WHO

WHO'S COMING DOWN YOUR CHIMNEY TONIGHT?




Charles Stross, "Overtime"

2018: CTHULHU FOR CHRISTMAS

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Review: Saving Buddy: The Heartwarming Story of a Very Special Rescue

Saving Buddy: The Heartwarming Story of a Very Special Rescue Saving Buddy: The Heartwarming Story of a Very Special Rescue by Nicola Owst
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh how this precious non-fiction narrative made me cry but also enthuse with joy! Buddy is a special animal indeed, and so too is his owner special. I very much resonated with her story of growing up mostly alone and how Buddy's abandonment, serious illness, and subsequent separation anxiety spoke to her heart and soul. Although some portions are painful to read, this book instilled a song in my heart.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Review: The Secret Santa

The Secret Santa The Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE SECRET SANTA is a remarkably twisty tale with a surprisingly vicious villain (very sneaky and Machiavellian) and some feckless "innocents" and undeserving villains. This was a one-sitting read as I raced through breathlessly awaiting the unraveling of the puzzles.

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Review: No One's Home

No One's Home No One's Home by D.M. Pulley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quite a while ago I read the contemporary/historical novel THE DEAD KEY by D. M. Pulley, and was intensely engrossed. I'm delighted that her newest, NO ONE'S HOME, is every bit as enthralling. If you love history and pondering the ways in which it affects the present, I believe you will find this a gem, as did I. Set in Cleveland's prestigious Shaker Heights Community, the novel relates the stories of several families occupying an upscale home built in 1922. Is it haunted? Is it history? Is it family and personal dysfunction? Greed and cupidity? Will the cycle ever end? Read on and discover.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Review: Legion

Legion Legion by William Peter Blatty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LEGION is a sequel to THE EXORCIST, featuring Lieutenant Kinderman as a lovable and articulate continuing character. The late priest Father Damien Karras is also a sort of backstage character. LEGION is suffused with philosophy, theology, metaphysics, and literature. Kinderman is a philosopher-detective and Big Thinking is always a running program in his background. This is also true of a secondary character, Dr. Vincent Amfortas, a neurologist. There's also plenty of psychiatry, gore, homicides, and some really spooky events.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Review: Beyond the Gate

Beyond the Gate Beyond the Gate by Mary SanGiovanni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mary Sangiovanni is a past master at subtly unveiling the terrors of Cosmic Horror, of the Knowledge that Lovecraft cautioned us to avoid. In this third book of her Kathy Ryan serirs, occult consultant and troubleshooter Kathy is called in by a secretive corporation which has opened a portal to an alternate universe; a portal which unfortunately is permeable to infection from that other universe. Soon Kathy and three companions are beyond the gate, hunting the lost explorer-scientists, and struggling to avoid an eternity of unending suffering.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Review: The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Protagonist Ted, well-meaning and principled but too easily swayed by others, at one point asks himself, "How was he meant to be thinking about his friend?" For me, that approach describes the crux of this psychological mystery. Eight individuals--four couples. They consider themselves "a dinner group," not really socializing beyond that--or so Ted thinks. I think there's too much thinking going on among this group. Self-analysis is well and good, until it becomes "what does my spouse/friend/therapist think? Maybe I should change my mind?"

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Review: The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Protagonist Ted, well-meaning and principled but too easily swayed by others, at one point asks himself, "How was he meant to be thinking about his friend?" For me, that approach describes the crux of this psychological mystery. Eight individuals--four couples. They consider themselves "a dinner group," not really socializing beyond that--or so Ted thinks. I think there's too much thinking going on among this group. Self-analysis is well and good, until it becomes "what does my spouse/friend/therapist think? Maybe I should change my mind?"

View all my reviews

Review: The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Protagonist Ted, well-meaning and principled but too easily swayed by others, at one point asks himself, "How was he meant to be thinking about his friend?" For me, that approach describes the crux of this psychological mystery. Eight individuals--four couples. They consider themselves "a dinner group," not really socializing beyond that--or so Ted thinks. I think there's too much thinking going on among this group. Self-analysis is well and good, until it becomes "what does my spouse/friend/therapist think? Maybe I should change my mind?"

View all my reviews

Review: The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Protagonist Ted, well-meaning and principled but too easily swayed by others, at one point asks himself, "How was he meant to be thinking about his friend?" For me, that approach describes the crux of this psychological mystery. Eight individuals--four couples. They consider themselves "a dinner group," not really socializing beyond that--or so Ted thinks. I think there's too much thinking going on among this group. Self-analysis is well and good, until it becomes "what does my spouse/friend/therapist think? Maybe I should change my mind?"

View all my reviews

Review: The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Protagonist Ted, well-meaning and principled but too easily swayed by others, at one point asks himself, "How was he meant to be thinking about his friend?" For me, that approach describes the crux of this psychological mystery. Eight individuals--four couples. They consider themselves "a dinner group," not really socializing beyond that--or so Ted thinks. I think there's too much thinking going on among this group. Self-analysis is well and good, until it becomes "what does my spouse/friend/therapist think? Maybe I should change my mind?"

