One By One – Book Review

One by One – D. W. Gillespie

Flame Tree Press, 2019

The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child’s drawing of a family just like hers. 

Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child’s drawing with a dark black X. It’s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.

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I was hooked from the opening with this book, a very intricately woven family horror tale, narrated by the wise beyond her years Alice. At just 10 years old she is left to uncover the truth behind a sinister wall painting and find out just what is happening to her family.

The story begins with the family arriving at their new house, an absolute “steal” according to Frank, Alice’s father. Frank is prone to whimsical schemes and a bit of a dreamer, so when he buys this house it’s not surprising that the rest of the family isn’t exactly convinced.

Alice seems to connect on anther level with the house, she has her own narration of events in her head, from ‘Mary’, a girl who tragically died in the house. She know’s deep down that something is wrong and that something dark is t work, but she just can’t put her finger on it. When she finds the picture of the previous family under the wallpaper her suspicions seem to take on their own energy. A stick figure family, mother, father, son, daughter and the family pet – just the same as Alice’s family.

Their pet cat vanishes and at the same time a mysterious ‘X’ is drawn over the pet in the picture. The an ‘X’ is drawn over the boy, representing her brother Dean. Just what is happening to Alice’s family and what does ‘Mary’ have to do with it.

I love the mis-direct within the story – the reader is convinced it’s one thing happening when in fact it’s something even more sinister. The story of Mary and just what happened to her is an interesting and tragic tale. We get snippets throughout thanks to Mary’s diary after Alice comes across in and has to read it. It is a very well put together narrative, very clever yet simple at the same time, and for me, the characters, particularly Alice, really set this off.

One by One is my second read from D. W. Gillespie (thanks to Flame Tree Press for the eARC). I look forward to more.

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Ghost Mine – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Many thanks first of all to Flame Tree Press for the copy of Ghost Mine by Hunter Shea. This is part of the Flame Tree Press May releases.

Ghost Mine is a cowboy/gold rush/Djinn mash up which does work really well for the most part.

Teddy Roosevelt wants the gold from the mining town of Hecla, the problem… well Hecla seems to swallow men whole. He decides his man from the Rough Rider days, Nat, now an NYC cop is the man for the job and sends him in to see what exactly is going on there. Taking is long time friend and fellow adopted Rough Rider, Teta, with him they head out to the unknown.

My favourite thing about this book is Teta, he is a fantastic character. You can feel his sassy energy bouncing of the page and his little digs and quips really worked for me. I hate to say that Nat on the other hand, felt a little, robotic (if thats the right term). For me this let the book down a bit. It’s a great story, and the Wild West setting is wonderful – I love a good western. Sadly the majority of the characters just took the shine off. Selma too, I found her quite irksome for the most part.

The story itself is rather good, opening in Hecla with the naughty kid Billy killing rats in the mines. It seems that something down there did not want to be disturbed and it definitely made itself known. I enjoyed the subtlety of the opening chapter, setting the story up whilst being very tight-lipped about the while ‘what’s down there’.

Ghost Mine is definitely worth a read. As always it’s a very subjective matter. Yes, I couldn’t quite get there with it, but all the same it’s a well set up plot, and Teta who I’ve already gushed over is great!!

Released May 30th 2019 from Flame Tree Press

Ghost Mine (Fiction Without Frontiers) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1787582078/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_gWs2CbE6KQ2GQ

Some light reading….

Thank you to The Bold Mom for this one.., Master of Pain is a very very violent BDSM filled tale based on the true story of America’s first online serial killer.

I’m about 10% in and god yes it tough going. It’s very graphic. I do like it though…. let’s see if I can make it too the end shall we.

The Devil Crept In – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Devil Crept In

Ania Ahlborn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29430798

This is an amazing read, thank you so much to Catherine (RedLaceReviews) for sending me this one.

I really enjoyed this. It’s one of those stories you just can’t put down. With every page I needed to see the next one to find out what happens next. It’s the true definition of a page turner. The mystery of what happened to Jude for the three days he is missing, the curious case of all the pets and then just what did happen to young Max Larson.

Deer Valley, Oregon, is a very dangerous place it would seem.

No one can seem to keep a pet, not of the uncaged variety anyway. They just keep running off into the night, cats and dogs, something keeps pulling them towards the woods and a creepy old abandoned house.

Jude Brighton, a young troubled boy, goes missing for three days. His cousin Stevie will stop at nothing to find him, Jude is his only real friend and ally. Stevie believes that something, not someone has taken Jude.

