Thursday, March 28, 2013

REVIEW: "KINGSLEY WOODS" - by Joan Conning Afman

Title: Kingsley Woods
Series: Stand-alone
Author: Joan Conning Afman
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: February 13, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Horror
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Source: Received from publisher for review
Ellen's star rating: 5/5


Kingsley Woods would be a great place to live…if only the dead would stay dead.

Jaycee Warren really doesn’t want to return to the Berkshires, a place she fled years ago in the wake of the worst humiliation of her life. But her husband’s new job leaves her no choice. Once she arrives, she loves the house in the new, gated community of Kingsley Woods, but from the first day, she feels a strange unease. Pontoosuc Lake and The Grove are familiar from her childhood, but they’re different now—threatening. As is the wolf Jaycee sees through the brush that seems to carry with it something ominous.

The evil presence grows stronger as one strange event after another plagues the quiet community. Everyone can see the wolf, but no one’s sure if he’s real. Who is he, and what does he want? And why does one woman in Kingsley Woods appear to hold the key to the past...for everyone?


When Jaycee Warren sees the wolf, she knows there is something off and strange about it, but, of course, nobody wants to believe her. That is everybody, except the two CIA agents, Chip and Trace, who believe in the paranormal and its many dangers. As the small community become acquainted with one another, they realize that all of them share some connection. After a woman miscarries, somebody has a heart attack, marriages get into trouble, several fires are started all at once and numerous small animals are brutally killed and dismembered; it is clear that an evil is responsible. How to stop this evil from doing more harm, however, is the question.

Kingsley Woods is a comfortably paced story with moments of extreme suspense evenly distributed throughout the book. This makes the whole reading experience one of expectation and wondering when and where the next disaster will strike. The underlying sense of menace drives the story forward to the extent that I simply could not put it down.

The wonderfully realistic and vividly described characters endeared themselves to me and, every time something happened to one of them, I worried about him/her as I would about an old friend.
From Desi the self proclaimed princess, to the wisdom spouting ex-psychiatrist, Nick, all the inhabitants of the gated community contributed to a rich selection of personalities. Even worse were the numerous times I had to wonder who of the characters might be responsible for the destructive evil in Kingsley Woods. Add to this the presence known as 'Oh! Be Joyful’, and you have a story you don't want to miss.

The back story of the main character, Jaycee, is skilfully worked into the main story. The author strengthens the sense of danger by divulging certain crucial bits of information at moments when it can best crank up the suspense. As Kingsley Woods has a slightly open unresolved ending, let's hope there will be more about this beautiful place and the interesting people who live there. I highly recommend this book to everybody with nerves of steel and a taste for the supernatural.




Kingsley Woods by Joan Conning Afman has 3 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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