Is evil a person or a state of mind? Can evil affect the very ground where it resided. Does evil have the power to move at will? In A Place No One Should Go by D.L. Havlin we follow a family into the Florida wilderness for a holiday camping trip and get just a glimpse of those answers, and a bit more.
The father and leader of the expedition is Ben Callison. Not always a nice guy, he nevertheless insists on family time when it comes to their camping outings. Having always gone to the same place, he has heard from another friend of a place just a bit further that might have much better results for fishing. However, he is warned that he probably should not camp there, and his friend has recently died under strange circumstances.
Ben loves a challenge. In fact he thinks he may just know better. The place more than likely has even more treasure and his friend probably just wanted to keep it for himself. As the trip progresses and Ben and his family go further into the wilderness, we begin to get an inkling of who Ben really is. He is controlling, and he is not a very nice man. But he will have his way regardless of what the rest of his family wants.
Setting up camp, they find some wonderful fishing and actually begin to have a good time, but when a visitor, an Indian man that suggests that they should move on to somewhere else to camp once they have done fishing, the family is understandably concerned. They are startled, as the man seems to come from nowhere. In his mind, Ben believes he is right and he refuses to move on. He is in fact more convinced than ever. He believes the only reason he is being warned off is so that this man can then move in and enjoy the rewards of the excellent fishing and game.
As evening falls, Ben only now begins to get a glimpse of something not being right. His family in their tents, he is alone at the fire when he begins to see things. These strange and unnatural things make no sense. Fearing he has had too much to drink, he finally calls it a night, but uneasiness follows. Can Ben brush aside the strange things he remembers, and why does he feel so uneasy? Even as he and his family head back home, the uneasiness follows. Is there something following him, what was the real reason behind his friend’s death?
Ben and his family are somewhat typical as families go. What Havlin has added is just the small amount of inner evil and feeling of superiority to Ben. Just the bit of anger and a little you owe me attitude. He has done a wonderful job of setting the stage for a background to explain the evil that seems to lurk in the wilderness. His stories are strange and unsettling and you can visualize the fear. The family seems to do the best they can; having been around Ben their entire lives, they are used to this controlling nature. However, they still feel just a bit of fear around him. He is just not a nice man.
If you enjoy horror and strange happenings in your reading this would be the book for you. It is small and compact but carries a big punch. The fear begins to engage quite early and weaves throughout the story, setting the stage for the bizarre and yet somewhat inevitable ending. This is a book best read during daylight, or if you are an evening reader, turn on the lights and lock the doors; it keeps you uneasy throughout the telling.