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Through A Glass Darkly
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-231-1
Genre: Supernatural/Horror/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 312 Pages
Published: March 2015

From inside the flap

The House loomed over the city like a beacon of malevolent evil. People spoke of it only in whispers. Others tried to own it, eventually coming out in a body bag. Darkness dripped from its windows, spilt blood made up the foundations of its property, and Satan seemed to have a claim on the land. Houses built along its borders nailed their windows shut so that they wouldn't have to see it. Evil resided within its ancient walls and did not care who knew it!

Manchester House was a legend - the "Mount Everest" of Haunted Houses!

Professor Jonathon Holzer knew he had scored the opportunity of a lifetime. With an international crew of paranormal investigators, and a mysterious "shaman" named Indrid Night, the man hoped to find some answers. There was one proviso: The City Council was not aware of his venture, and the police could not help him. He would be alone.

Sometimes when one stares into an abyss, the abyss stares back into you!

Reviews and Awards

First Place in "Best Paranormal Horror / Suspense Thriller" by the Paranormal Romance Guild!

Format:Kindle Edition
How do I start this review? There are those books that you read and enjoy. Those ones that you read, write the review and move onto the next one. Then, there are those books that you read, rush through to the end because you HAVE to know what’s going to happen next, and then find yourself reflecting on all the multifaceted levels of the book.

This, was one of those books. I finished last week and I have taken this time to really revel in the enjoyment I felt from this novel. Huge kudos to the author, Donald Allen Kirch. I really hope this novel catches the eyes of a lot of readers; if it doesn’t they are surely missing out.

We are met with a self-assured parapsychologist who is aching to take on the “Holy Grail” of all paranormal /haunting cases. The very case he has sought out lands in his lap with a call from a Lt. Wells from Atchison, KS. There’s a house, Manchester House, that has taken the lives of many over the 100+ years since it was built.

With the chance in his grasp, he gathers a group from his team of experts. S.O.U.R.C.E. This team represents the “ideal” team; this is a team I would die for in my investigations. Even though there’s bickering amongst the team, the team is stronger than any family I’ve ever met. There’s a saying in my family, “We fight hard, but we love harder.” This holds true to Professor Holzer’s dream paranormal team.

This team goes through thick and thin; literally..thick mud and thin plastic veils. The come out with a hellish ending, and bigger tale to tell others. Without giving too much more of the plot line away, I will say that this was a well thought out, well written and thorough book. The author deserves to be promoted highly for his imagination and novel born of it.

I really hope that he does write a continuation. Donald Allen Kirch has left it wide open with the end in this book. If he does opt to continue this storyline, he focuses on some of the “cons” I’ve listed below.

Pros: There are so many pros in this storyline.
A. Team. I absolutely love the dynamic put together for Pr. Holzer’s team. Miranda, completely scientific based. Teresa, psychic medium whose power is believed in by the rest of the team, even though some are strongly science based. Sinclair, “non-believing” camera man who’s just there for his knowledge of camera and video equipment. Professor Holzer, parapsychologist, firm believer and researcher of all things supernatural. Finally, Indrid Night. Indrid is the Elvis of religious beliefs. He’s a cross between Indiana Jones and Roland of Gilead. I love this character. I could really see Jeff Bridges playing this character in a movie, should a major film company ever pick it up as a screenwrite.

B. Verbage and word usage. Donald has a strong grasp of the English language. I love when an author makes me think because of their work. I am electrified when an author causes me to keep a dictionary handy to look up words. I felt electrical pulses for words like, “incongruous.” I found this throughout the whole novel. This alone should be a reason to read this book. I have found that a lot of self publish authors do not possess the knowledge behind a strong vocabulary. I found this to be one of the solid aspects of Donald’s writing.

C. Plot line. There were no real questions left behind in this novel. Donald did a marvelous job at covering almost all points in his story. I was only left with two questions. Everything from the start of the Manchester House to the hell within. All circles of life were completed. The author brought in Religion, and did it with grace and class. As mentioned above, Indrid Night was the team’s religious guru. I compared him to Elvis, because Elvis wore symbols from every religion. Night, he was versed in religions from new to archaic. There’s a quote in the book that I felt was appropriate. “Charms, spells and icons of every faith and religion. Good, like evil, had many faces. Though Night was partial to the ‘faces” of his own faith, he realized that God was great enough to have other faces in His battle with evil.”

