The Bleeding Season

The Bleeding Season - Greg F Gifune This is the first book I've read by Greg F. Gifune and to say I enjoyed it would be a massive understatement, totally blew me away, a horror that touches on the evil of man, how that evil manifests after death and the shocking tale of man with two lives. This is a book that doesn't rely on excessive descriptions of bloodshed and violence, that said it is horror and there are elements that tie it to the genre but the strength of this novel is the characterisation and the gripping story.

Alan, Tommy, Rick, Donald and Bernard were close childhood friends, inseparable as kids can be and absolutely devastated the day a tragic accident killed Tommy their leader. Life carried on, they endured but they never truly recovered each resorting to their own coping mechanisms, each to their own battle, each flawed in their own way.

Fast approaching 40 and with very little to show for their lives, dead end jobs the likes of used car salesman, security guard and bouncer, the friends are about to feel that shock again as Bernard, apparently down on his luck resorts to hanging himself.
All the possessions he had left were a duffel bag, address book and the picture of an unidentified woman, no suicide note, that arrives later in the post and it’s on a cassette.

The story is told from Alan’s point of view and it’s riveting as we listen to Bernard’s final words to his friends, a few home truths are laid bare but it’s what he alludes to that grabs their attention and I was hooked at this point
Bernard had always been the weak one, gifted with his mouth but rarely truthful, perhaps more morally sensitive than the others Alan has to discover why he killed himself and it soon becomes obvious that Bernard wasn't quite who they thought he was. Each of them recollect stories from their childhood, occasions where Bernard acted anything other than a normal kid but when they all dream the same dream and bodies start to appear, the terrifying darkness reaches out to them.

An intelligent and totally absorbing read that drags you in and doesn't let go (like any good horror villain), I will definitely be exploring more of Greg F Gifune’s work. Highly recommended.