Monday, June 8, 2020


The Deception of Kathryn Vask
by Mark Steensland

Published April 14th 2020

Published by
Broadway Play Publishing Inc.

(from the book description)

Blaming herself for her son’s death in an accident, a grief-stricken woman wants to hold a séance to get his forgiveness from beyond the grave. But when her husband conspires with the family pastor to hire actors and fake the proceedings, things don’t go as planned…or do they?

To keep this review SPOILER FREE I will not give any more story detail than what was shared from the book description above.

I have to admit that I was very excited when Mark contacted me and asked if I would like to read his new work THE DECEPTION OF KATHRYN VASK. This would mark the first solo piece of his I had read. His collaboration with James Newman on IN THE SCRAPE was one of my favorite books of 2019 and THE SPECIAL (now a movie) was one of the most cringe inducing.

Right off everyone should know that this is a script. It was written as a stage play. Some might find this off-putting due to the structure style of stage commands, stage dressing descriptions and of course character dialogue. This did not bother me at all. I used to act in plays so the script aspect did not hinder my reading. Also over the years I have read several other horror related scripts. But really no one should let the presentation style stop them from reading this story.

The story is so well written that you will find yourself reading through without even having to look at the character designations. Each characters voice is unique and you will find the flow of the story very quickly. Even the stage directions will read out as if you were reading a normal story. That is a testament to the Author's ability to create characters. He is writing for the stage, so all dialogue has to be direct and written to be heard, unlike a normal book were an author can embellish a scene with background material and inner thoughts. What you are reading is what you would be hearing from your seat in the theater audience.

In my opinion there needs to be more horror in the theater. Yes there have been several on and off over the years, but not enough. The two that stand out are GHOST STORIES by Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman, and my personal favorite horror stage play THE WEIR by Conor McPherson. (both have scripts available on Amazon). I can see THE DECEPTION OF KATHRYN VASK easily joining the ranks of these fine productions.

Mark Steensland has given us a masterfully written story of despair and loss with enough twists to keep you on the end of your seat till the final page. This is going to be an outstanding show when it makes it to the live stage.

You can purchase a copy of the book at Barnes and Nobels.

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