Gary Frank's Forever Will You Suffer is the book that got me back into reading after a very long hiatus, and changed the way that I thought about horror in fiction. Not only that, but my discovery of Frank's debut novel opened the doors to a tidal wave of literature by some of the genre's current kings of the written word. I (obviously) haven't turned back since.
Rick Summers' only intention was to visit the graves of his mother and sister, who were killed in a car accident years earlier. He had the taxi wait for him, but when he got back to the car - it wasn't the same driver. This driver was someone he had never expected. A re-animated corpse bent on driving him straight through his past, and straight into hell.
His journey brings him to the house of his ex-lover - Katrina - only to find that she is missing and has recently been the main focus of a mysterious stalker named Eduardo. And that's only the beginning. Soon after his arrival, the house starts to change, bringing them to another time and place, and bringing with it the disturbing ghosts of the past. At the heart of the matter is an unrequited love, and Rick.
In a past life, Rick spurned a woman named Abigail. It seems that she's held a grudge since then, and has made some new friends in the mean time. Demon friends. And now she's dedicated to keeping a promise that she made all those years ago...
This breakout novel by the greatly talented Frank is a rollercoaster ride of a book. The characters are tightly written and quickly put through their paces. It seems that the author had no problem whipping and prodding these poor folks into shape, and breaking out the action within the first 5 pages. The story doesn't relent, plunging the reader into one mystery after another, and then back in time to try to figure out what exactly happened, only to tear everything out from under you with an ending that is so...deserving...that it almost makes you want to throw the book across the room with a feeling of unadulterated satisfaction. Whew.
The settings are incredible, the shifts from reality to fantasy are entirely believable and unsettling, and the plot is a rapid fire whirlwind of whodunnits and thrills. It's been said (by Jack Ketchum) that this book is reminiscent of early Richard Laymon, and I'm inclined to agree. If you like your horror to be in your face and fast, you'll love this book.
Check out Gary Frank's website here, and his livejournal page here for more updates as to what he's doing now. Also, make sure you catch up with Gary on his message board over at HorrorWorld.