here. Four *s out of Five *s.)
Rising Fears makes for a suspenseful, breakneck evening read.
I'll openly admit: I am burned out of the thriller genre. I discovered it shortly after going to college, and after devouring every James Patterson book I could get my hands on (as well as many other from similarly-minded authors), I grew bored with the genre. There's only so many narrow escapes, near-death experiences, and ambiguous chapter breaks that one can take.
Rising Fears, however, grabbed me and hooked me right back in. This is probably due to Collings' masterful blend of supernatural horror with the pacing of a thriller novel, which made old ideas seem fresh and kept me reading until the end.
The town of Rising (get it? "Rising" Fears? Ha!) seems to be an idealistic place...until all hell breaks loose. The story follows James, an ex-LAPD who is having problems coping with the past deaths of his wife and child. As grisly murders and weirder and weirder circumstances begin plaguing the town, it's up to James to figure out what is going on...before he is the next victim.
The book is fast and keeps the tension up. It almost reads like a screenplay from time to time, which both helps and hinders it (depending on the situation). Good use of classic horror trickery such as the reappearing of a creepy object (in this case, a black crayon), haunting nightmares, and more keep everything fresh and deliciously creepy. It'll be hard to put the book down when you hit the second half.
My only complaint was it took me a while until I was completely hooked. The book starts with a bang, but because of its breakneck pace we hardly get to see "deeper" in the characters until near the ending of the book. This is a problem with the genre, not this book in particular, but the point still stands. Because of this disconnect it took me a while until I was fully engrossed, but when I was...boy, couldn't put it down. The ending is also a fantastic conclusion, that more than delivers on the promises made throughout the novel.
If you enjoy thrillers (or don't, but like a good read) then Rising Fears is certainly a book to check out. It's relatively short (I think I read it in about three hours), but considering you'll want to read it all at once that's a good thing. Pop this on your kindle, turn down the lights, and creep yourself out for an evening. You won't regret it.