A History of Fear by Luke Dumas

A History of Fear reveals one man’s descent into madness.


Scotland, 2017: Grayson Hale, an American grad student, callously murdered his classmate, blaming the devil for his actions.

Following his sentence, that should have been that. However, nineteen months after his conviction, guards find Hale’s lifeless body in solitary confinement at Her Majesty’s Prison Edinburgh, a high-security prison.

Authorities dismiss his death as self-inflicted. But, a few days later, a 200-page manuscript surfaces written by Hale.

It’s up to the reader to decide if Hale was telling the truth or if his childhood fear of the devil sent him on this downward spiral.

Review of A History of Fear

In addition to Hale’s manuscript, the story’s structure is a mix of notes, transcripts, interviews, and news clippings.

I enjoyed this story, but unfortunately, I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. The pacing was slightly inconsistent. However, things picked up in the final third, and I could not put it down. But then again, one of the big reveals could have been handled better. The breadcrumbs were there, but I never thought it would go in that direction, especially since the book is set in contemporary times. It was more depressing than anything else. I now know what Pink was getting at in her review.

On another note, the writing was excellent and engaging. Although, I was marginally less interested in Hale’s past and more so in his time in Scotland.

This book wasn’t terribly scary, but it has some graphic content that may disturb some readers.

I would definitely consider reading more from the author in the future. I see there’s already another one releasing sometime next year.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Expected Publication: 06 December 2022

Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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