by L.H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims
Review by Harriet Klausner
Leisure Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780843959727
Date: 27 November 2007 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
She started working in the typing pool at Keltner Industries and soon climbed up the corporate ladder; now Emma Porter is being offered the position of Personnel Assistant to the Managing Director Alex Keltner. In fact he had his eye on her from the day she started working and her job interview is over in less than a minute. If she wants the position it is hers.
She goes home to her lover of three years Helen Carver who runs a stable in the English countryside. Helen tells her they are way behind on their bills; when Emma shares the news of her possible position, Helen is less than enthusiastic. She doesn't want Emma constantly on the go traveling with him. Emma says she will give it a try and the next day accepts the job offer. While Emma is starting her new job, a strange man is watching Helen in the stables when all of a sudden a docile horse attacks her. Sid comes to her rescue but suddenly his face goes slack and he puts a pitchfork into her.
While Emma is grieving and trying to console Helen's brother Tony, she is getting ready to work on her first assignment for Alex. She is to be a hostess at his country home and all the firm's important clients will be there. From the moment she arrives, she finds the place a bit unnerving. Her former boss warns her to leave before it is too late. Each room is monitored for video and sound and the sexual abandonment sends a chill down her spine even when she has sex with one of the guests though she doesn't know why she did it or why she wants to do it again.
Emma doesn't know that Alex and the rest of the Keltner's have a special interest in her and they are all waiting for Alex's father to show up. Emma begins to believe the guests are not human and are endowed with special powers that let them control regular people. When Emma discovers the truth of her heritage and what it will mean for Alex and his kin she wants to run away but finds there is no escape from beings that can control minds.
Readers who like the works of Brian Keene, Norman Partridge and James A. Moore will enjoy Demon Eyes, a horror novel that keeps fan interest even when they get scared because they really don't understand what is happening. L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims are a fabulous writing team evoking atmosphere gradually drawing horror readers into a plot in which they, like the beleaguered heroine, come to realize that Alex, his family and guests are not quite human. Even then, nobody will guess what they are until the authors' choose to reveal their secret. They are a wholly new evil that is capable of wiping out the human race.
The character of Emma is credible as her actions and reactions to things that happen to her seem plausible as is her slow acceptance that the hosts are inhuman as she goes from believing Alex is running a brothel to admitting that what her eyes see is real. She tries to fight and run but is stymied at every turn. Tony, Nathan, a psychic, a man injured by a Keltner and a bartender form an alliance to fight the Keltners and their ilk. That alliance will hold onto the next sequel because there are a lot of storyline threads left hanging that need to be tied up.
Demon Eyes is horror in its purest form. It makes no difference that this is make believe as the authors have a way of making it seem plausible which is what really creeps the audience out. In fairness, these beings are not pure evil, they have human-like feelings of loyalty to their own kind and some even try to limit the harm they do to humans. Like a microcosm of humanity, these life forms have some good and some evil beings among them.