House of Rain is a horror novella from Greg F. Gifune.
Gordon Cole is a tired and lonely old man. A troubled Vietnam vet and recent widower, he does his best to survive in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood while drowning in the nightmares of his horrific past and struggling with the death of his beloved wife Katy.
And then the whispers begin calling to him from the shadows, terrifying visions stalk him relentlessly, the sounds of angelic singing haunt his every waking moment, and everyone in his life seems to be conspiring against him for reasons he cannot yet understand.
As the rains come, soaking down the city, Gordon realizes he must face his past, and solve a dark mystery that has haunted him for nearly fifty years. Who was the mystifying woman he met in a bar all those years ago? What happened in that seedy motel they went to?
As Gordon searches for answers, something within the mounting rain watches and waits, offering Gordon deliverance from his nightmare. But the keys to Heaven and Hell come with a terrible price.
Welcome home, Gordon.
Welcome to the House of Rain.
I am such a big fan of Greg Gifune. He writes what I would classify as intelligent horror. That's not to say other horror is unintelligent; he simply makes me think on a deeper level. His stories are not wrapped up and tied up; there is a lot to think about and there is always plenty left to your own imagination and interpretation. Other writers I would classify similar to Greg Gifune are Lee Thompson and Gary Braunbeck.
Over the last couple of years, Gifune has made his way on to my "must read" list. I featured House of Rain on my top anticipated books for Spring list, but I only just now managed to give it a read. I was pretty much saving it for the right moment because I knew it would be good, and I knew it would be a read-in-one-sitting type of situation.
This time it turned out to be a read-in-one-sitting-twice type of situation. I had to read it twice to get all of the pieces to fit in my mind.
If you don't like having to work for it, Gifune may not be for you, but there is something about writers like Gifune and Braunbeck and Thompson that make me feel like I'm seeing the world from a different perspective. There's a piece of my imagination no one else seems to touch.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself needing something to read on a stormy night, House of Rain will suck you in and give you plenty to think about.
7/10: Recommended Read
Review copy provided by publisher