I really don’t want to say too much more about the story plot-wise as I feel I will give too much away. But what a ride it is.

It is a book of two stories, the intertwine very nicely all through and come together in a shocking conclusion. Everything about this book was perfect for me, the pacing, the characters, the plot with its twists and turns. The story is one which is very well thought out, you can tell the author has really sat down and planned all this out. There is a also a wonderful subtlety to it, the character of ‘Ras’ is underplayed on point. You come to know just who he is without hardly ever coming across him.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, check it out! Thank you Catherine for sharing this one with me, it really did strike a chord with me.

You can get it here:

5/5

Lesley-Ann

The Frighteners – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Frighteners

Peter Laws

“The Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent. He meets vampires, hunts werewolves in Hull, talks to a man who has slept on a mortuary slab to help him deal with a diagnosis, and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac through a farmhouse full of hanging bodies.

Staring into the darkness of a Transylvanian night, he asks: What is it that makes millions of people seek to be disgusted and freaked out? And, in a world that worships rationality and points an accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can an interest in horror culture actually give us safe ways to confront our mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?

Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets, and join the Sinister Minister on his romp into our morbid curiosities.”

This was a fun and interesting read, delving into the mind of a horror enthusiast, the Sinister Minister himself, Peter Laws.

I have always been interested in the scary, the dark and twisted, the gothic, and the gruesome. I have always been ridiculed for it too. You know, I’m sure a lot of us have heard the same… “It’s a phase” “she will grow out of it” “why can’t you like nice things?” “You won’t meet anyone looking like that” “what’s wrong with you watching those kinds of films?” …the usual. I must admit I have gone to the ‘dark side’ with my outfits and bit since I started my current day job (legal cashier) and wear pretty dresses and the likes. I got many a surprised look that day from people who know me.

Anyways, moving on from my ramblings, the book, The Frighteners, it’s a fun read. It’s very much a memoir of Peter Laws’ life with the horror genre, mixed with a lot of researched facts relating to the macabre and the morbid.

It’s very well written, well laid out and a hoot to read. He has a great sense of humour I found and he knows how to spin a tale.

The book opens with his recounting of his bucket list birthday trip to Transylvania (what a treat). The excited recanting of the trip and meeting like minding people was a pleasure to read. You can tell straight away that Peter Laws is truly passionate about his love affair with the genre, it radiates so brightly through his writing.

There is a great deal of information within The Frighteners. The author has had many an experience, with death, zombies, werewolves, crypts and the likes. He gives us a wonderful descriptive read of all his encounters, and a very informed insight into the genre of the weird, the wonderful and the macabre.

I really don’t want to delve too much into the content as I feel I would spoil the read for you folks somewhat. I really recommend checking this book out though, it’s a wonderful read and a great glimpse into the mindset of the horror fan.

Seriously… you won’t be sorry. Find it here on Amazon:

5/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Sugar Skulls – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***Spoilers***

Sugar Skulls

36409212

M. R. Tapia

Hindered Souls Press

“”Life is a matter of death. Death is a matter of fact.”

Micah DeAtta learns this as he awakens with Death seated across from him, whetting his sickle. Micah has no choice but to converse with Death in order to figure out his own demise. As their conversations become a battle of wits, Micah is forced to relive prominent deaths of family and friends before learning of his own. Each death happens in real time, each correlating with the nine levels of the Aztec underworld. Before it is said and done, Micah will have been forced to face his fears, his losses, and the fact that although life may be too short, death is forever.”

First of all, may I say thank you to M. R. Tapia for sending copy of ‘Sugar Skulls’ in exchange for an honest review.

A conversation with Death himself. It’s not something you would expect to wake up too is it? But that is what happened to Micah. He woke to Death sitting across from him.

“Tonight I have the displeasure of meeting Death”

He doesn’t know what is happening to him. Death is not quite ready to take him yet. They must sit, talk and relive his past experiences, his regrets and his heartache.

This is a wonderfully written piece. The conversation between Micha and Death is riveting to read. It’s a two man show, two main characters who compliment each other very well.

I love M.R. Tapia’s writing style. I find it very easy to read, it has a constantly good steady flow. The pacing and the characterization are just perfect.

I would highly recommend this, M. R. Tapia is a wonderful author. I have read a few of his works now, and I am happy to say that they are consistently good.

4/5

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

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