Pressure is the first Jeff Strand book I have read. After everything I have heard about this author I was expecting to be so scared, I’d wet my pants, or scream, or have to sleep with a light on. I was disappointed.
This book is basically the tale of a boy whose only fascination is evil and it tells the story of how this fascination affects those around him, especially his best friend. Darren is a boy who has always been interested in harming and killing people and animals. His friend Alex begins noticing how Darren becomes more violent, controlling, and manipulative as he gets older. Eventually, Alex learns how dangerous his friend is when Darren is caught murdering his family dog. Alex confronts him and all hell breaks loose.
Let me start by saying that Pressure is very well written and has characters I felt were very well developed. However, the story should be classified as creepy, not scary. I didn’t find it to be “relentless” or “intense” like some reviews would have you believe. I love a story that you simply don’t want to stop reading. This wasn’t one of those kinds of books. It was average and truthfully, I wouldn’t even classify it as horror. It was good, but not great.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t read any more of Strand’s work. I think he is an excellent writer. He may just need a refresher course about what horror should be.