The Painter by Rick Loveday
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This review contains hints that may be construed as spoilers.
Martin and Rebecca are a happily married couple living by the ocean in South Carolina's Lowcountry. They hold to hope when Rebecca is diagnosed with cancer, but Martin is shattered when the love of his life succumbs to the disease. Dazed and angry, he returns to their beach house and shuts himself in to grieve. Months later, he remembers the promise he made to his wife to finish her portrait. After the painting of Rebecca is complete, creepy things (I couldn't read some chapters at night) begin to happen, causing him to wonder if grief and solation have driven him insane.
A little southern gothic, a little suspense in the spirit of Twilight Zone, The Painter is a beautifully written, haunting story that captivates from the start. The ending is unconventional, but as Martin wonders if he saw what he thinks he did, the reader will have to ask themselves if they read that correctly.