WHO

WHO'S COMING DOWN YOUR CHIMNEY TONIGHT?




Charles Stross, "Overtime"

2016: CTHULHU FOR CHRISTMAS

Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel

The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel by John Llewellyn Probert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE LOVECRAFT SQUAD ALL HALLOWS CHURCH by John Llewellyn Probert

This novel is the first in "The Lovecraft Squad" series, created by Stephen Jones and written by John Llewellyn Probert. If you love Lovecraft Mythos, black magick, medieval history, or Dante, this book has it all (plus eternal zombies and shapeshifting and horror-horror-horror. Excellently written, articulate, this is a rereader.

Set in a historic decommissioned parish church in Blackheath, South London, a motley group of parapsychology "investigators" set up for four days and nights at Christmas time, organized by a tabloid newspaper. They should have stayed well clear.



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Review: Refuge

Refuge Refuge by A.I. Nasser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: REFUGE by A. I. Nasser
(THE SIN #2)

In my review of the first in this trilogy, KURTAIN MOTEL, I raved about how enjoyable and imaginative a story it is. REFUGE keeps the bar high. Those of our characters who escaped the Kurtain Motel find asylum and a settled home in Refuge, Maine, a seemingly pleasant small community where everything is just fine. Or is it?? With Rev. Clancy and his constant "confession" harping (he makes Sinclair Lewis's Reverend Dr. Elmer Gantry look like an angel) and the commencement of unending revelations, protagonist Patrick Lahm and his cohorts remain on the edge of destruction. REFUGE continues the same heart-in-mouth thrill ride of KURTAIN MOTEL.

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Review: Christmas Eve on Haunted Hill

Christmas Eve on Haunted Hill Christmas Eve on Haunted Hill by Bryan Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CHRISTMAS EVE ON HAUNTED HILL by Bryan Smith

CHRISTMAS EVE ON HAUNTED HILL rocks! Good gory horror, overtones of supernatural, good scares; and best of all, Mr. Smith creates a taut construct, peoples it with realistic characters, understandable drives, and writes it well. I originally started reading Bryan Smith for the gore, but I've stayed for his writing talent. This is a rereader--keeper.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: Witching Hour Theatre

Witching Hour Theatre Witching Hour Theatre by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WITCHING HOUR THEATER by Jonathan Janz

I can't praise WITCHING HOUR THEATER highly enough! This novella was author Janz' first publication, but it is the work of a horror master. In a short duration, we are introduced to protagonist Larry Wilson, and subtly his character and personality are revealed. Better yet, Larry elicits our empathy: he's a genuinely "good guy," the kind seldom seen. (In retrospect, Larry reminds me of Arland D. Williams, the altruist of the Potomac River plane crash in 1982.) Larry isn't perfect, but he is a heroic Everyman.

Mr. Janz is a staunch admirer of author Richard Laymon, and his understanding of Laymon's mastership is evident. WITCHING HOUR THEATER is incredibly paced; I turned pages so fast that I'm surprised my Kindle didn't ignite. I read with heart in throat, the suspense ratcheted to maximum.

Now I must mention the author's clearly demonstrated admiration for horror cinema: all of it, the good, the bad, the poorly-executed, the ugly. He loves it all. So does Larry, and between them, so do we. (Made me want to go watch "The Omen" again!)

This is a story I can and will read over and over, and a blueprint for beginning (and practiced) writers.



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Kurtain Motel

Kurtain Motel Kurtain Motel by A.I. Nasser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: KURTAIN MOTEL by A. J. Nasser

I enjoyed this story enormously! As I progressed further and further into it, the more I admired it, and couldn't wait to read Books 2 and 3. The author has a talent for interspersing horror and a metaphysical theme. Additionally, he knows how to wreak emotional havoc in his characters (and elicit readers' empathy. Some of these characters really tug our heartstrings, others inspire admiration for their courage and integrity). But everybody's ending isn't happy.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: Where the Dead Go to Die

Where the Dead Go to Die Where the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Mark Allan Gunnells and Aaron Dries

I'd long ago grown weary of the sane-old same-old common to much zombie fiction, so I'm much gratified to come upon WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE, a fine collaboration from two excellent horror authors, a novel which turned my emotions upside down and topsy turvy. Yes, the authors proclaim their intention to expose and explore emotions, and reading this has left me emotionally wrung out [not to mention both awestruck and quite terrified]. Indeed, the human condition can produce both the worst of monsters...and the heights of angels. WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE is timely and apropos horror, finely-tuned, uproariously scary [again, fear the living, the self-righteous who see evil everywhere but within], and a masterstroke.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Hauntings: Three Haunted House Novellas

