BY: ERIC HENSON
Welcome to the quiet town of Harrow, a picturesque community found in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. To the outside world, this charming little town was a dreamland vacation spot.
UNTIL SORROW FELL UPON IT…
Hidden deep within the Harrowing Hills is a secret pathway to the realm of mist and darkness—an unsanctified land where a dark enemy seeks to destroy everything in existence.
NOW ALL MAY BE LOST…
What can this normally-sleepy village harbor that could not only devour this close-knit community, but the universe itself?
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: Harrow by Eric Henson gave me goose bumps. Scared the bejesus out of me, actually. Still, I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished. It starts off with a tsunami that hits Thailand and washes a fallen angel up on the balcony of Bruce and Liz, a couple vacationing there. Then the story switches to the town of Harrow, New Hampshire, where children are disappearing and strange things are happening. I have to say that Henson has a very disturbing imagination, and while I would certainly hate to be in one of his nightmares, he does tell a very chilling and exciting tale, filled with demons, fallen angels, and other creatures that I can’t even pronounce. And all of these beings consider humans to be completely insignificant. It gives me the shivers to even consider the possibility.
The story is almost too well written. Henson makes an unbelievable plot sound entirely logical and possible. The things that happen seem almost too real. His characters are well developed, flawed, and mostly too human to cope with all the strange things going on both in Thailand and in Harrow. I was fascinated from the very first page, though I don’t recommend reading it on a dark stormy night.
REGAN JONES SAYS: I am not much for horror or Steven King type novels, but I did enjoy Harrow by Eric Henson. While it has all the suspense and twisted characters of King’s stories, for some reason, I did get that creepy-crawly feeling I get from reading King. I’m not sure what the difference was, but while Henson’s tale had evil creatures and horrific, unexplainable happenings, the evil seemed a more natural phenomenon. The evil creatures weren’t out to destroy humans, exactly. Humans were just in the way. They were also considered insects by these other creatures who, therefore, had no qualms about stepping on them, so to speak. They weren’t trying to step on the humans, but they also didn’t bother to watch where they put their feet.
It is a chilling story, made more so by the quality of Henson’s writing. I was quite surprised to find out that not only was this Henson’s first novel, but Henson has dyslexia, which I understand means that he has problems using words. If that’s true, you certainly couldn’t tell it by his book. The story is well-written, the characters well-developed, and the plot twisted enough to keep you turning pages from beginning to end.
Using the Crescent Realm to conceal his actions, the cacodemon Báalzbub conspired with an unimagi¬nable adversary to destroy the very existence he helped create.
Believing, although cruel and unfair, existence deserved to be saved, a small group of fallen angels decided to act. Fully aware that forgiveness was unattainable, these former Messengers-of-Light, reached out for help from those they once betrayed, sending word to their one-time ally—and now enemy—the archangel Gabrielus.
Unable to ignore the information, Gabrielus replied that Sariel agreed to meet them in the human realm. Hear¬ing this, Abaddon and his small number of followers attempted to escape the realm of Hell.
Only to discover one of their own had betrayed them.
Báalzbub slaughtered them as they fled. Only Abaddon and another named Ezziel survived the massacre. Forced to separate in battle, the two, now fatigued and wounded, must regroup in the realm of man and find Sariel—the dreaded Angel of Death.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” H.P. Lovecraft
In the Indian Ocean, just off the western coast of North Sumatra, about one hundred miles north of the Simeulue Islands, an entity of negative energy caused a colossal earthquake nineteen miles below on the ocean’s floor. Lifting the seabed up twenty feet and forcing nine hundred, ninety-four miles of fault line to slip fifty feet along the subduction zone, where the India plate slides under the Burma plate, this slip happened in two phases over a period of several minutes.
The first rupture proceeded at a momentum of six thousand, three hundred miles per hour, beginning off the coast of Aceh, proceeding northwesterly over a period of about one hundred seconds. The split stopped, paused, and then continued on as a second rupture begun to move northward at a speed of four thousand, seven hundred miles per hour, heading toward the Andama and Nicobar Islands.
The first rupture was about two hundred fifty miles long and sixty miles wide—the longest rupture ever known to be caused by an earthquake, and reaching a moment magnitude of nine-point-three on the seismograph, making it the second largest tremor ever recorded.
It was also the longest duration of faulting ever observed, lasting between five hundred and six hundred seconds, and large enough to cause the entire planet to vibrate as much as half an inch, triggering earthquakes as far away as Alaska. And tremors were felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and the Maldives Islands.
The total energy released was equivalent to 0.08 gigatons of TNT, about as much energy used in the United States in eleven days.
On the Mai Khao Beach in the northern part of Phuket Island, Thailand, Bruce Wren and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Bernhardt, were on a working holiday. Bruce, an Investment banker, had come to Phuket for a client, the owner of one of the largest rubber tree plantations on the island.
There was a time when tin mining was the major source of income for the island, but since the price of tin fell, the local economy had used two other sources for its income. One of those resources came from their rubber trees, making Thailand the largest producer of rubber in the world. The other resource was tourism, and Bruce happened to be on the island for both.
The decision came easy to ask Liz to join him on the trip. It had been awhile since either one of them had gotten away. The last trip the two of them took together was to New York City last year for New Year’s Eve. The packed Times Square was freezing, but with the two of them being New Englanders, and with the amount of alcohol they consumed, the cold was not a problem. They kept warm just fine. They had a good time, but this trip to an exotic beach was a little more special, and Bruce took advantage of the opportunity handed to him. When the business trip came up, by some miracle, Liz, a tax lawyer working for a mid-size firm out of Boston, was free to join him.
They were now on the amazing five and a half miles of Mai Khao Beach where sea turtles come to lay eggs on the pristine white sand. Bruce had hoped for a remote and isolated place, and he found it. After all, he had special plans this week.
He walked out onto their room’s balcony at the Mai Khao Resort & Spa, a five-star hotel right off the beach, to have a quick smoke, and saw the oranges and reds of the early morning sky that foretold the heat of the coming day.
He turned and looked into the room, just as Liz rolled over in her sleep, and smiled as he watched her. The two of them had been together for almost three years. He remembered the moment he became infatuated with her at a mutual friend’s birthday party, how helpless he was in keeping his mind and eyes off her. The way her blue dress perfectly embraced her body, how her hair fell across and framed her face. And then there was that smile of hers.
He became so besotted he had trouble engaging in conversations with friends. Every time he heard her voice and laugher his blood ran cold. Just the sound of her shoes walking across the floor caused his heart to race. He had always heard the expression “love at first sight” and thought it was just that, an expression. And then at thirty-three years old it happened to him.
When someone kindly introduced him to her, he fell head over heels in love with just a touch of her hand, reducing him to nothing and her into everything.
Last night, he took her to the southernmost point of the Island, the popular Brahman Cape, to watch the sunset. This was where he’d planned to take advantage of the rare vacation and scenery.
Packing a picnic, he led her up a small lush hillside, and while the two watched the sunset melt into the blue sea, he asked her to be his wife, to which she had ecstatically responded, “Yes.”
He walked back inside and closed the screen door, allowing the morning sea air in. With no intention of going back to sleep, he climbed back into bed, slid over to his still naked fiancée, and started kissing her neck. She slowly came around with a smile, letting him move on top. Liz had always enjoyed making love in the morning most of all.