“Golem – The devil is in the details” is not for the faint of heart. It is a battle between good and evil, humans versus demons, and exploring the dark side of the human mind.
The story opens on Halloween eve 1951 and follows three main characters and the conflicts in their lives. John Ashto, a WWII Vet, has just been promoted to a New York City detective and his first case is to re-investigate an old case file of the District Attorney’s missing daughter. Alena Francon, a high society socialite and sculptor whose family owns the New York City Hotel where much of the action takes place. And finally, Annette Flemming is a recently married housewife dealing with her husband’s constant travel which leaves her alone most of the time.
John and Alena are brought together because Alena is sure that she’s seen the missing woman John is looking for, and the tale she weaves about the DA’s daughter and how it ties to the ClareField Hotel that caught fire. As fantastical as her story is, his hope is that it will lead him to answers to solve the case and mystery.
PD Alieva draws the reader into John, Annette, and Alena’s individual story and their conflicts incredibly well. The characters are well-rounded and thought out, coming alive as you read. The book slowly teases each of their stories out and reveals how they are all related to the events in the New York City hotel. It’s not just their lives that we’re drawing into but the horror of it all as well. The use of the old folklore and that some of the locations in the book were based on real places and events only added to the horror and creepiness of the book and read.
This story is what nightmares are made of. Each of the main characters is so believable that by the middle of the book, I needed to take short breaks between chapters as each chapter revealed one horror after another. One is left at the end with the question: Is Golem real and can this fantastical story be true?
Note: If you like a book that ends on an up note, this is not the book for you. This is a true psychological horror, not for the faint of heart, and sure to leave you thinking about the events and messages in the book for weeks to come. But if you feel brave enough, it’s definitely a wild ride to embark on.