January 31

The Bucktown Babies – Janine R Pestel

A former priest and demon hunter, Father Gunter is a demon’s worst nightmare. But even he will need help to destroy the demons that threaten the small farming community of Bucktown. When he sees a news broadcast about tragic events taking place in the town, he realizes he has work to do.

Along the way, help arrives – but from an unexpected source. Will it be enough to see the demon hunter through the final showdown with evil?

 

 

My thanks to Anne Cater for the chance to host a leg of the Bucktown Babies blog tour

 

It is the oldest battle: Good vs Evil. In The Bucktown Babies the forces of Good are represented by Father Gunter (once a priest but now a demon hunter). Evil is represented by…well by a Demon so it is a relief Father Gunter is on hand.

It has been a while since I read an out and out horror novel.  Ghost stories can flit around with thriller and chiller titles but demons, demonic possession and dead children is pure horror fodder. With a good horror tale you enter the realms of “anything goes” and you just run with the story.

Gunter is heading to Bucktown, drawn by stories of too many young children dying suddenly and unexpectedly. Working undercover (as who lets a demon hunter stroll around unchallenged?) Gunter identifies the hospital as the key focus point for his investigations. He can see the traces of a demonic presence and even smells the sulphuric odour left behind by the visiting evil.

He will be challenged along the way – a car which tries to force him off the road. Bloody messages left for him to find and an unexpected guest in his hotel room!

Gunter is driven by the desire to find what happened to his sister some years earlier.  She suffered personal tragedy and embraced darkness shunning Father Gunter’s God. Gunter, a former man of the cloth, now devotes his time to ridding the world of demons and puts his faith in the new tools of his trade whilst retaining some of his former apparel (holy water and crosses).

It all makes for an exciting game of cat and mouse as Gunter and the demon try to outfox each other – both aware of the other’s presence and both determined to kill their enemy. At around 200 pages it will not take long to read through The Bucktown Babies but it kept me entertained and that is exactly what I look for in a story.

 

Bucktown Babies is available in paperback, audio and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bucktown-Babies-Father-Gunter-Hunter-ebook/dp/B01N2507SI/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517341651&sr=8-1&keywords=bucktown+babies

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Bucktown Babies – Janine R Pestel
August 13

I Know A Secret – Tess Gerritsen

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

 

My thanks to Alison at Transworld for the chance to join the tour – and to Anne who made it happen

 

By the time a bestselling series reaches Book 12 you can be assured that the previous 11 books have found their way into many, many homes and that readers everywhere will be keenly awaiting the next instalment. The good news for fans of Rizzoli and Isles is that their latest adventure – I Know A Secret – is in shops know and it is a cracking read…you will think the wait was worthwhile.

I appreciate that not every reader can keep up with all the books by all the authors so can I Know a Secret be enjoyed by someone picking up a Tess Gerritsen novel for the first time? I believe it can. There are references to events, characters and relationships which clearly occurred in earlier titles (you can’t write 12 books in a series whilst pretending each new novel begins with a blank slate on all previous events) but I did not feel there was any disadvantage to come to this book as a new reader. Everything is clear or self explanatory but the main focus is firmly kept of the latest investigation.

Rizzoli and Isles are called to a murder scene – the victim had been involved in making horror films and her death could almost be said to mirror her genre of choice. A gruesome spectacle meets the investigators but despite the unsettling scene they are not immediately able to identify a cause of death.

An investigation is ongoing and, pleasingly, we get to follow Jane Rizzoli as she interviews suspects and chases down potential leads – I do very much enjoy when you feel you are also uncovering the facts as you read. It is not long before a second body turns up. The nature of the attack on each victim is very different but a connection is found and an apparent symbolism throws new light onto the case.

I zipped through I Know A Secret – one of those great books which will keep you hooked. Tess Gerritsen has spun a slick story, the narrative moves along at a good pace so you don’t feel that there are any lags or drops in the action.

Fans of Tess Gerritsen will love I Know A Secret. New readers should seek it out, it is a great story and does not fall into the trap of being too concentrated upon the lives of Rizzoli and Isles at the price of neglecting the murder investigation. You are in the hands of a great storyteller and there I got nothing but pure enjoyment from I Know a Secret.

