After tragedy strikes taking his wife, Richard Carter and his daughter, Serena attempt to rebuild their lives. Richard, answering an ad in the help wanted section, is called upon by Jacob Ascher, proprietor of the Deadfall Hotel to fill the job of caretaker. Under the guidance and training of Jacob, Richard learns the eccentricities and aberrations of the long forgotten hotel.
They discover the Deadfall to be a strange place where the horrors of the world go to vacation, retire and perhaps even to die. Richard and his daughter are faced with avoiding and sometimes combating serial killers, evil felines, angry spirits and other nasty entities that reside in the dark corridors of Deadfall Hotel. However, for Richard to truly learn anything he will have to revisit the darkest days of his own life, face the sinister Poolman and escape the blackened waters of the phantom pool that reach deeper than the foundations of the Hotel, itself.
The tale is unveiled as a series of events recorded by Jacob to detail the progress of training a new caretaker. It is easy to warm to the characters as Richard tries to protect his daughter and questions himself about bringing her to such a dismal place to live. Tem shows you the big picture by telling smaller stories which makes the journey interesting and less common than the usual novel. Dangers and conflicts ooze out of the cracks and corners, sometimes catching the reader by surprise and growing into frightening challenges.
For someone who is not a huge fan of modern novels, Tem’s writing is quirky enough to hold my attention. I enjoyed the story and had that melancholy feeling at it’s end; the feeling you get when you have grown fond of the characters and know you’re going to miss them.
Recommended if you like: The Shining, The Amityville Horror