Your Turn To Suffer by Tim Waggoner

Lori is determined to confront the Cabal and get her life back….

Having not read much by Tim Waggoner before this, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. From the blurb, Lori Palumbo has to ‘confess and atone – or suffer’, so I was envisaging some kind of cult type thing, especially with the Cabal mentioned so prominently.

Turns out this is an altogether much stranger beast, with the Cabal all possessing odd physical appearances – goat eyes, gills on the back of the head amongst others – whilst bizarrely all having the fingernail of their little fingers painted pink.

Lori lives with her ex-boyfriend, Larry, much to chagrin of her current boyfriend Justin. In the early part of the novel, I struggled to tell them, although this became easier as the plot progressed.

The early part of the novel builds the mystery of what Lori has done nicely and introduces the more other-worldly elements carefully. There is an extremely effective sequence early on when shadow creatures attack Lori in her house, and this is the novel at its best: where the horror creeps into our world.

Initially, I wasn’t sure about the sequences set in another dimension called the Nightway, but these grew on me, especially when we were introduced to the Garden of Anguish and Edgar. That said, I definitely preferred the real-world sections more than the Nightway and I wonder if the novel would have been stronger with fewer fantastical sequences.

There is also a scene which features an assault on a shopping mall that perhaps should feature a trigger warning. It fits within the themes of the book but is still a tough section to read.  Without going into specifics, this was a little too close to real life tragedy to be entertaining but certainly ramped up the horror.

Reading my review back through, it sounds like I didn’t enjoy Your Turn To Suffer, and that’s not true at all. This is a good read, and fans of Waggoner’s work will be pleased. However, I would be cautious as to whom I recommended it: if you like multiple worlds, ancient ones type horror but with more action than your typical Lovecraftian fare, then you will love this.

This review first appeared on Ginger Nuts Of Horror. If you don’t regularly read that and you are a horror fan, you really should check it out!

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