I have enjoyed reading Mike Delloso's books since I happened upon one of his works a couple of years ago. Darlington Woods is as good as those I have read before and maybe better. Delloso covers a range of emotions in his characters and expertly takes the reader for the same ride. But just as we expect from Christian fiction, and real life, in the end light has overcome the darkness and again their is joy.
I have read all of this authors books and loved them all. Darlington Woods is my favorite. This author has a way of making you feel like you know every character personally. I won't write what the book is about that is in the description. If you want to read a great story with great characters and maybe learn something about your own trust and faith don't miss this book. A great creepy read.
Mike Dellosso has always seemed like the type of author I would enjoy. He writes in one of my favorite genres (Christian supernatural suspense), and on a variety of creepy themes, I thought I would enjoy his writing without fail. I was surprised when I read one of his previous novels (Scream) to find myself disappointed. I'm glad that I've given Dellosso another chance though - Darlington Woods was a thrill to read!
Rob Shields is a man with a haunted past. Having lost his wife and daughter, Shields is preoccupied with finding his son, convinced that he still lives. This search to be reunited with his little buddy leads him into a darkly mysterious, nearly abandoned town called Darlington. Plagued with a history of death, fear, and darkness, Shields is forced to contend with his own past as he struggles with the forces of darkness that surround him.
Not only did Dellosso keep me on edge trying to figure out what was going on with his story and where things would lead, he also pleased me with a storyline that cleverly dovetailed Shields' spiritual journey with his physical one. It is almost as though Shields' spiritual demons are made manifest in Darlington, and the battle he wages is as much (if not more so) spiritual than it is physical.
The only quibble I have is that Juli, whose past is tied to Shields' in some unknown way, is reduced largely to a wisecracking spiritual advisor. Her ever-ready sarcastic one-liners get old after a while, and I really wish she'd had some more depth than providing light-hearted comic relief and supportive handholding.
Otherwise, it's all good. Creepy, suspenseful, keep-you-up-at-night pacing, it all works together for a very satisfying read.
Darlington Woods by Mike Dellosso is another arrow in the author's growing quiver of stellar horror fiction. Rob Shields is still trying to recover from the brutal murders of his wife Kelley and son Jimmy when he is called to a small town in Maryland to claim a house left to him by a great-aunt he never met. Once there, the images and instinct that Jimmy is still alive become so real that he must follow them wherever they lead, even to the forgotten town of Darlington. So tiny it doesn't even exist on maps, and the locals refuse to give him directions until a young waitress named Juli steps up and agrees to help him find the town, because she knows that this is her calling. Dellosso is second to none in his descriptions of scary beasts as well as creating a slowly tightening noose of suspense around the reader. I wish that this book had about 100 more pages. There were some aspects of the plot that seemed rushed. When Rob admits to a phobia about the dark, it was a stunning admission because there is no previous foreshadowing of this major plot point. However, in describing how people are changed by fear and how it can rule a life, the story excels. Darlington Woods is definitely a pulse-pounding thriller, it just needed more development of the backstory.
Open to the first page and you'll be amazed. Amazed by the immediate sense of fear and creepiness that engulfs you. Mike Dellosso takes us on an awesome roller-coaster of emotions: fear, trepidation, trust, spiritual tests, and love for family. Wow! Dellosso has awesome writing skills. I say that because he can create a suspenseful thriller and combine it with a lesson in overcoming your deepest fears with God in control and produce a spine-chilling and heart gripping story. Page after page of chills brought me deeper into the story and didn't let me go til the end...which, by the way, was a total shocker!!! In between the fear and chills, Dellosso added characters like Rob Sheilds and Juli who are unforgettable. Amazingly done. On top of all this amazing work, Dellosso writes in 4 people's points of view but doesn't do it in a crazy confusing way. Love his techniques! I sat down to read this as a new comer to Mike Dellosso's works. I've always heard great things about his work, though, and was truly glad to have the chance to read Darlington Woods. Blood-pumping, sweat-breaking fear with amazing spiritual guidance will have you feeling like your watching a new horror movie (just cleaner, of course!). So, if you have a deep fear you've overcome, or have one that you want to overcome, I highly suggest you read Darlington Woods. The message of light overcoming the darkness (evil verses good) is POWERFUL. But be warned...this 5 star book should NOT be read at night! Oh, and beware of dark woods...