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:

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The Devils Equinox – Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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.

All The Children on the Porch – Dona Fox

All the Children on the Porch: a short horror story

Another exquisitely creepy read from Dona Fox. I love these shorts, they are written with a depth and expertise that’s hard to find. I can only hope to write something half as good one day.

This starts pretty innocent and simple, but quickly develops into a tragic story of family and the dark secrets within. I can’t say too much as I really wouldn’t want to spoil the ending, or the build up, but my word it’s a good one.

It is another really quick read, about 20-30 minutes. Perfect for those train journeys and lunch breaks at work. It has a quick pace. great characterization and depth and is one I feel I could read over and over and still be surprised and horrified.

It’s truly quite shocking, down to the last line.

“I like mine bloody. I get whatever I want now; I’m not a child anymore”.

A Perfect Memory – Dona Fox

A Perfect Memory: a short horror story

This is yet again a wonderfully intricate story from Dona Fox. A Perfect Memory sucks you in, chews you up and spits you back out ten fold. A very clever piece of twisted psychological horror. You never quite quite know what’s real or who is who. I’m still a little unsure. A chilling tale of identity and government secrets from start to finish.

It is put together with such perfection down the last detail. The characters are woven deeply into the plot with a level of writing ability one could only hope to aspire to.

There is so much involved for such a short piece. I really am in awe of the writing of Dona Fox.

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