Dead Man’s Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
Joanna Raines has a degenerative condition that affects her vision. In an effort to save her sight she has been the recipient of an eye transplant. In Dead Man’s Eye by Shaun Jeffrey the reader joins Joanna while she is on the mend. Still physically and emotionally fragile, she witnesses a traumatic accident where she sees a man losing an arm.
After the accident Joanna is aware of a black shadow surrounding the injured man. Initially she thinks nothing of it, her new eye playing tricks on her, but when their paths cross again at the local hospital Joanna realises that something terrible has happened. The injured man, Lincoln Parker, has been possessed by a demon and Joanna is the only person that is aware of its presence.
Most of the action in the story takes place in and around the hospital where Lincoln is recuperating. This location works well. A vast maze of corridors, many rooms and a huge basement are used as an effective backdrop to the ongoing chase that develops between Joanna and the demon that is hunting her.
Malachi, the demon, makes for a downright nasty villain. His human host is a body builder so he is physically intimidating, even minus an arm. In addition to this he has a burning hatred for all humans. He is single minded in his determination to possess all humans. I liked the way that Lincoln is painted as being as much the victim as Joanna. Malachi can only posses his body while he is asleep and so Lincoln keeps waking up having no memory of the events that have occurred. He starts off being angry but then begins to doubt his own sanity. He suffers as much as any of Malachi’s other victims.
At one point Joanna seeks out the other eye transplant recipient to see if they are experiencing the same horrific visions as she is. This element of the story was only briefly touched upon. Personally I would have liked to have seen this strand of the story explored in a bit more depth.
The author does however very effectively describe the mental deterioration that Joanna experiences as she becomes further and further removed from her family a friends. She is forced into more and more drastic actions in order to try and save herself from Malachi.
Overall Dead Man’s Eye is a solid take on old school horror. At eighty one pages it’s a quick read. I enjoyed it, and could have happily read more.
The novella is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon.