Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
I don’t normally preface my reviews with this warning, but ***SPOILERS ARE INCLUDED***
Graveyard Antemortem, to me has the feel of a typical YA story, which for me was unexpected. Most of the tension and real life horror was left out. The scenes of the protagonists discovering her dead father were written without much emotion. The conversations between her and her friend Tina lacked sympathy and realism when addressing her father’s death. Her best friend said “I’m completely freakin’ out. So I can’t even imagine what’s goin’ on with you”. Um, yeah. Is this how 17-year-old girls talk? and only a few hours after discovering her father has been killed. The whole conversation was so casual. They could have been discussing what to wear or what to do. Then we learned that Lisa has a mysterious ability to taste blood and know the thoughts of a person. She could have solved the murder in the first chapter by tasting her Dad’s blood. This sounds gross but Lisa does this many times in the story.
After the first few chapters the story seems to gain some traction. Lisa stumbles across another mystery about who her uncle really is and why she never knew him. The author did a fine job of adding layers to the plot but the girls playing detective felt like a Nancy Drew book. I thought the murder of Lisa’s father was the main storyline, but she solved the case pretty early in the story and it felt anticlimactic. As for the subsequent mysteries, they were well thought out, but with characters I didn’t feel were interesting I quickly lost interest. I really needed more tension and suspense to keep me engaged in the book.
Length: 280 pages
Publisher: Kindle Press
Release date: September 6, 2016
Seventeen-year-old Lisa Jacobs is determined to solve her father’s gruesome murder. But before she can investigate in her own small town, she is forced to spend the summer with her Uncle Clayton, the owner of Grand Hallow–a massive funeral and mortuary operation the size of a small city. Her move to Grand Hallow only deepens the mystery as she begins to suspect the strange and chilling occurrences there are linked to her father’s death. With the help of her acid-tongued best friend and deadbeat brother, Lisa must unravel the secrets of Grand Hallow–before it’s too late.
Stephen Stromp, Biography-
What interests me are stories you can’t quite put your finger on, stories that may start in a familiar reality, but begin to cross the line a bit into the whimsical and surreal. I am drawn to darkness and like to dabble in horror, although I also like to mix different genres depending on where the story takes me.
My first book, a short novel titled Cracking Grace, is a dark fantasy that explores relationships, loss and spirituality.
In the Graveyard Antemortem is my first full-length novel. It is a mystery and suspense novel with a healthy dash of horror. I didn’t set out to write a mystery. I just wanted to take this story and its characters that had been in my head forever and write a novel that had a fun and scary tone–with lots of suspense and moments of horror. Yet as I was writing and the story further developed, I realized I had to embrace the mystery element to do it justice. I wrote ITGA book as a gift to my 17-year-old self. I wrote it for those who love mystery, suspense and horror. And I wrote it for the teens of the 80s.
ITGA was a winner of Amazon’s reader-powered Kindle Scout program. The e-book (Kindle) is published exclusively for Amazon by Kindle Press. The paperback is published by JournalStone Publishing and is available from various retailers.
Personally, I’m into animal welfare (I’m even coming around to snakes). And I love Halloween, haunted houses and the 80s