Matt Hayward – The Faithful Review

Genre: Horror
Length: 269 Pages
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Release date: October 15, 2018
Synopsis: At the Mountains of Madness meets They Live! in a new novel from Matt Hayward, the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of What Do Monsters Fear?

After comedian Leo Cartwright performs his farewell comedy show in New York City, a young man ailed by cerebral palsy confides in him about odd dreams and a place he calls No Man’s Land. Leo thinks nothing of it until the man, Christopher Tate, winds up dead, along with a cryptic note taped to the comedian’s RV window: See you soon, Funnyman.

Leo sets out to find the truth about Christopher’s dreams to an odd town named Elswich. Shown to Leo in a dream by a mysterious man named Jarrad Prescott, the town prays to an Otherworldly god named Aypep and give their bodies to host his children in return for eternal life in the Otherworld.

It’s a wish granted through sacrifice.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

At the heart of The Faithful we have a flawed group of characters who work together to overcome an evil entity in a strange town. I’m a big fan of the good vs. evil theme, and thought it was executed very well in The Faithful. The plot was engaging and story had great characters. First, we meet Jonesy, a man with many flaws, and you can sympathize with this guy. Also, we meet Leo who is at a turning point in his life, and it’s one we all will see sooner or later. In addition, he is dealing with a life filled with regrets. I really enjoyed the depth of the characters and the way they all mesh as a group. 

Regret, redemption and doing the right thing are common threads in our cast of characters. I loved the use of ‘other world’ that existed in The Faithful. The town was eerie and the set up was creepy as hell. I’m not a fan of stories that have religious components, but damn this was a great book, and I easily overlooked the ‘religious’ aspect. My only complaint, which is very small and came in the end, I let go and really enjoyed the way the author wrapped up this story. Overall, I thought this was a very well written story, and I need to find for more work from Matt Hayward.

Link to purchase The Faithful

Matt Hayward, biography

Matt Hayward is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author and musician from Wicklow, Ireland. His books include BRAIN DEAD BLUES, WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR?, PRACTITIONERS (with Patrick Lacey), and the upcoming THE FAITHFUL. He compiled the anthology WELCOME TO THE SHOW, and is currently writing a novel with Bryan Smith. Matt wrote the comic book THIS IS HOW IT ENDS (now a music video) for the band WALKING PAPERS, and received a nomination for Irish short story of the year from Penguin Books in 2017.


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