 

I Know A Secret is available in Hardback and Digital format – you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Know-Secret-Rizzoli-Isles-12-ebook/dp/B01MTK7M7O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on I Know A Secret – Tess Gerritsen
June 12

The Last Night at Tremore Beach – Mikel Santiago

Last Night at Tremore BeachHe’d seen the danger coming. And now it’s here…

When Peter Harper, a gifted musician whose career and personal life are in trouble, comes to northwest Ireland and rents a remote cottage on beautiful, windswept Tremore Beach, he thinks he has found a refuge, a tranquil place in a time of crisis. His only neighbours for miles around are a retired American couple, Leo and Marie Kogan, who sense his difficulties and take him under their wing. But there’s something strange about the pair that he can’t quite figure out.

One night during one of the dramatic storms that pummel the coast, Peter is struck by lightning. Though he survives, he begins to experience a series of terrifying, lucid and bloody nightmares that frame him, the Kogans and his visiting children in mortal danger. The Harper family legend of second sight suddenly takes on a sinister twist. What if his horrifying visions came true, could tonight be his last…?

 

My thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for my review copy

Musician Peter Harper is living in rural seclusion on the Irish coast. His life has been in turmoil and his confidence is shot – a world renowned composer he now cannot capture a simple tune and he is seeking solitude to try and rediscover his love of music.

Harper is renting a cottage on Tremore Beach, he is becoming a known face around the nearby village and his only neighbours (an American couple who have also sought a peaceful life) have tried to make him feel welcome and are keeping an almost paternal eye on him. While his days seem idyllic, Peter is increasingly frustrated by his inability to compose anything worthy of recording – a problem exacerbated by unsubtle approaches of his agent who is looking for Peter to return to work soon.

When we first meet Peter we learn that the mother of all storms is due to hit the Irish Coast. Against all advice Peter decides not to shelter safely at home for the evening and takes up an invitation to join his American neighbours (the Kogans) for dinner.  At the end of the evening and with the storm raging Peter tries to drive home.  He is forced out of his car and while exposed to the elements he is struck by lightning.  Badly scorched, Peter survives but he now finds he is plagued by horrific nightmares or visions.  Each incident feels real to Peter and he is certain he is awake when the occur, however, the things he sees are chilling and all seem to foretell an event which is yet to unfold.

The Last Night at Tremore Beach is a delightfully dark supernatural tale.  Peter’s visions lead him to believe that his friends and family may be in danger and the terror  at the prospect of the incidents leads him to seek professional help. But is he really seeing the future or has the lightning strike aggravated a medical condition?

Rural locations, terrifying visions, the prospect of death and danger and a potentially unreliable narrator – they all combine well to create a creepy page turner.  As Peter faces his fears he realises that there are secrets at Tremore Beach and uncovering the truth may be the worst thing that Peter could do.

Tense supernatural read which strikes a nice balance between thriller and terror, an enjoyable read and definitely one to seek out if you like a spooky twist to your books.

 

Last Night at Tremore Beach is published by Simon & Schuster and is available in hardback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Night-Tremore-Beach/dp/1471150135/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497216373&sr=8-1&keywords=last+night+at+tremore+beach

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Last Night at Tremore Beach – Mikel Santiago
April 7

Night is Watching – Lucy Cameron

Night is WatchingCan You Feel Your Blood Drain…

Couples are being slaughtered in their homes; women drained of blood, men violently beaten.  There are no clues to track the killer, no explanation as to why an increasing amount of blood is being removed from the crime scenes.

Detective Sergeant Rhys Morgan is seconded to the ‘Couples Killer’ investigation. Tormented by vivid nightmares, he hasn’t slept soundly for weeks becoming convinced a creature from these nightmares poses a threat to him and his family. His behaviour becomes increasingly erratic causing his bosses to wonder if he’s the right man for the job.

As clues to the killer’s identity are uncovered, the line between what is real and what cannot be starts to blur and Rhys discovers the answer to catching the killer and exorcizing his own demons, may be as irrational as he fears.

 

My thanks to Lucy and Noelle (CrimeBookJunkie) who provided my review copy and the opportunity to join the blog tour.

 

A serial killer (dubbed the “Couples Killer”) and a police investigation which seems to be going nowhere – a very promising start to Night is Watching. Then it just got better as Lucy Cameron is not holding back.

