Glenn Rolfe “The Haunted Halls” Review

Posted: January 11, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized
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Length: 234 Pages

Publisher: James Ward Kirk Publishing

Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Glenn Rolfe’s debut novel, The Haunted Halls, tells the story of the Bruton Inn – a hotel with an extremely dark past that helps fuel rumors of something paranormal roaming the halls. Despite claims by other staff members of extreme cold spots, seeing shadows and the eerie sensation that they are being watched, Rhiannon, Jeff and Kurt all seem to disregard the stories as nothing more than the stuff of local legend. However, as they each have bone-chilling encounters of their own, it becomes clear to them that something evil has taken up residence in the Bruton Inn. Their only source of hope is Lee Buhl, an urban shaman who neglects his true gifts in favor of chasing fame and fortune through a series of paranormal books. As the malevolent presence known as “The Ice Queen” – an entity hell-bent on returning to the land of the living – grows stronger, the characters find themselves in a fight for their lives.

Rolfe dials up no-holds-barred horror to masterful effect in The Haunted Halls, wasting no time in introducing the reader to the horrors that await those in Bruton Inn by starting off with a scene of a guest who falls victim to the Ice Queen in a gruesome and horrific attack. While you start off thinking this is going to be another run of the mill haunted house story, Rolfe adds his own spin on the theme that elevates it to something more. One of these touches is his characterization of The Ice Queen. The Ice Queen is an entity that seduces victims with her beautiful looks that mask the sadistic darkness lurking underneath and the description of how she influences others is pretty unique. She is not just your average spirit, but something much more frightening. Armed with the ability to blur the lines of reality, the Ice Queen unleashes a brand of psychological horrors that can only be described as downright horrifying.

The Haunted Halls often jumps from present day to the 1980s and the events that led to The Ice Queen taking up residence within the Bruton Inn. While it would be easy to get confused with the timeline jumps, Rolfe manages to blend these transitions in seamlessly and the narrative thread is never dropped. The back story that is developed does not hinder the pacing of the story as it is chock full of its own horrific moments, although they are less paranormal in nature.

I also enjoyed Rolfe’s creation of atmosphere regarding the Bruton Inn. What makes the Bruton Inn so mysterious and an intriguing setting for the novel is that it is not your stereotypical old hotel that is haunted by ghosts of the past. While many haunted house stories seem to draw from a vast past filled with evil, The Haunted Halls uses a singular contemporary event as the basis for the evil that begins growing within the Inn.

The Haunted Halls is a terrifying novel that is full of blood and guts but most importantly – a very engaging plot. Rolfe has definitely come out of the gates swinging on his debut and has established himself as one of many excellent up and coming horror writers. 2015 seems to be a pretty busy year from Rolfe as his novella Abram’s Bridge was just released through Samhain Horror and he has another novella on the way in April titled Boom Town and a novel titled Blood and Rain. After finishing Rolfe’s imaginative and adrenaline-fueled debut, it is safe to say that all of these titles will definitely be added to my 2015 reading list!

Rating: 5/5


Glenn Rolfe’s Official Website

James Ward Kirk Publishing’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase The Haunted Halls on Amazon


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