Paul E. Cooley does with ease what most horror authors only hope to accomplish: Pressing the buttons of your deepest and darkest fears, and keep them pressed through the entire ride.
It begins with the protagonist, Trey Leger: A man most of us can relate to. A family man, a hard working man, but also a deeply flawed man, Trey resonates with depth as the reader begins to understand his mental health issues. With each new revelation, aspects of your own life, especially memories of your childhood, are brought into a new and uneasy light. You begin to feel how tenuous your own grip on reality might be as you discover Trey's fears and neurosis, asking the same questions he does, even from the more omnipotent view of the reader.
But the mental roller-coaster doesn't end there. As the story unfolds, revealing the ominous "Ice Cream Man," the reader ping-pongs between believing it is all in Trey's mind, and realizing it could be something far more sinister. Brutal, gripping scenes of malice blend with twisted and unsettling mystery, leaving even the most savvy of readers guessing at what is to come.
Warped imagery common to most reader's childhoods adds yet another level of terror to the experience. With just a simple mention of an old cartoon theme song, Cooley digs deep into the reader's emotions, creating unease and discomfort usually reserved for real life torments. When you read the final words of the tale, there is a mark left in your mind. You didn't just read a horror story; you lived it.
Dark, disturbed, and always compelling, Closet Treats is a thrilling gateway into the twisted machinations this author creates. In a world where cliched "jump scares" and shallow gore dominate the horror market, Paul E Cooley unleashes true fear upon his readers.