The Sins of the Father | by J.G. Faherty | Rougeski Review

The Sins of the Father by J.G. Faherty takes place in the Innsmouth of H.P. Lovecraft. It soon becomes obvious that The sins of the father is a loving pastiche of Lovecraft’s Arkham cycle, a practice which Lovecraft actually encouraged.  It is all there, Arkham, the Miskatonic river, the University, and of course, the mysterious, indecipherable manuscript that holds all the secrets of the cosmos.  The setting is interesting and realistically described.  Lovecraft fans will feel right at home in Faherty’s underground caves and secret ruins, obligatory elements of the Lovecraftian mythos.

In Innsmouth, Evil Never Dies

The author opens with the protagonist, Henry Gilman, in a darkened street, examining a murder victim.  Readers find that Gilman is the son of a doctor and is a “recent former medical student” employed at the city morgue.  Immediately, the mystery begins.  Why is he a former medical student, and what sort of sin could a doctor pass on to his son?

Evil stalks the streets in the form of darker ones, demons, walking corpses.  The locals live in fear but somehow do not seem surprised.

While taking a less traveled shortcut to the local pub, and his current love interest, Henry comes upon a crime in the offing.  A large person hovers over a prone victim.  When Henry tries to intervene, the creature rushes at him.  Just before passing out, Henry hears the demonic killer whisper, “Henry?”  When he wakes, Henry finds a heavy, leather-bound book.  With that, he becomes locked into a deadly battle with cosmic evil that will test his moral fiber

Faherty keeps his cast of main character limited to four necessary players: Henry’s best but not terribly loyal friend Ben, his sister Callie, Henry’s current love interest Flora, and police inspector Flannery.  The interaction between the characters and their shifting loyalties create extremely interesting and believable relationships that waver and morph according to the twists and turns of the plot.  In addition, there is the cosmic force, Mother, who like the human characters reveals unexpected aspects.

The character that runs the plot is Henry.  His character development is unpredictable, volatile and holds as many transformations as does the plot.

The relentless action begins on page one and continues to the end.  The plot is complex, relentless, and constructed to keep readers surprised and guarantee that they will not be able to anticipate the next reversal or redirection.

Realistic dialogue and word choices appropriate to the time and locality combined with a skilled, smooth writing style make for an easy, pleasant read.  Although the author is faithful to the Lovecraftian style, one feature the novel that might be considered in short supply is the high level of dread imposed upon readers of cosmic horror created by Lovecraft and writers such as Ramsey Campbell.

The Sins of the Father is an entertaining, satisfying read for those who hunger for the perpetuation of the Lovecraftian mythos.

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The Sins of the Father

Book Title: The Sins of the Father

Book Author: J.G.Faherty

Book Format: EBook

Publisher: Flame Tree Press


  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Complexity
  • Literary Quality
  • Setting
  • Originality
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