Passing Through by R.W.K Clark
One of the best psychological thriller novels.
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In the real world, there is no place one can go that is truly idyllic, and there is nowhere one can start anew that is genuinely safe.
That is what we clearly read about and mentally observe in this realistic fiction of RWK Clark’s newest novel, ‘Passing Through’. Set in the fictional town of Thompson Trails, Virginia in modern times, Clark tells the best horror story of a very small town where two newcomers have relocated and set up a cabin resort for Appalachian Hikers. They are accepted by townsfolk right away, taken in and loved as though they had been born there. But, this new couple is about to face an experience too terrifying and unforgettable that will ultimately ruin their lives as well as several others in this perfect little piece of heaven.
Little do they all know, a horrible murderer, who has been incarcerated for heinous crimes, has escaped from prison just as northern Virginia is about to get hit with a record blizzard. But the trusting innocence of these small-town people will prove to be their undoing, for they cannot conceive the likes of the stranger they are helping on that snowy night. What he has in store for them can hardly be put into words, and for the next day and a half, this man terrorizes this town horribly, leaving a permanent scar.
The main reason why I added this novel to the best psychological thriller novels of all time list.
They are all trapped together, with no power, no phones, and no help in sight. But there is a state patrol captain who has been trying to get the news around, even in the horrible storm, that a serial killer is loose, and he just happened to get a split-second heads up that he was spending the night in Thompson Trails. Unfortunately, the town lost all means of communication right after that awareness came.
Now, the roads are all impassible, and there is no way in or out of town, but Elliot Keller, mass murderer, is already up to his fun and games. Everyone who encounters him face to face pays with their life, and the outlook is more than grim, it is deadly. He is a sick man with a sick agenda, dealing with unsuspecting people who never see him coming.
The main characters of the new horror book include Rick and Donna Welk, a twenty-something couple who has moved to the town to open up the cabin resort and begin a new life after suffering a devastating loss. Elliot Keller, aka Elias Derringer, is the escaped mass murderer, who was tried and convicted for the murders of three college girls, and a brutal assault on their male companion, who he left for dead, but survived. Keller escapes the death penalty on a trumped-up technicality and patiently plans for more than five years to escape and wreak havoc once again.
Secondary characters who are significant to the new fiction novel, but brief in part, include Sheriff Bob Brown, his wife Rosie, Deputy Darren Rush and his wife Avery, and finally, Captain Russell Johnson and Detective Jackson Fowler of the Virginia State Patrol, both who are racing against the storm and the clock to stop the madman before it’s too late.
This is a very harsh book coming from this particular author.
Though he typically writes psychological thriller books on some level, they are all realistic fiction and very easy to read and digest, and they don’t leave you traumatized. ‘Passing Through’ is the polar opposite. It is graphic realistic fiction, very violent and cold in heart, and it is filled with sad endings and grief. Even the signature twist that Clark provides at the end does little to give hope to readers. For him, it proves to be a big leap in the thriller genre, and fans will likely feel the same way. This is the kind of scary stories book that has a couple of lessons, but mostly, it tells a very grim, sad story that could easily happen in real life. He doesn’t go easy on his readers with this one. Some of his fans are going to adore this classic horror book; they are going to love the lengths Clark goes to with both the plot and characters, as well as the harsh realities of his storytelling here. On the same token, he will have fans who may feel shocked with this realistic fiction. I am personally one of the former, and I think this is one of the best psychological thriller novels I’m glad he went out on this limb.
Suspense thriller fiction book recommendations.
It is not a psychological horror book that children should delve into. As a parent, you should definitely consider the truth that this is adult fiction, perhaps a horror books for teens list. It is horribly real, and it is not to be taken lightly. Otherwise, grown-up horror lovers and serial killers story fans like myself will be impressed; RWK Clark has really done a great job, and he has shown how far he has come as a writer in the pages of this psychothriller.
I would easily recommend ‘Passing Through’ to the right horror fiction audience. If you aren’t afraid to stomach something so harsh, and you are intrigued by the mind and actions of a killer, this is going to be the best horror book for you. If, however, you prefer his lighter works, his off-the-cuff humor, or the fun he has with ‘monsters’, I’d steer clear of this thriller. But I feel sorry for that group, because you are going to be missing out on one of RWK Clark’s best psychological thriller novels yet.
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