Karen E. Taylor,
Twelve Steps from Darkness
(Juno, 2007)

Laura has lost her husband and custody of her two kids to divorce, and she spends most of her time drinking her life away. When she hits rock bottom she finds it hard to see a way out of the miserable life she has created for herself. But, with an unlikely hero in the form of her arresting officer, Mike, she gets the support she needs to deal with her alcoholism and make peace with her past.

Alcoholism isn't her only problem; suddenly her house seems to be trying to communicate with her. She thinks she is hallucinating, but soon the presence is hard to shrug off, and Laura finds herself fighting off something she can't see or understand.

Twelve Steps from Darkness isn't what I thought it was going to be. Based on the back-cover blurb and a quote on the cover mentioning demons, I expected a scarier tale. While there is a frightening presence in the home that gave me a few shivers and a solid mystery behind it, the spooks take a back seat to Laura's everyday struggles with alcohol and substance abuse and trying to start over.

That being said, I wasn't disappointed in this story one bit. While I was looking forward to a good scare, one that kept me up tonight, I was pleasantly surprised to be treated to a solid, well-rounded story, with a little spook and a lot of hope.

review by
Cherise Everhard

26 April 2008

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