The Glass Demon by Jerry J.C. Veit

four stars

glassThe Glass Demon, a screenplay-novel hybrid by Jerry J.C. Veit, details the forty-sixth case of clairvoyant-medium William Corgel. As Corgel investigates an apparent haunting in the home of the Glass family, he is forced to deal with the mysteries of his past while fighting the darkest and most dangerous being he has ever encountered. Sure that the Glass family is sincere, and that the haunting is real, Corgel discovers secrets so gruesome and macabre, they would keep him up at night were it not for the booze and pills. In order to rid the home of evil spirits, Corgel must delve deep into his past and reconcile with his own personal demons, all the while the life and eternal soul of young Elizabeth Glass hangs in the balance.

At times, The Glass Demon relies on familiar clichés from the horror and paranormal genres. A haunted basement, a feel of unease at 3 A.M., slithering snakes, a looming presence both in the shower and behind you in the mirror—none of these are new for the experienced horror reader (or viewer, for that matter). That’s not to say the book is tired. Rather, it instills a deep and insidious paranoia in its reader. Veit is well versed in all things ghosts, demons, and paranormal activity—that much is apparent within the first few pages. Veit’s protagonist is jaded in a worn out and familiar way, but he finds redemption with the readers in his interactions with supporting characters. In particular, the scenes with Demonology Professor Mikael are especially captivating, and the reader actually learns something. Corgel’s conversations with Angie the Friendly Ghost are sincere, but though there are tiny jewels of wisdom, they often border on cliché. In the end, despite its familiarity, The Glass Demon does what any good horror novel should do: it scares the hell out of you. It fails to rise above and beyond, but it succeeds in keeping you up all night.

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