|About the Book|
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/living...When author T. Stephens (a pseudonym) stayed at a camp in Maine and discovered the former owner had committed a suicide that involved a mysterious oval – or cypher – he saw a horror story in the making. “DanteMorehttp://www.nashuatelegraph.com/living...When author T. Stephens (a pseudonym) stayed at a camp in Maine and discovered the former owner had committed a suicide that involved a mysterious oval – or cypher – he saw a horror story in the making. “Dante’s Cypher” is the gripping result.The protagonist, Steve, and his wife, Carla, spend a disturbing evening at their friend’s Maine camp. Without giving too much away, things go from bad to worse to horrific in a matter of hours. The whole book takes place over a three-day period, during which Steve must find a way to rescue his wife from a malevolent force- clear his name with local law enforcement who are, it turns out, trying to kill him and exonerate him- understand the bizarre history of the cypher through found objects on the camp property- and live to tell the tale.Stephens clearly respects and emulates horror master Stephen King (coincidence that his writing alias, the protagonist, and another character are all Stephens? Hmmm), and indeed tips his hat in the afterword to the founder of “terror in a small Maine town” novels. But “Dante’s Cypher” is fresh and original, and moves at a quick pace that differs from the opus storytelling of King. There is a bit of gore, lots of dead bodies and an element of the supernatural that will have King lovers rapidly flipping the pages.Stephens thankfully includes moments of humor and well-drawn characters to ease some of the tension. The urgency is still always there, though, as Steve eludes those who seek him and hunts the answers he needs to save Carla from … well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.There’s a story within the story, where Steve learns the history of the enigmatic oval he encountered at the camp. We’re taken out of Maine and transported back in time to Inquisition-era Spain, where things get dark – really dark.While writing this, I struggled to not use lots of book-review cliches, like “heart-pounding conclusion” and “hard to put down.” But that’s exactly what I experienced reading “Dante’s Cypher.” I had to sit silently for a spell after finishing it and wrap my brain around it.This freshman offering by a local biotech professional is definitely worth your time, especially if you’re a fan of supernatural, Kingly horror. Stephens said he’s working on more than a dozen future story outlines, as well as a screenplay. Enjoy this book now, and get on board Stephens’ train before it takes off.“Dante’s Cypher” is in pre-release, available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tee.stephens and at Toadstool Books. Available through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble in early 2014.