Jason Evans life is turned upside down when he receives a photograph in the mail, a graveyard but it’s the cryptic message on the back that spooks him ‘you are dead’.
More photos follow, nightmares begin and it all seems to be linked to his condition. Jason suffers from Pyrophobia, an abnormal and exaggerated fear of fire, its source has never been pinpointed and when it rears its ugly head it can leave him incapacitated. For four years he’d been free of the flames torturing his mind, finally extinguished or so he thought and happily married to Kayla. The photos open a world of hurt for Jason, someone is threatening him, intimating his death and his life enters a downward spiral.
Jack Lance writes with an incredible amount of detail, almost as if no thought or spoken word is left at the wayside. You feel like nothing whatsoever is omitted, this gives unprecedented depth to both the characters and the story but walks a fine line between going that little bit too far and being a rapid page turner.
Some will like this style others may be bored by too much heavy description poured into the story, causing the tension to diminish. It can be annoying when your main character is remembering important facts related to a topic that holds significant and substantial value as you go through the story. If something was that pressing, you’d have thought about every nook and cranny constantly and surprises shouldn’t really come from your own memory half way through the story. Especially when the issues been there all your life.
Pyrophobia for the most part is a well written, quite enjoyable story with a couple of semi-infuriating moments, the resolution is cleverly done and the antagonist difficult to guess. Life can spin on a sixpence, everyone has secrets but how deep are yours hidden.
Words by Paul Nelson