D. Even subtle references to kick ass fiction characters, “Bubba Ho Tep.” Because, Ho Tep man.

Cons: There were only a couple that left me pondering.
Character building was a little lacking. I would love to have known more about their psychic, Teresa, and her background. The tidbits fed to the reader about her parents was just enough to meet the character, but not enough to satisfy the hunger. Each character was described enough to understand their roll within the book, but not enough to understand their idiosyncrasies and what makes approach the paranormal in the ways that they do. I do hope that if he goes into a book II, he covers their background a bit more.

The plastic sheeting was never covered. Although it covered the pages of the book within the storyline, the author doesn’t cover the meaning behind it.

Through A Glass Darkly (Excerpt)

Prologue: Atchison, Kansas - 1867

Sallie Cummings was a pretty young lady riding west on a stagecoach. The new railroad system had not, as of yet, been successfully installed as far as Atchison, Kansas. The minor hardship did not phase her, however, for she was on her way to a new life; she was going to marry a wealthy man. A man whose letters had touched her heart like no others had.

There was the promise of leaving a life of poverty behind.

There were lots of promises.

A traveling salesman leered at her, and she tried to ignore his hungry stares, concentrating on the savage lands rushing past her as the stagecoach traversed down its dusty trail. She cleared her throat, nervously.

She was from Boston. Of Irish stock. Her hair was as fair and as lovely as the Dublin morning - that is what her mother always used to say to her. She had also been cursed with a beauty both rare and fair. Of course, her father considered her graces to be more of a blessing than a curse. The affliction of beauty was lamented more by her god-fearing mother.

Upon entering the township of Atchison, the vehicle came to a slow and cloudy stop. As the dust of a long journey came to a settled clarity, Sallie was escorted out of her seat and into the hot Kansas sun. The woman held her breath, eagerly anticipating her first sight of the man who had sought her out amongst several dozen women.

Eyes roving the bustling, dusty crowd of the boom town, Sallie knew at once when she, at last, saw William Manchester, the master of Manchester House.

The first thing she noticed about him was his eyes. Cold and dark, they caused a chill to run down her spine. However, William Manchester tried diplomacy and kindness to impress his new bride-to-be.

"The angels have nothing to compare to the beautiful bounty I see before me," the man stated, slowly bowing to Sallie. His gaze ran up and down the lines of her dress, practically undressing the woman. His plastic smile quirked into a sneer almost unconsciously, and his face dripped with arrogance. If he were trying to project the fact that he was a gentleman of good character, it was not working.

Sallie, uncomfortable, could feel her heart beating with an almost primal panic. There was, unfortunately, no turning back.

The stagecoach took off. Its disappearance again stirred up the dust of the main thoroughfare of the frontier town.

She was now to be a bride.

At least, that was the agreement.

A letter had been sent to her parents arranging a meeting. Then, a wedding was planned. Her recent forbears had come from Ireland -- a nation where arranged marriages were common -- and Sallie had not given the deal a second thought. She was only told that the arrangement was a good one, that her new husband was a wealthy man, and that she would not know hunger for the rest of her days. What more could a poor Irish woman want in such a new and vast land?

"Am I then in the presence of William Manchester?" Sallie asked, her eyes looking down upon her shoes, shyly.

"You are, young woman."

His voice was like the scratch of broken glass, and it shook her to her bones, disturbing her composure. There was an uncomfortable undercurrent projecting from this man.

"I am Sallie Cummings," she forced a smile, unable to meet his eyes.

"No," Manchester softly stated, lightly touching the girl upon her chin. He raised her face to lock her in his gaze. "No wife of mine will ever look upon the dirt as if she were a servant. You are now to become an important part of my future, Sallie. Believe in that much, at least."

Sallie, lulled by the kind touch and hopeful words, allowed herself the moment.

William Manchester had other ideas.