Wednesday, February 28, 2024

✱✱Book Review✱✱ New Haven by René Rehn


Tragedy strikes in the small, religious town of New Haven, Minnesota when the pastor’s daughter, Claire Owens, is found dead. Ethan Miller, the town’s only self-proclaimed atheist, enlists the help of sheltered Christian boy David Sullivan to unravel the secrets hidden beneath the town’s picture-perfect facade. As they dig deeper, doubts and dark truths emerge. Can they expose New Haven’s secrets, and if so, at what cost?

New Haven is a slow-burn horror mystery novel about faith, deception, and the dangerous secrets within the heart of small, isolated communities. And we soon learn that some secrets are best left buried, or they might consume you.

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is one creepy little town! I wasn't sure quite what to expect with New Haven, and to be honest, I often shy away from religious horror for personal reasons, but this one caught my eye and piqued my interest. I feel like that element was handled very well, and I didn't find anything particularly offensive about that part of the story. That said, I did find it pretty darn chilling. And it's not just the town! There were several characters with a sinister vibe, so it's pretty much a guessing game as to which characters can be trusted and which can't. Right here is where I admit that I was wrong about more than one of them. My advice would be to go into this one with an open mind and suspect everyone.
The only drawback for me is that the story lagged a bit at times. I know it can’t be full bore all the time, but I’d have preferred a little less slowdown. That aside, the book is well written with lots of twists and turns and a shocker at the end, at least for me. Well, maybe a couple of shockers. René Rehn is quite talented, and I enjoyed the descriptive writing. I found myself easily picturing this small town with the big dramatic church at its center. I pictured a dark Gothic-style church, which only enhanced the creep factor for me.
I could go on about the well-timed twists and the number of times I white-knuckled my Kindle while I tried to warn young David that he was getting into hot water, but I don’t want to get into spoiler territory. So, I’ll let the book keep its secrets and let each new reader discover them for themselves. New Haven is one of those books that give you chills and make you look over your shoulder, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.   

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