Book Review: Covenant

The roots of the horror genre are tangled around humanity’s fear of death and the abominations that transcend it. Vampires, zombies, and demons all fit this description, but the earliest, and possibly the most widespread in human culture, are the ghosts of the unquiet dead. While many authors turn their imaginations toward new ways to terrify, ghost stories have scared us for centuries untold. Allan Leverone has delivered a solid example of such a tale.

The book is a quick read, thanks to the author’s skill in building tension and keeping the story well-balanced between Lindie and the Padgett brothers. Part I sets the tone by introducing the villain and his campaign of cruelty and depraved acts of murder. However, these first few chapters don’t reflect the tone of the rest of the book.

Part II takes us to modern times. Justine and Lindie Cooper move to New Hampshire, buy their first house, and begin fixing it up. During their remodeling work, Justin Cooper dies in a suspicious accident, and Lindie is the prime suspect. She knows she’s innocent, but a local detective won’t give up until all his avenues of inquiry are exhausted. She also notices oddities in her house. Now convinced the place is haunted, she hires Verna Watson, a local medium for help.

Lindie Cooper is easy to empathize with as she struggles to grieve her husband while trying to discover the cause of his death. She has no friends, save for her new boss, and the questions surrounding Justin’s death has everyone whispering. But the town has secrets of its own. When the drug-running Padgett brothers run afoul of the local police, the lines between crimes of the past, murder, and supernatural activity get crossed.

While the plot was predictable, I was surprised by the characters. Lindie’s story examines not only her grief but also her struggle to overcome ostracism and find a friend amidst so many unfriendly faces. Even the detective breaks out of his hard-boiled shell to confront possibilities he never expected.

Overall, Covenant is an entertaining novel that fans of ghost stories and paranormal activity will enjoy. It’s not breaking any new ground, but it is a skillfully written, page-turner of a ghost story with great characters, a terrifying villain, and a satisfying ending.

Publisher’s Synopsis:

When Justin and Lindie Cooper move into their dream home, a rambling, oddly-shaped “Handyman’s Special” in Covenant, New Hampshire, they are completely unaware of their house’s violent and tragic history.

Within a week, Justin Cooper is dead under suspicious circumstances, and Lindie must deal not just with her grief, but with a police investigator—and a town—convinced she is trying to get away with murder.

But that’s not her biggest problem. Because evil resides in her home, an entity that is more than a century old.

And it’s angry, relentless and determined to eliminate Lindie Cooper next.