The killer’s female victims are strung up and (eventually) their bodies drained of blood. The victim’s husband will also be found at the scene of the crime…battered, beaten and stuffed into a cupboard away from their spouse. This is not a story for the faint of heart and I need to highlight that the story will take a turn into horror territory – it is not by chance that the description (above) makes reference to Rhys Morgan’s demons.

Morgan is the detective brought into the murder squad to assist with the hunt for the Couples Killer.  His home life is not in a good place, he and his wife are walking on eggshells around each other and the memory of Morgan’s sister (who vanished from his life when he was a child) hangs heavy over the household.  Morgan is obsessive over the memory of his sister and despite the patience and tolerance of his wife it is clear that his inability to move on is creating real problems for his marriage.

Readers are treated to an early sense of creepy tension when a strange man moves into a house on Morgan’s street. Lucy Cameron unsettles us early with the feeling that something odd has arrived in our midst.  Morgan learns that the detective that was leading the investigation has had a breakdown, leads all need rechecked as the police find their colleague had become fixated on supernatural angles to the killings However, as Rhys starts to become involved within the case he also finds that there are some very unusual incidents occurring and he becomes fixated upon his new neighbour.

Night Is Watching TourLucy Cameron does a great job of balancing a story about a murder investigation while phasing in elements of dark horror. What I felt was done particularly well was how we see the impact of the horrific and unsettling events that Rhys Morgan has to face when it begins to impact upon his mental health.  When Morgan is adamant he is on the track of a killer his colleagues are questioning his ability to remain part of the investigative team.

Night is Watching is a brilliant read for those that like their crime stories with a horror or supernatural twist. If you have read and enjoyed James Oswald or Caroline Mitchell’s books (and you really should) then Night is Watching is one for you.

 

Night is Watching is published by Caffeine Nights and is available in digital format here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XCBKFS6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491509946&sr=8-1&keywords=night+is+watching

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Night is Watching – Lucy Cameron
July 1

They Move Below – Karl Drinkwater

They Move BelowIt exists under the earth’s surface in ancient caves; below the vast sea’s undulating waves; under dense forest cover; within a storm’s thick, rolling clouds; downstairs in our homes, when we hear the knife drawer rattle in the night. Even our minds and bodies harbour the alien under the skin, the childhood nightmares in our subconscious.

In this collection of sixteen tales Karl Drinkwater sews flesh onto the bones of our worst fears whilst revisiting some of horror’s classic settings, such as the teen party, the boat in trouble, the thing in the cellar, the haunted museum, the ghost in the machine, and the urban legends that come true. No-one is safe. Darkness hides things, no matter how much we strain our eyes. And sometimes those things are looking back at us.

 

My thanks to Karl for the opportunity to join the blog tour for They Move Below

If you look through the archives of my blog you will notice an absence of short story collections. I rarely read them. If I *do* read short stories then it is virtually guaranteed to be a collection of ghost stories or horror tales. So when I was offered the opportunity to join the blog tour for They Move Below I jumped at the chance.

I first encountered Karl’s work when my friend Sarah (By The Letter Book Reviews) shared her review of Harvest Festival. I loved the sound of the story so made a quick trip to the Amazon Kindle Store and was not disappointed.  You can see my review here. I loved Harvest Festival and it made me want to read more (more from Karl and also more ‘creepy’ stories). They Move Below was the natural next purchase.

Sixteen stories in one volume and chills guaranteed.  The aforementioned Harvest Festival is one of the stories and is still one of my favourites (I read it again). I also really liked a story called Creeping Jesus – think Disney’s Night at the Museum with an 18 certificate!

I am not going to run through each tale and single out the high points (plus I am saving a few stories for later so have 4 or 5 still to enjoy). What I can confirm is that They Move Below is a great collection of dark tales. Nobody is guaranteed to come through a story unscathed, and there was enough variety in the scenarios that I was able to read through more than one story in a single sitting and still think each new tale felt fresh.

Mr Drinkwater has a delightfully warped imagination. A couple of the twists and shocks were quite perturbing (in a good way) and by the time I had read a few of the stories I began to speculate what may be coming next. My eye immediately fell to a story called The Scissor Man – in a collection of horror stories that sounded particularly unpleasant!

A collection I absolutely recommend to horror fans. Now if you will excuse me it is late and I need to go and turn on all the lights…

poster(1)

 

You can order They Move Below & Other Dark Tales by clicking through the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B006JZWOPE/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Karl+Drinkwater&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Karl+Drinkwater&sort=relevancerank

 

 

Category: Blog Tours | Comments Off on They Move Below – Karl Drinkwater
May 9

Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

HexWhoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

My “thanks” (is that the correct word???) to the Hodderscape team for my review copy…and sleepless nights.

