A typical meet cute turns into a relationship brimming with happiness and love as Karen and Joel seem to be a match made in heaven. When the harsh cold of the Michigan winter freezes the pipes of Karen’s beachside cottage, Joel is more than happy to take her in until the spring. But a problem soon makes itself known: a problem that may leave Karen not living long enough to see the end of winter. A dark and dangerous presence resides in Joel’s home and it wants Karen gone… alive or dead. In an unexpected fight for her life, Karen must unravel the mystery of this presence if she hopes to not only save her life, but the life of the man she has fallen in love with.
Author Jason LaVelle has done it again. Using his exemplary storytelling talent, he has written yet another gripping and eerily lifelike fiction in The Cold Room. This marks the second installment in his Dark Night Thriller Series; however, readers are in for quite the frightening surprise upon reading this tale. While Whispers in the Shadows contained an excellent balance of multiple genres such as thrills and historical fiction, The Cold Room focuses mainly on suspense and horror. Fans of Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton will be immediately captivated by the strange and macabre feel LaVelle’s novel gives, making the second in his series much darker and more horrific than the first.
Much like the first book of his series, The Cold Room has a limited number of main characters readers will follow. With this limited number comes excellent character development and the perfect amount of background to have readers become invested with the characters, especially one character in particular in The Cold Room: Karen. As seen in the first of his series, LaVelle is known for writing powerhouse leading women and this legacy continues on with Karen. She is an amazing and memorable character due to how realistic she is. For all of the frightening and terrible things that happen to her throughout the story, Karen is more than terrified, which is understandable for any normal person would be if they had to go what she had to. However, there is a trait about Karen that truly stands out: she never gives up. No matter how terrified she is, no matter how dark an occurrence may seem, no matter how defeated she may feel, Karen does not quit. This proves to be an incredibly admirable character and one to follow example to for any hardships life throws one’s way.
By just reading the first two books, LaVelle’s series is proving to be quite appealing, mainly because the first and second books really have nothing to do with one another. Whispers in the Shadows took place in the past and the main protagonist could hear dark voice in her mind while The Cold Room takes place in the present with the main protagonist fighting for her life against a single evil entity. There also doesn’t seem to be a connection or relation between the characters. This in no way takes away from the series for each book stands alone on its own beautifully and both will capture readers’ attentions in different ways. However, the one terrifying similarity both stories share is the fact that both are inspired by real events…
With the knowledge that this story was inspired by actual events, readers will most likely be far more frightened as they traverse their way through The Cold Room. As aforementioned, LaVelle has the gift of writing stories in an eerily realistic way. Whispers in the Shadows was a story about two women who actually existed in real life and The Cold Room was based on true events. Readers may not know how much of these stories are true, but, without giving any spoilers away, just knowing that parts of these stories are retellings of events that actually happened truly creates a sense of horror and dread. To be able to tell a story such as The Cold Room and have the readers playing the story within their minds almost as if they were watching a horror movie is pure talent, by far.
With his admirable and captivating storytelling, LaVelle has impressed readers once again with his talents in the second installment of his Dark Night Thriller Series. The Cold Room proves to have many more thrills and scares than its predecessor, yet continues the eerily realistic feel LaVelle has made himself known for in his narratives. The strange and macabre await anyone who reads this novel and knowing the story is based on true events will instantly capture the attention of any thrill-seeking reader. The story will play like a movie within the mind and while some may believe they have the story figured out as they read, the ending will surely throw them for off course. The Cold Room proves to be a terrifying story of darkness and surviving that darkness through a memorable character who, despite her terror, does whatever it takes to fight and survive. With one more installment in the series, readers will be intrigued to discover how LaVelle’s series will end.