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

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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

An Army of Skin – Morgan K. Tanner – Book Review ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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.

Dark Tales from the Den -Dona Fox

Dark Tales from the Den by [Fox, Dona]

Dona Fox has crept into my life and embedded herself as one of my favourite authors. Her writing style is exquisite, drawing the reader in with a fierce intensity and the delivering an utter gut punch of a finale.

Dark Tales from the Den is no different, a brilliantly executed collection of short horror tales that send real chills down my spine.

There are too many great stories within this collection to pick one, I could never do any of them justice with my words.

If you haven’t read any of the works of Dona Fox then you must go out and do so this evening! You won’t regret it!!

Enjoy

Grab your copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00W0DIMCS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

They Kill – Book Review – Flame Tree Press

Flame Tree Press are really putting out some great reads. They Kill from Tim Waggoner is a crazy trip through the inner workings of the psyche.

I’m always afraid of saying too much and giving the story away, so I think for this particular book I won’t say anything more than READ IT! It’s a lunatic ride… Tim Waggoner really takes his readers on a journey through madness. The underbelly of civilised society, it’s a dark perspective of our deepest desires, that which we hide and tuck away in a corner never to be seen. We see ‘regular’ people turning to their reverse selfs, doing the things they never would think then would or they could.

This is a gore filled tale, very graphic but I never felt once that it was out of place.

It’s a fun read, one that will hook you in and keep you guessing.

Check it out here:

They Kill (Fiction Without Frontiers) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1787582566/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_LvacDbECCNSSS

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.

The Nightmare Girl – Jonathan Janz

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Janz is a descriptive master. He conveys a scene in total HD ultra having you almost believe you are living it. This was most defiantly the case at the gas station.

Joe, a family man with a young daughter, witnesses a young mother abusing her toddler in the back of their truck. He intervenes to help the child and sets a disturbing chain of events in motion.

Joe and his family are soon stalked and terrorized by the family of Angie, the young mother who took her own life after she lost custody of her son. They are members of a cult and will go to any lengths to get their revenge on Joe and to bring back their daughter.

The premise of this story is filled with promise. The wonderfully dark and sinister cover conveys this too. A family man, just wanting to do the right thing . What is that they say about the road to hell… ?

A thrilling read from the outset. The characterization is on point as always from Janz and the story telling, deliciously creepy with many layers of nasty.

Flame Tree Press just keep putting out great books (mostly). Janz is as always, a wonderful author.

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