Dear Laura by Gemma Amor – 5 Star Book Review ***Spoilers***

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SPOILERS

I was recommended this book by a fellow book blogger on Twitter, and my God it’s a good one. It very fast paced, vile and disturbing with some sensitive content, yet treated with a great amount of dignity and tactfulness making it powerful and evocative rather than stomach turning.

Laura’s best friend and childhood sweetheart Bobby disappeared one morning with a ‘man in a van’ and was never never seen or heard from again. The kidnapper.. a truly horrendous individual called ‘X’, plays a lifelong birthday game with Laura, teasing Bobby’s whereabouts in exchange for personal items. The story plays out with Laura going through life struggling to adapt and never quite dealing with what has happened to her and Bobby.

“Dear Laura,
You don’t know me yet, but I know you…”

I loved that we were with Laura through childhood into adulthood, we got a real sense of her heartbreak and her struggle to accept what had happened. It was gut wrenching every time she received a letter from ‘X’. His requests so sinister, ruining the innocence of a child without ever laying a hand on her.. until later.

The story culminated in the only way it really could, the ending was fitting I felt for ‘X’ and I was pleased to see Laura getting the closure she had deserved for so long.

This is an amazing story, handled so delicately with the content and written with such love for the character of Laura.

This book was a five-star review from the get go.

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Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll – 🌟🌟🌟Book Review

Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll, another book in ‘The Haunted States of America’ series, was a fun read. Robert the doll, over 100 years old and on display at the local Civil War museum, doesn’t like to be disrespected and you MUST ask his permission before taking pictures. Of course Al, a boisterous teenager who doesn’t believe in curses, takes Roberts picture and insults him just to add insult. What ensues is a tale of bad luck for poor Al as his days go from bad to worse, between bugs in his dinner, lightning strikes and flat tires – ROBERT DID IT all.
This is a fun short read, I like haunted dolls and all that business so it was definitely one for me. The book itself isn’t particularly frightening or anything but it is entertaining.
I’m rather enjoying this series of tales.

Hearthstone Cottage by Frazer Lee – Flame Tree Press

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My Rating: 4.5/5

I would love to see this made into a movie or mini-series (are you listening to this Netflix?). The imagery and scope of the landscape, the nightmare sequences, down to the descriptions of the characters (especially Meggie) is work of flawless art. This book is a real testament to the ability of the author.

The scene is set from the beginning; creepy yet beautiful Scottish Loch, an old stone circle, a house in the middle of no-where (a glorious old building), Meggie the mysterious sister and not to mention the majestic stag. An accident on the way to the house for the groups post-graduation holiday results in a wrecked hire car and a dead stag. No one was seriously hurt… but the accidental killing of the stag sets of a chain reaction of supernatural events centered around Mike Carter (our main protagonist). Mike’s friends Alex and Kay, and girlfriend Helen are dragged through the ringer by his deteriorating state.

The mental collapse of Mike throughout the story is handled vividly yet with delicate ease. First the accident, then finding out his girlfriend is pregnant, as well as his drinking and weed habit, he steadily circles the pits of despair, not knowing what is real or what is a dream.

Hearthstone Cottage is a wonderfully written supernatural horror story that captures the Scottish charm and beauty effortlessly.

Released October 24th 2019 by Flame Tree Press

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1787583252/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

A Suburban Haunting by Matt Shaw -⭐⭐⭐⭐ Book Review

This was one I decided to read on our travels to Paris and managed to finish it while my adorable husband sleeps.

This was going to be a 3⭐ book originally but the last few chapters really ramp the horror up and the unfathomable turmoil of the family and the diabolical history of the house.

So our protagonist Craig is left a house by his recently deceased uncle Bill. Bill’s estranged wife Mavis warns Craig that the house isn’t right and that he shouldn’t move himself and his family into it.

This would seem to be your typical haunt. It’s not.

Things go from bad to worse very quickly for Craig and his wife Melissa, with one extreme twist that I actually didn’t see coming.

This is a really great read and it’s not too long a one either.

Be warned – extreme sexual content that some may be uncomfortable with.

Find it here, free for KU users:

Slash by Hunter Shea ⭐⭐⭐ review

Many thanks to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for a copy of Slash to read in exchange for an honest review.

The premise was a simple slasher with lots of killings and groups of unwitting (or witless) individuals who serve themselves up on a platter to get killed.

The Final Girl, Ashely, who several years earlier survived a resort massacre at the hands of a killer known as The Wraith, can no longer live with the pain and is found hanging by her finance Todd.

Greiving, Todd goes back to the resort in search of the truth about what happened that night and he and a group of friends get a lot more than they bargained for.

The story flows well and along with interesting and dynamic characters is a good read. For me though I felt it was lacking in originality and there was just that spark missing that drags me in to the story.

It’s a fun read, gore filled and totally lives up to the title.

Enjoy!!

Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Slash-Fiction-Without-Frontiers-Hunter/dp/1787581780

The Devils Equinox – Book Review â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

A cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for. Austin sure learns this lesson the hard way in this witchy satantic novel.

I have to say it too me a while with this one, wasn’t gripping form the outset and the characters fell a bit flat for me. It’s not awful though.

It’s a decent enough story, a tale of a man who off-handily wishes his wife dead one night and well of course he gets what he asked for.

For me, the plot was a little thin and the characters just didn’t feel very rounded out. It felt a little like an effort for me which makes me sad as I really loved the authors last FTP novel. As always it’s subjective and fingers crossed the next one will hit the right notes. The Devils Equinox sadly just plodded along a little slow with no payoff.

One thing for sure, it won’t me off the author or Flame Tree Press.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

An Army of Skin – Morgan K. Tanner – Book Review ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ â­ï¸

An Army of Skin is a wonderful entertaining and juicy gore fest.

Trevor blames the intriguing Doctor Mellick for the untimely death of his mother… and he wants revenge.

From the outset the gore was strong with this one. The heartbreak of Trevor and his desire for the deepest revenge is woven through this novella perfectly intertwined with the macabre flaying of corpses and the skin coming back to ‘life’. It’s a very visceral tale, it’s engaging from word one with the overly twisted murders followed by the ever so wrong resurrections fitting together like a perfect jigsaw.

An Army of Skin is a well written novella that you won’t want to put down. Be prepared for plenty of blood, guts and terror. It’s a twisted nightmare like no other.

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