Hauntings: Three Haunted House Novellas Hauntings: Three Haunted House Novellas by Olivia Harlowe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HAUNTINGS: THREE HAUNTED HOUSE NOVELLAS by Olivia Harlowe, Mason Graves, Violet Archer

Three very different, but frightening stories, each of a haunted residence--empty for a time, until purchased (in two cases) or inherited (in one case). In all three stories, the new residents (and visitors) discover the house they thought empty--really is occupied. These manifestations are without exception implacable, as well as malignant and determined. Enjoy three novellas to frighten, terrify, and invade dreams.


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Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Raven's Ridge: A Haunted Mystery

Raven's Ridge: A Haunted Mystery Raven's Ridge: A Haunted Mystery by Connie Myres
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: RAVEN'S RIDGE

I was very agreeably surprised by the depth and expanse of this novel. Going in, I expected an "ordinary" haunted home novel, and hoped for some serious spookiness. RAVEN'S RIDGE provided so much more: gaslighting, friendship, treasure, history, and effectively, a treatise on good vs. Evil, with some of the nastiest, mist cold-blooded and heartless villains ever! There's so much to this story, which I found thought-provoking and unforgettable.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: Fiero's Pizza

Fiero's Pizza Fiero's Pizza by Ike Hamill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FIERO'S PIZZA by Ike Hamill

FIERO'S PIZZA is a weird and engrossing paranormal. I say weird because its premise is substantially different from any I've read. The premise and its consequences are tightly constructed and logical, given the foundation.

A couple move from Connecticut to Central Maine where they have bought an antique farmhouse and sizable property. Time passes, and the family goes to include four sons--and an implacable demonic parasite. Shocks and scares abound.

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Review: FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery

FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery by Campbell Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FEVER DREAMS by Campbell Jones
(BRACKEN AND BLEDSOE PARANORMAL MYSTERY #1)

FEVER DREAMS is the first entry in the paranormal series featuring Katie Bracken and Elliot Bledsoe, paranormal investigators. I read this after reading NIGHT CHILLS, and while the hauntings in NIGHT CHILLS were frightening and nearly implacable, I found FEVER DREAMS much more disturbing. The setting to my mind is oppressive and there were a couple events in the swamp that were significantly frightening, to the point of wondering if the protagonists would survive, let alone succeed. Additionally there is one plot thread which really perturbed me as it unfolded in the denouement. I guessed at some of the past events, but the eventual final denouement really surprised me.

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Review: FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery

FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery by Campbell Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FEVER DREAMS by Campbell Jones
(BRACKEN AND BLEDSOE PARANORMAL MYSTERY #1)

FEVER DREAMS is the first entry in the paranormal series featuring Katie Bracken and Elliot Bledsoe, paranormal investigators. I read this after reading NIGHT CHILLS, and while the hauntings in NIGHT CHILLS were frightening and nearly implacable, I found FEVER DREAMS much more disturbing. The setting to my mind is oppressive and there were a couple events in the swamp that were significantly frightening, to the point of wondering if the protagonists would survive, let alone succeed. Additionally there is one plot thread which really perturbed me as it unfolded in the denouement. I guessed at some of the past events, but the eventual final denouement really surprised me.

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Review: Night Chills

Night Chills Night Chills by Campbell Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: NIGHT CHILLS by Campbell Jones
(Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery #2)

NIGHT CHILLS is the second installment in the Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Investigators Mystery series by April Campbell Jones and Bruce Elliott Jones. However, it's the first I'd read, and I immediately fell head over heels with the characters and plot. Dr. Katie Bracken and skeptic screenwriting professor Elliott Bledsoe are the "push-me/pull-you" of paranormal investigators, so much so that frequently they are mistaken for an old married couple. In NIGHT CHILLS they investigate a lovely old Victorian on Coronado Island, California, which is inexplicably linked to the famous and historic Hotel del Coronado. The hauntings are really frightening and the plot is taut and riveting.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: Daughters Unto Devils

Daughters Unto Devils Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy Lukavics

An exceptionally well-plotted, tacitly woven and imaginative novel, DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS has much to recommend it, even to audiences other than its YA appeal. Ms. Lukavics is a fine author, creating a world all its spooky own, both the terrible mountain winter, and the autumn prairie stretching to the mysterious forest. The characters are well-fleshed, and the author's subtlety in cleverly building the very real horror is worthy of a writer many times published. In addition to the provision of terrors both otherworldly and human, the very real spectre of mental illness is a chord well-strummed. In this historical setting, it goes unrecognized in favor of possible demonic influence.

DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS is an engrossing novel with the power to linger long in the mind.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: Spider's Web

Spider's Web Spider's Web by Mike Omer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SPIDER'S WEB by Mike Omer
(Glenrose Park #1)

First in the series of police procedural set in Glenrose Park, Massachusetts, SPIDER'S WEB is a one-stop riveting read with a clever and cunning killer whose obsessions may nevertheless be his downfall--if the police can find him on time. The characters are easily empathetic, and in a number of situations, author Mike Omer strongly plays to the reader's heart. Action is non-stop and the suspense remains at a high level. I anticipate the next in series.



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Review: The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black The Woman in Black by Kerry Wilkinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE WOMAN IN BLACK by Kerry Wilkinson

A riveting British police procedural with a complex and shock-laden plot, THE WOMAN IN BLACK will keep pages turning and readers well-engrossed. Well-defined characters allow ready empathy. I especially appreciated the author's subtle application of clues without telegraphing the denouement.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: The Devil's Prayer

The Devil's Prayer The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE DEVIL'S PRAYER by Luke Gracias

A convoluted and complex mystery-suspense-thriller, THE DEVIL'S PRAYER will keep readers on tenterhooks wondering "what next?" With supernatural, religious, and historical threads interwoven, this thriller will appeal to a widely diverse audience. The author's affinity for delineating both visual scenery as well as heartfelt emotions, and ability to effect reader's suspension of disbelief, combine into an exciting thriller with serious overtones.

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Review: Don't Turn Around

Don't Turn Around Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DON'T TURN AROUND by Caroline Mitchell
(Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 1)

An engrossing British police procedural with a strong paranormal foundation, DON'T TURN AROUND showcases Detective Constable Jennifer Knight of the Haven, England police force. Psychic from childhood, Jennifer is exiled to a backwater community because of what is deemed her mental health issues. Daughter of a detective sergeant mother who died young, Jennifer resents her ex-police father and his alcoholism. In a new series of unexplained deaths mimicking a series investigated by her mother, with a killer self-styled the Grim Reaper, supernatural occurrences including apparent possession, confuse and sidetrack Jennifer's determined investigations.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: The Paranormal Investigations of Mr Charles Fort

The Paranormal Investigations of Mr Charles Fort The Paranormal Investigations of Mr Charles Fort by T.E. Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review THE PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS OF MR. CHARLES FORT by T. E. Scott
(The Charles Fort Mysteries Book 1)

Bumbling British civil servant Moreton, narrator of this series, is frequently stuck between a rock and a hard place as his orders to accompany intrepid investigator of "anomalous phenomena," Charles Fort, send him to odd places and odder people.. Moreton is not only a skeptic, but supremely feckless, and like Holmes' Dr. Watson, he is often wrong-footed. Unlike Holmes, Fort is also not too smooth, but he is indefatigable. Their combination makes for a fascinating "tour" of postwar Britain in 1919, and the milieu of mediums and spiritualists, skeptics and frauds, bureaucracy and crime.

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Review: Windows into Hell

Windows into Hell Windows into Hell by James Wymore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review WINDOWS INTO HELL Anthology

I expected only good things from an anthology edited and collected by James Wymore, and indeed, this very special set exceeds my expectations. A superb rendering of varied viewpoints about what happens after death, WINDOWS INTO HELL is engrossing, enlightening, and a sheer pleasure to peruse. In some anthologies or short story collections, I can select one or multiple entries as my "favorite." Not so here: each entry is outstanding. Kudos indeed to James Wymore and fellow authors for a superb and thought-provoking reading experience!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: The Lost Child of Lychford

The Lost Child of Lychford The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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Review: Covenant

Covenant Covenant by Allan Leverone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: COVENANT by Allan Leverone

A frightening story of implacable horror and mystery, COVENANT commences with horror and never relents. In a quiet New Hampshire community, a monster-in-human-form, a man of extensive wealth, constructed for himself a home and a playground for sadism. Eventually, after decades of torture and numerous murders, he died--but Edward Collins' evil lives on. When a gloriously happy and well-matched couple buys the century-old reconstruction built atop Collins' blood-drenched foundation, his spirit is infuriated and he terrorizes and kills, even from beyond his grave. COVENANT is an electrifying page-turner not readily forgotten.

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