Book review: Prince of Nightmares – John McNee


No. This book ‘Prince of Nightmares’ is not a Donald Trump biography, but is in fact a disturbing tale about a haunted hotel that steers clear of becoming ‘run of the mill’ by the way in which McNee graphically describes certain scenes/dreams/visions inside of the book.

The story follows the journey of Victor Terversham –  a self-made millionaire who, at the request of his deceased wife, stays at a haunted hotel nestled in the highlands of Scotland. The hotel is notorious for terrifying its guests with horrific visions and strange appearances. But what is the significance of the hotel? And why did Teversham’s wife book her husband into the retreat shortly before taking her own life?

I’ll admit that haunted house stories don’t often float my boat, however, I’d heard good things about this book and I’m glad that I give it a go. What makes this book stand out is how McNee portrays these visions/dreams on paper…bloody, gruesome, wildly imaginative are words I’d use. McNee certainly doesn’t pull any punches and as well as the book having a suitably creepy feel to it, there is definitely enough here to please Splatterpunk and extreme horror fans. These gore-filled, twisted scenes appear often but McNee does well in keeping them creative and interesting.

The writing is good, easy to follow and the pacing is great. Teversham isn’t the most likable of characters, but I didn’t dislike him either (a grey sort of chap, I’d say). The pieces of the puzzle that is the hotel begin to fall into place during the second half of the book. There are often scenes where the lines between fiction and reality become blurred for our protagonist, keeping the reader on their toes and fascinated as to how  events will unfold.

‘Prince of Nightmares’ has a universal appeal to all fans of horror fiction, not just those looking for a spooky read. Definitely not for the faint of heart and if you go into this expecting a PG13 rating then you will be more than a little surprised.

The haunted house tale has been done many times (and will no doubt continue to). But with ‘Prince of Nightmares’, John McNee has written a gripping and gruesome tale that will surprise and delight readers with its graphic imagery and engaging story line.

Pick up a copy of this book from here.

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