NightWhere by John Everson (Kindle edition 6/5/12, paperback 10/2/12)
“Are you the harvester, or the harvest?”
A little sexual experimentation is fine, but the wrong kind can get you killed…or worse. For the young couple in John Everson’s erotic horror novel NightWhere, the world of pleasure mixed with pain proves to be both enticing and dangerous.
Mark and Rae have been enjoying the swinging scene for a few years. Though Mark is less excited by it than Rae is, he is happy to give his wife the freedom she needs because he knows she will always come home to him. When the couple receive an invitation to the exclusive underground sex club NightWhere, Rae is awash with excitement. Though curious, Mark agrees to go more to keep an eye on his wife than to hook up.
On the surface, NightWhere seems to be just a BDSM club. Mark and Rae are welcomed to “go in and sin,” and both quickly find themselves enjoying what the club as to offer. But after a few more visits to the mysterious club, Mark notices a drastic change in his free-spirited wife. Rae becomes obsessed with pain, both giving and receiving it. At NightWhere she gets to indulge her secret fantasies with real whips and chains, and her bloodlust earns her an invitation into an even more exclusive part of the club simply known as The Red. In The Red, the pain and degradation are more intense, and more addictive.
When Rae doesn’t come home one night, Mark discovers that she has been to NightWhere without him, and he faces the unthinkable in order to bring her back. What horror would you endure to save someone you love?
Woah. For once I’m speechless. Simply put, this book is disturbing. Even if you enjoy horror, this book might be tough for you to get through. NightWhere is not a sex club where couples go to play with trick handcuffs and silk blindfolds. It’s more like a sex club run by the cast of Hellraiser. When you play at NightWhere, you play for keeps. The book’s content is brutal and extremely graphic, and the pain dealt is both physical and emotional. This is not a romance, and it makes Fifty Shades look like Fun With Dick and Jane.
But make no mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When you look past the gory content, you will see this book has substance. NightWhere has all the themes I love in a good story: good v. evil, sin and redemption, and (believe it or not) love. Mark’s love for Rae is pure, and it causes him to risk everything to try and save her. Rae’s love for Mark is empty, and she seeks to fill the void within her with pain and acceptance by the people of NightWhere. As Rae falls deeper under the seductive power of The Red, she struggles with the last remaining traces of her humanity. There’s a lot to this book that make it more than a typical “torture porn.”
This is the third John Everson book I’ve read. Last year I read (and loved) The Pumpkin Man and Siren. And like these other novels, NightWhere combines reality with supernatural elements and creates a truly scary and unforgettable story. If you’re anything like me, it’ll freak you out, but it’ll also make you come back to find out what happens next. If you’re a horror fan and you can handle more graphic content, definitely read this book. But afterward if you find a red invitation slipped under your door, do yourself a favor and don’t open it!