The story had an interesting and intriguing premise as a base of a story and the author seems to have researched a lot of detail making it very realistic. Although the story started off a little slowly, once it started to build the tension it kept going. It is not a light-hearted thriller! The location of course was amazing, and the author’s descriptions are mesmeric. The novel is easy to read, but is also dramatic and hard-hitting with the story flowing naturally. Suspense, horror, treacherous terrain and odd incidents all add to this dramatic tale.
I did feel there was a lot of backstory to the characters given that wasn’t really necessary such as Ethan’s brother and, his ex, Mel’s ex. However that said there was enough interesting characters in the group to cause suspicion and intrigue, that did have me wondering if it was one of them trying to scare the others and if so who?
This is book one in the series “World’s Scariest Places”. I have also read book 2 – “The Catacombs” with a review to follow shortly. I love the concept of this series that each of the books takes place in a real setting. These books will appeal to fans of Stephen King’s earlier work, Graham Masterton or Richard Layton. They are dark, twisted and gritty storylines with plenty of action (and the odd bit of compassion) to keep the reader going. Looking forward to future reads from this author.
At the time of writing book three in the series is actually free as an e-book on amazon :- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helltown-gripping-suspense-thriller-Scariest-ebook/dp/B00VRJOQIK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1445496485&sr=8-4&keywords=jeremy+bates