It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.
Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account. Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now.
I wanted to write a review without spoilers, which is quite a difficult task.
The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a gripping story about that journey of his last few days. You’ll probably not be too surprised to hear there’s a fair dose of horror as well as suspense. Yet it’s also funny and witty and very intelligently written. It keeps you guessing, there are more than a few twists and turns and I didn’t see them coming. It’s a book that I couldn’t put down – that hasn’t happened in a while.
Character development is a key part of the plot. You find yourself thinking one thing about Jack Sparks then as his childhood and background become better known you’ll probably change your mind about him and probably more than once.
It’s very fitting that Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘reality tunnels’ get a mention because there are times you get the story from different perspectives and as you’d imagine, they are very different perspectives making you question the reliability of the account at times.
I also like how it’s written in the first person with comments from the editor and other people. Although a fictional character, there are character traits that are captured perfectly that will bring to mind certain people. It has the feel of a story about a real person and there’s even a website jacksparks.co.uk that really adds to this.
I’d highly recommend this book, but maybe not for bedtime reading with the lights off like I did. You might start to see things out the corner of your eye and start hearing things too. In fact the other day whilst driving I looked in the mirror and saw that the lady in the car behind looked a lot like Maria Corvi. That’s the thing with the last days of Jack Sparks. It will get in your head and get you thinking, often when you least expect it.