Epeolatry Book Review: The Thing in the Wind by Bill Mullen


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Title: The Thing in the Wind
By: Bill Mullen
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Release Date: April 5th, 2024

Synopsis: A search party stumbles upon an unspeakable horror that threatens both their lives and sanity.

In the heart of the Canadian wilderness, a harrowing tale of survival and psychological horror unfolds in this gripping novel. Amidst the vast, unforgiving landscape, a woman’s world is shattered by the mysterious disappearance of her mother in the remote reaches of northern Saskatchewan. Along with her father and a small, determined search party, she embarks on a desperate quest for answers, only to encounter an unspeakable terror lurking in the shadows of the ancient forests.

As the group navigates the treacherous wilderness, their journey becomes a chilling fight for survival against not only the harsh elements but also a malevolent force that defies explanation. Haunted by eerie premonitions and the feeling of being stalked by an unseen entity, they begin to realize that they are facing a horror far beyond their wildest imaginations.

What drew me to this book was the promise of terrifying encounters in the Canadian wilderness. As a Canadian myself, I am familiar with our vast forests and freezing winters. While I’ve never been as far north as these characters go, I do know what it’s like to be lost and cold in the wilderness. And while Mullen does deliver on his promise, he also spends a large portion of the book elsewhere.


The book begins with an eerie prologue before diving into the life of Shirley Carons Wells. Based on the description, I expected to begin with the young woman who loses her mother (Guinevere Walter), but instead was pulled into another story altogether. In fact, the part of the book described in the premise comes about rather late in the story, but I was far from disappointed. This part of the book introduces us to the lives and families of some of our protagonists, Shirley, Guinevere, and Berin. At times it feels a bit more like historical fiction horror, but I was hooked. Mullen builds his characters and their lives in a complete and compelling way that made them feel like old friends. The stories here are technically backstory, but they are integral to the plot and establishing the stakes of what was to come. It may have taken a bit of time to get to the titular “thing in the wind”, but by then I knew the characters and was well and truly invested in their fates.


Mullen continues to step outside conventions later in the book, too. Even when they were in the woods searching for their missing loved ones, Mullen departs from classic horror tropes and elevates the tale into a combination of horror, fantasy, and scifi. The “thing” is an enigmatic and frightening enemy. The terror is strong enough to satisfy horror readers, but the story goes to some unexpected places.


I enjoyed this novel quite a bit and have added Bill Mullen to my mental list of authors to keep an eye out for in the future.


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