 

Okay…HEX.

The book about The Witch.

The Creepy As Hell Witch that has haunted Black Spring for over 300 years.

Yeah – it’s a proper chiller. Eyes darting around the room, noises in the night, “what’s that behind me?” kind of creepy. It is everything you want from a horror story.

For generations the inhabitants of Black Spring have lived with The Witch. She moves around the town – appearing in their homes, drifting slowly down the main street or even lurking in the woods around the town. She is a terrifying sight to behold, her eyes and mouth are sewn shut (yet she tries to whisper so DON’T listen to her), her arms are chained by her side to restrict her movement and she must NEVER be touched.

But the townspeople are used to her and live their lives around her – The Witch is hidden in plain sight. With high tech surveillance equipment tracking her movements, a dedicated HEX team to enforce the town’s laws around keeping The Witch a secret. There is also a handy Army Base just down the road. It turns out that for the people of Black Spring living around The Witch is a necessary evil as once you have lived in Black Spring there is no getting away – residents are cursed to remain in the town, leaving brings consequences. Nasty consequences.

Keeping such a big secret will place a strain on everyone in town – particularly in this modern era where communication with the outside world is so easy. Black Spring is about to face it’s biggest challenge for many a year – someone wants to share the secret. Someone wants to defy the rules of the town and expose The Witch to the world. Someone is about to make a very big mistake.

It is a long time since I read a book which unsettled me as much as HEX. It is often terrifying as the author builds tension brilliantly. You cannot help be frustrated with the characters who are acting in such irresponsible ways that you know something ‘bad’ will happen.

Reading this book is highly recommended.

Reading it in a brightly lit room, surrounded by puppies or kittens while sitting with your back to the wall – also works!

 

 

HEX is published by Hodder and Stoughton and is currently available in hardback and digital formats. You can order a copy by clicking HERE.

 

 

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt
March 28

The Teacher – Katerina Diamond

The TeacherYou think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil?

You’re wrong …

A LESSON YOU WILL NEVER FORGET

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

SMART. GRIPPING. GRUESOME.

This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.

WARNING: Most definitely *not* for the faint-hearted!

 

My thanks to Helena at Avon for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.

 

When I first heard about The Teacher it was presented as a very dark crime story, it would be graphic, often horrific, and absolutely not suitable for everyone. As I read the description all I could think was “this is exactly the kind of story I enjoy.”  Anticipation was high.

The opening chapter had me hooked. A mysterious delivery which leads a man to take his own life, teasing hints of transgressions in the past and the suggestion that the death you read about is just the first of many.  Little did I know just how many characters would fail to make it to the end of the book!

The Teacher is a fast paced serial killer story. The death count is significantly higher than I was expecting and the depictions of the murders certainly justify the warning that comes with the book that The Teacher is ‘not for the faint-hearted.’ The killer is on a revenge mission and is keen to ensure the victims that have been targeted suffer horrifically before they are eventually allowed to die.

Running alongside the story of the killer (and victims) is that of Abbey.  She is a shy, awkward girl working in a local museum tasked with restoring stuffed animals from the displays to a better state of repair. As the story unfolds we learn why Abbey is happy to be hiding herself out of the limelight in the dark corners of the museum working with dusty exhibits. Abbey provided a great side plot from the more visceral events which were unfolding, however, her story also made for some uncomfortable reading and she was the character I found myself wanting to come out of the story with a happy ending.

On the hunt for the killer are local police officers Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey. They have just been partnered together for the first time – two rogue officers who appear to have been put together as punishment for their role in events prior to the story. If Katerina Diamond wants to bring Miles and Grey back for a second outing I would be delighted as these two were great fun to read about.

So I liked the cops, I found a character to root for and the serial killer was wonderfully dark and highly inventive.  All good and I have to say that I really enjoyed The Teacher. One final observation…it was presented as a crime novel but read like a horror story.

The book does carry a warning along these lines so the readers can make that choice for themselves. However, there seemed greater emphasis on the murders than on the investigation element which I felt was somewhat sidelined. As an avid reader of both crime and horror fiction this did not concern me – I was loving the story.

