The Portal by Christopher Allan Poe: Review/Giveaway/Video Interview

May 19, 2012 | 2012 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance V. Mc Arthur

As we continue our Edgar Allan Poe month, what could be better fitting than the review of a book by a current mystery author who is actually related to Poe! Also at the end of this review is a video interview with Christopher & a chance to win a copy of the book!

When you look at the mini-reviews on the backs of exciting books, you’ll often see something like “a roller-coaster ride of a thriller, full of twists and turns and drops.”

Imagine you are a punching bag in a boxing gym, and imagine Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson…in their primes, all doing speed-punching on it at the same time, hitting, hitting, and hitting faster, faster, and faster. That was my feeling while reading Christopher Allan Poe’s The Portal.

The shocks start early and they keep coming, as Cody, Vivian’s four-year-old son, tells her “Daddy’s home.” She tries to get away from Jarod, her abusive-and-rich ex-husband that she’s been hiding from for a year, but he keeps attacking, despite being shot and losing body parts. It seems that Jarod is not exactly human in many ways, and he and Cody seem to be communicating with a mysterious entity called Mr. Vincent.

There are shootings, stranglings, decapitations, explosions, amputation, possession, the old family hit man, good cops, dumb cops, good skinheads, priests out of their depth, friendship, jealous relatives, decaying children, and more. It’s a woman-in-peril, paranormal, romantic horror-thriller. It’s a book where the line “We’ll meet for tea. We’ll catch up.” can make you shiver in revulsion.

The scariest thing you can say about this book is that it’s about love. How far into the darkness would you go for love?

It doesn’t matter when you read this book, it will get to you. If it’s cold and snowy, you’ll be sweating. If the temperature is a-hundred-and-ugh, you’ll get chills. If it’s raining, your throat will be parched and dry. There is so much action in this book, you can’t believe it all takes place in less than 300 pages…and there’s going to be more!

In the acknowledgements, the author singles out his mentor, Valley author Bonnie Hearn Hill. I’ve taken classes from her. If she can help somebody produce work like this, I’d better track her down for a refresher course!

Christopher Allan Poe works as a musician, and he understands rhythm and syncopation, even in his writing. In memory of Dick Clark, I’ll say it’s got a good beat, but I wouldn’t try to dance to it; I might lose my soul. Learn more about him on his website.

Video Interview With Christopher Allan Poe at the 2012 Left Coast Crime Conference:

Check out Christopher’s book trailer on KRL’s YouTube mystery author book trailer playlist–contact us to add your book trailer.

To enter to win a copy of The Portal, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Portal”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 26, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He is currently writing a stage adaptation of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild for the Fresno County Public Library’s next The Big Read. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.


  1. Great review, T. I enjoyed the video clip from Left Coast Crime as well. Thanks for spreading the word about the amazing Christopher Allan Poe. He and I have recently co-authored a book on writing fiction. More soon.
    Thanks again.


  2. I enjoyed the review, especially about the characters. The book sounds very suspenseful.

  3. We have a winner! Thanks for entering
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher



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