When Henry was a child, something terrible happened in the woods behind his home, something so shocking he could only express his terror by drawing pictures of what he had witnessed. Eventually, Henry's mind blocked out the bad memories, but he continued to draw, often at night by the light of the moon.
Twenty years later, Henry makes his living by painting his disturbing works of art. He loves his wife and his son, and life couldn't be better...except there's something not quite right about the old stone farmhouse his family now calls home. There's something strange living in the cramped cellar, in the maze of pipes that feed the ancient steam boiler.
A winter storm is brewing, and soon Henry will learn the true nature of the monster waiting for him down in the darkness. He will battle this demon and, in the process, he may discover what really happened when he was a child - and why, in times of trouble, he thinks: I paint against the darkness.
But will Henry learn the truth in time to avoid the terrible fate awaiting him...or will the thing in the cellar get him and his family first?
Written as both a meditation on the art of creation and as an examination of the secret fears we all share, The Painted Darkness is a terrifying look at the true cost we pay when we run from our grief - and what happens when we're finally forced to confront the monsters we know all too well.
©2010 Brian James Freeman (P)2012 Brian James Freeman
"Fast-paced, satisfying horror... a compelling read thanks to skillfully composed prose that builds tension and evokes emotional response." (Publishers Weekly)
"The tone and building dread reminds me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don't go in the basement!" (Stewart O'Nan, New York Times best-selling author of The Night Country)
"Brian James Freeman's evocative tale about the dark corners of an artist's imagination is elegant and haunting." (David Morrell, New York Times best-selling author of The Shimmer)
Fascinating if twisted tale about the (sometimes scary) creative impulse that resides in all of us. Really enjoyed the narration-Alex captures the protagonist's emotions so realistically, I never doubted he was experiencing every moment of the story himself. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a perfect marriage of fear and soul-searching!
The scene when Henry battled the monster in his basement.
The protagonist, Henry.
When Henry reconciled with his father.
The Painted Darkness is an easy to listen to, fascinating story. The narrator is pitch-perfect and it feels like the narrator teamed up with the author to give everything a cohesive feel that is sometimes missing from audiobooks. I found myself replaying this adventure in my head long after it was over. The quiet terror of the story was an absolute joy to listen to.
I've never heard anything by Alexander McDonald before, but I know for sure I will. His voice recording is top-notch, and I will be seeking out new books narrated by him.
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