Definitely a book I will recommend and I really hope Grey and Miles will return.

The Teacher Tour

 

 

 

The Teacher is published by Avon and is available in paperback and digital format now:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teacher-Katerina-Diamond/dp/0008168156/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459158346&sr=8-1&keywords=the+teacher

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Teacher – Katerina Diamond
March 15

Night Show – Richard Laymon

Night ShowWhen the horror becomes real.

Dani Larson is the queen of horror movie special effects. Grisly murders and mutilated corpses are all in a day’s work for her. Nothing frightens her—not even watching herself torn to pieces on the screen. But now the gore is real, and Dani is terrified. She’s being stalked by the Chill Master, a psychopath who wants to be Dani’s apprentice, her lover, and eventually…her replacement.

Can Dani find a way to survive? Or will this real-life horror movie scare Dani to death?

 

My thanks to Samhain Publishing for my review copy which I received through Netgalley

Back when I was a teen (many years ago) I discovered I enjoyed horror stories. This came as a bit of a shock to me as I really do not like horror films so making the decision at age 13 to read a collection of ghost stories was a pretty big deal to me at the time. Hooked from that point on!

Having whet my appetite with some Stephen King and James Herbert books I stumbled upon the works of Richard Laymon. These were stories I could get into very easily and the plots were sufficiently nasty that the (now) 14 year old me felt I was reading ‘real’ books. What I found about particularly pleasing at the time was Laymon’s writing style was very easy to access (handy when exam studying should have been happening).

Zip forward a couple of decades (and some) and I am revisiting Night Show. I was keen to see if I still enjoyed Laymon’s books and if they had stood the test of time. Yes and Sort of.

The story did not show any real signs of aging, however, there are lots of horror film references and the passage of time since writing means that lots of modern ‘classics’ cannot be mentioned leaving the impression that the characters are slightly obsessed with ‘old’ horror movies. There are also a couple of scenes where modern characters would have had a mobile phone handy so the terror of their situation could easily have been diffused by whipping out their phone to call for help….best keep in mind that this story is very much of its time.

But the actual story is quite good fun.  A stalker tale – the creepy kid that want’s to scare people becomes fixated on a beautiful film-maker and decides that she is the only woman for him, even if she does not know it yet. The detail in the film-making scenes was fascinating reading, the obvious love that Richard Laymon had for the horror films (which he frequently references) shines through.

Laymon’s books never quite had the depth of King, Hutson or Herbert but they were fun, solid reads which always guaranteed to keep me entertained.  Night Show still ticks all the right boxes for me – I enjoyed the silly scares and the OTT characters but I also remembered the other great books Laymon wrote and I want to revisit them too.

 

Samhain will release Night Show on 3 May 2016 – you can order a copy here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Show-Richard-Laymon-ebook/dp/B01980QKPQ/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457910369&sr=1-1&keywords=night+show+richard+laymon

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Night Show – Richard Laymon
August 1

Sarah Hilary – No Other Darkness

No Other Darkness PbkToday I am delighted to be able to welcome Sarah Hilary back to Grab This Book. Sarah’s second Marnie Rome novel No Other Darkness has just released in paperback and today’s visit is my leg of the Blog Tour.

I know Sarah is a horror fan and I was keen to find out if this filtered through into her writing:

 

It’s alive! Tapping the rich vein of horror

by Sarah Hilary

If you have a sofa handy this might be the moment to duck behind it. Because I’m going to riff about how much I love horror. This will come as no surprise to readers of my Marnie Rome series. No Other Darkness starts in an underground bunker, and doesn’t really let up until the very end.

Adding a dash of horror is a worthy tradition in literature; the Brothers Grimm were writing about cannibalism a century before Thomas Harris gave us Hannibal Lector, and it’s hard to beat the Room 101 rats in Orwell’s 1984 for nail-biting nightmare potential.

Crime writers have known this trick for decades, seasoning our stories with a dash of darkness. Arthur Conan Doyle served it up in spades, from The Hound of the Baskervilles to The Creeping Man.

Photo by Linda Nylind.
Photo by Linda Nylind.

Contemporary crime writers use horror to great effect, too. Mo Hayder’s Tokaloshe in Ritual and its sequel, Skin, is a blood-curdling example of how a skilled writer can weave a disturbing sense of the supernatural into hard-hitting crime stories. French crime writer, Fred Vargas, has given us ghosts, werewolves, plague rats and vampires. Enough supernatural horror to satisfy any aficionado, although Vargas (like Hayder) does a neat line in explaining everything in rational terms in the end.

