“It wsn’t your fault. You didn’t kill me. You had nothing to do with it. It was my job, and you are just as innocent as I was,” he said, but after everything that he had been shown in the judgment room, the word innocent tasted stale on his lips, like a glass of water left out overnight and drunk the next morning.
“I’m not innocent,” she said with a broken voice; yet her eyes burned fierce and proud. “I saw everything…the people I abused. I abused them, offering them my body. I stole from them, and I abused my child. I deserve to be down there. Being tied to those tables was too good for me. I deserved much worse. They explained it all to me…made me see. I sent my own daughter to her death the moment I gave birth.” Becky broke down once again and it was Helen who moved forward and put her arm around the woman who, despite everything she had been through, was still so young.
“None of us are innocent,” Helen said.
What happens when you die? If you have the slightest of indiscretions that you might have done on this earth, it seems as if you go to the darkest of darkest places…
The book starts out with us meeting Marcus, Becky, Richard, Helen, Sammy and Graham–people who have just passed away in whatever form or another. Marcus is a cop who was trying to help Becky and her baby to get away from her pimp, and Richard was a player who just wanted women for sex and nothing else. Helen worked in a salon, Sammy was in an accident with his girlfriend and Graham was just old. Even though they were “good” people, regrets and past mistakes have brought them to a bad place…a place no one would ever go to willingly.
As they are tortured day after day (or what feels like years to them) by their own demons, they realize the errors of their ways, admitting that they had done wrong by others, and even by themselves.
Each of the people are in their own separate Hell’s, but somehow get out of their Hell’s. Marcus, Becky and Helen meet up in a room, Graham and Sammy end up in another. The first question you ask yourself is, will they ever get out of these rooms? And what is the purpose of their meeting up with each other?
As the story progresses, Marcus, Becky, Helen, Graham and Sammy end up togther. They meet some archangels who send them on a quest.
What is this quest that they need to fulfil? Where is Richard in all of this? Will they redeem themselves, forgive themselves and be forgiven enough to be sent somewhere a little nicer?
Although horror isn’t exactly my personal favourite, this one I did enjoy. It was very, very dark at the beginning, mellowing out a bit half-way through it, although the darkness continues/remains. What the individual’s demon is brings a new darkness to the story for each person. I can’t imagine being in any of their Hells.
Each of the character’s story’s at the beginning of the book could have been made into individual short stories, an anthology of sorts. Each person had died with their own demons to bear, but somehow manage to find each other. Why? And, how? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
There were a lot of spelling/missing words throughout the novel, however it read well. My only beef is that the book didn’t end, meaning that there is a follow-up book to this one…meaning, you’ll have to wait to see what happens next.
If you like the dark and are not afraid of torture and Hell, then you will enjoy this book. 5 stars!