By: Eric A. Shelman
Dolphin Moon Publishing
Review by Rick Amortis
Luke is a mild mannered auto mechanic with passions in life for the simple things. He loves his family, his girlfriend Terri, his business and his borderline obsession with restoring his 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special. Working on it since childhood, he pours blood, sweat and tears into his project, proud of the fact it contains all if its original parts. While taking it for a test drive in the outskirts of the Las Vegas dessert, an unearthly presence makes itself known by the name of Wade. Luke is beside himself in terror to realize Wade is a serial killer insatiable for blood. As the stranger takes possession of his prized Fleetwood Luke is helpless to realize he’s also assumed ownership of his body. Will Luke be able to thwart the evil ways of a killer hell bent on death, or will it be a simple matter of Shifting Fears?
For those of you familiar with Mr. Shelman’s works, you’ve likely read at least one or more volumes of the runaway hit series Dead Hunger. The wildly popular zombie series is currently in its fifth volume and shows no signs of coming up for air anytime soon. While any author would be thrilled to bask in the glory of critical acclaim; Shelman searches for something more. Determined to prove his writing isn’t a one hit wonder or flash in the pan of sorts, the author dramatically changes gears in Shifting Fears.
Eric A. Shelman’s haunting tale of paradox, time travel, human possession and serial murder is a roller coaster ride into terror, unrelenting in pushing the psyche in overdrive to the very boundaries. With an uncanny, accurate portrayal of fifties lifestyle, family morals, values and pop culture, we as the reader are led into a spell binding expose of grandiose sci-fi/thriller . We don’t doubt the circumstances presented in either time frame, making this novel a certifiable bone chiller from page one to conclusion.
One of the carnal rules of writing is naturally to write about what you know. It’s quite evident this author is a classic car buff. To some, the lingo or jargon may be a little overwhelming. But along with Luke’s likable wit and charm, we find ourselves plunged even deeper into the plot and cannot help but learn a thing or two along the way. In essence, the mechanic shop’s setting actually contributes to Luke’s character development. Almost instantly we’re impressed with his candor. His determination, independence and self-reliance are admirable. It’s no mystery to see why his coworkers, family and loved ones think so highly of Luke.
The subtle finesse in which Shelman drafts character development is reminiscent of Dean Koontz. Instantly we like the characters. It’s endearing to witness the relationship between Luke and Terri. We see parts of ourselves through their interaction and reflect upon our own relationships. Shelman has a bona fide knack for creating empathy with his readers, breathing new life into a wide assortment of characters. Even in instances where we may not be able to relate to the protagonists whole heartedly we experience traits that are admirable, likeable and dependable. Many times we find ourselves living vicariously through the fictional interactions, which in essence is one of the many reasons people become enthralled with reading fiction for a good, reliable, dependable escape.
The antagonist of Wade receives all the resounding checks of an effective villain. The method in which he utilizes to bait and slaughter his victims is eerie and disturbingly good reading. We find ourselves on a subconscious level cheering on the demise of this unstoppable force with ravenous page turning frenzy. Shelman has made his mark in the world of psychological horror fiction. Any avid reader would be blessed to embark upon any future odyssey with this writer at the helm.