 

Horror works best when it’s used sparingly. A surfeit can force the reader to look away or worse—to laugh in order to relieve the tension. Maestros know this and will provide a little light relief so that you chuckle in the intended places (usually right before you jump a foot in the air). The very best exponent of this is George A. Romero, one of my favourite film directors. Yes, zombies can be funny — cheerleader zombies, barbershop quartet zombies, Hari Krishna zombies — but always watch out for your feet and elbows. (If I have a criticism of The Walking Dead it’s that it lacks a sense of humour.)

A glimpse of the monster under the bed (or in it) is always more effective than a lingering twelve page forensic examination. Plant a seed, refer to it on occasion to be sure the idea doesn’t die in the reader’s mind, let their imagination get to work. Then—let them have it.

No Other Darkness, I hope, lets you have it with both barrels.

There’s a little horror lurking in everyone’s head. My job is to let that little horror out to play.

Blog Tour

My review of No Other Darkness can be found here:  http://grabthisbook.net/?p=468

Back in April Sarah kindly took time to join me for a Q&A to discuss No Other Darkness, our chat is here: http://grabthisbook.net/?p=743

No Other Darkness is available in paperback in all good bookshops and can be purchased in digital format too.

Category: Blog Tours | Comments Off on Sarah Hilary – No Other Darkness
January 24

Snowblind – Christopher Golden

snowblind1Twelve years ago the small town of Coventry, Massachusetts was in the grasp of a particularly brutal winter. And then came the Great Storm.

It hit hard. Not everyone saw the spring. Today the families, friends and lovers of the victims are still haunted by the ghosts of those they lost so suddenly. If only they could see them one more time, hold them close, tell them they love them.

It was the deadliest winter in living memory.

Until now.

When a new storm strikes, it doesn’t just bring snow and ice, it brings the people of Coventry exactly what they’ve been wishing for. And the realisation their nightmare is only beginning.

 

Thanks to Headline for my review copy

A long time ago I had a prolonged spell of reading nothing but horror stories. Over time I read fewer and fewer until I recently realised that in the last 12 months I had only read one ‘Ghost’ story (a novella) and the total disaster which was James Herbert’s Ash. This was simply not good enough! You cannot beat a good scary story and with Snowblind promising grief, loss and a nightmare to come it was time to return to a genre I love.

Sometimes a book is enhanced by where or when you read it. I confess that Snowblind was in my TBR pile for a couple of months…it arrived during a balmy autumn and rose to the top of the pile in the cold of January. As a direct result I got to read Snowblind while the snow fell over Scotland and the wind howled over the hills – perfect conditions to enjoy a story where the weather plays such an integral part to the story.

Christopher Golden does a great job of creating an atmospheric winter storm. The residents of Coventry, Massachusetts are no strangers to harsh winters but as Snowblind opens we find that the weather is the least of their problems. Coming out of the storm we are given glimpses of icy figures who are attacking some of the vulnerable Coventry residents. By the time the storm settles there have been accidents, deaths and families are left to rebuild their shattered lives.

I particularly enjoyed how the author managed to introduce several family units in the early stages of the book, each would suffer in some way during the storm. Great writing from Christopher Golden as he establishes and assembles his cast yet still keeps the tension levels running high while the storm settles in. After the storm: the players are in place and the fallout commences.

As the story progresses we jump forward over 10 years, life in Coventry has moved on yet the locals still clearly recall the horror of the big storm which devastated their town. Winter has taken hold and another large storm has been forecast, yet before it arrives there are some unusual changes happening to some of the Coventry residents – all is not as it seems.

As always I am skirting around the edge of the story and trying to avoid revealing too much. I can confirm that Snowblind was brilliantly atmospheric – a very real feeling of being trapped deep in the winter snow came through while I read. The creatures in the snow did seem particularly evil and were used sparingly which helped to maintain their mysterious nature. Nice mix of characters meant that you were rooting for some to escape the peril yet were not too upset when the town’s more nasty elements met their comeuppance.

In short – a good supernatural thriller, perfect reading for a cold winter night. I would score it 3/5 and would gladly read more of Christopher Golden’s work.

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Snowblind – Christopher Golden