Richard Franklin has left his Midwestern roots behind to live on the coast of Maine with his family. But in the autumn of the year 2000, he must return to his Illinois birthplace on a sorrowful journey. His wife Michelle has been killed in New England by a hit-and-run driver who is never found, so back home he comes with her cremated remains, to fulfill a final wish and on her birthday scatter her ashes in the park along the river in Blackwater Valley–simply Blackwater Val to locals–the small town where they both grew up and fell in love.
With him, he brings his six-year-old daughter Katie who still grieves for her lost mother: Katie, who can sometimes guess who’s going to be on the phone before it rings. Who can stop all the clocks in the house, and break up clouds in the sky with her mind, and heal sicknesses, and who sometimes sees things that aren’t there . . . people who are no longer alive. All the gifts she inherited from her mother.
Only something isn’t quite right in the Val.
Sinkholes are opening up, revealing the plague pits the sleepy hamlet was built over in the 1830s, when malaria and cholera outbreaks ran riot. Mysterious bird and fish die-offs begin to occur, and Katie can see ghosts of the dead gathering all around. But what she can’t see is the charred, centuries-old malevolence which has been waiting for her, and wants her for its very own. Or the pale Sallow Man who haunts the town’s nighttime streets . . . or the river witch–another Blackwater Val, of sorts–each of whom will be drawn one by one into the nightmarish bloodletting about to take place.
Blackwater Val is a visual and artistic feast for the horror genre. You can easily imagine what is described in this story from beginning to end. You become part of the horrific events as they intensify and draw to a spellbinding conclusion. A tribute to this first time Horror Novel (something you would expect from a well-seasoned horror novelist) by William Gorman. You must read every word from beginning to end! You don’t want to miss a single event or happening. It all draws to a most horrifying conclusion that will leave on the edge still wondering what more is to come. Where has this author been hiding!! This would make an excellent horror movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Something to look forward to in the near future. If you like having nightmares and being scared out of your skin you need to get your copy ASAP.
~ Edward Victor
About William Gorman
William Gorman grew up listening to ghost stories and dark fantastical yarns from his grandfather—a magician and former ‘mentalist’ during the last great, fading days of vaudeville. His first book, a collection of local myths and legends titled GHOST WHISPERS, spawned the highly popular Haunted Rockford tours and cemetery walks now operating in his Illinois hometown. His first novel, BLACKWATER VAL, was published in 2016. Its sequel, EVERY FOUL SPIRIT, was released in 2019.
He now lives in the Ohio Valley, and is currently at work on his next novel and a new collection of macabre tales.
Visit William Gorman’s website.