View all my reviews

Review: Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Up to about page 140, this novel seemed to be in the usual vein of North London psychological thriller (which I equate as captained by THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN). Interspersed were a few champion "Oh no!" moments (such as when we discover who unexpectedly may have been the last person to see Ellie), and many truly enterprising instances of substantial character delineation. But it wasn't until about page 140'-about 37% in--that a certain conversational intent had me chortling, "Oh ho! So that's going to be the way it is, is it?" and shouting at Laurell, the protagonist, "Listen up! Don't disregard this. You're being taken for a ride." Noting that this was almost 40% into the story before I grasped for the brass ring reinforces my point that the novel could have/should have been trimmed. I had the same complaint (more strongly) about the author's THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN. I noticed this again with the lengthy section concerning Ellie and Noelle, feeling this could have benefited from a good trimming. In general I found the story too long drawn out, interspersed with shock points.

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Review: The Ring's List

The Ring's List The Ring's List by Jade Nicole-Bracken
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes even a good guy suffers... Driving to work, Steve comes upon what he thinks is a car accident and stops to play Good Samaritan. The consequence is arrest, trial, and conviction for murder [admittedly, I found this far-fetched]. Eventually released, Steve changes his name and moves from England to Scotland, employed in a prisoner release program. His sole goal, unstated, is to uncover the facts. Who killed the bank manager, and why was Steve railroaded? Why are those with inside information disappearing? How extensive is the mortgage fraud conspiracy? If Steve perseveres in investigating, will he even survive?

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Review: The Ring's List

The Ring's List The Ring's List by Jade Nicole-Bracken
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes even a good guy suffers... Driving to work, Steve comes upon what he thinks is a car accident and stops to play Good Samaritan. The consequence is arrest, trial, and conviction for murder [admittedly, I found this far-fetched]. Eventually released, Steve changes his name and moves from England to Scotland, employed in a prisoner release program. His sole goal, unstated, is to uncover the facts. Who killed the bank manager, and why was Steve railroaded? Why are those with inside information disappearing? How extensive is the mortgage fraud conspiracy? If Steve perseveres in investigating, will he even survive?

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Review: Nobody Move

Nobody Move Nobody Move by Philip Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This "L.A. Crime" novel sort of turns the expectations of Los Angeles Noir on their heads, with a Feckless Hero who is actually too good at heart to save himself from a misguided life. Eddie Vegas reminds me of Hollywood's "heart of gold" "ladies of the night" of 1930's and 1940's films. So too does his "love interest," Dakota, a Native American searching for her long-lost sibling. A different Eddie would be more cunning, more fortunate, or a better decision maker; but he wouldn't be Eddie.


Prepare for harsh language, gratuitous violence, some nasty villains, some skewed but hilarious "bad guys," and one very determined and very clever female police detective.


NOBODY MOVE is a debut novel and a promising takeoff.

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Review: 29 Seconds

29 Seconds 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

29 SECONDS is the stunning new thriller (Release date Sept. 10) by TM Logan, author of the superb 2017 thriller LIES. The very timely subject matter reflects the #MeToo Movement, and recent disclosures of workplace harassment in network media, films, and high-society philanthropy. Sarah is a gifted scholar specializing in sixteenth-century playwright Christopher Marlowe, author of Doctor Faustus, a play which comes to symbolize her life.


29 SECONDS demonstrates a victimized academic in a situation both Orwellian and Machiavellian, as she determines to make a stand. Must she deal with the devil, as playwright Marlowe's Doctor Faustus did, in order to free herself from another devil?

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

FRIGHTFALL!!! 2019

At: sign-up

And Kingtober!

(Also.Month 2 of R.I.P.)


Due to recent synchronous acquisitions, my King stack (which now includes the King/King collaboration Sleeping Beauties) is, literally, chest high.

I plan to read:
(All Kindle reads)

Rereads:

Maybe Rereads: It
Illustrated hardcover[book:Double Feature'Salem's Lot|5413]
Some of the short story collections.

Possible first-time reads:

And Month 2 of R. I. P. (Readers In Peril)

Review: Down a Dark Hall

Down a Dark Hall Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My third consecutive YA Paranormal thriller read by Lois Duncan thankfully left my "spooky sense" engaged but without the psychological turmoil I experienced while reading both DAUGHTERS OF EVE and GALLOWS HILL. DOWN A DARK HALL was far more relaxing, despite the clear presence of spectral entities. Psychological horror exists here too as the author examines the lengths to which some individuals will go when the results are considered to justify the mode. Protagonist Kit and her three fellow students are well-drawn exemplars who readily elicit our attention and empathy to cheer them on through this inexplicable nightmare.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: Gallows Hill

Gallows Hill Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The amount of foreshadowing in this YA novel, both direct and psychic (nightmares, history, potential past lives, verbal warnings) is really weighty. I read with dread. Just as Ms. Duncan's YA novel DAUGHTERS OF EVE examines the psychological and practical fallout of one charismatic fanatic's psychosis (which reminded me of how demagogues Hitler and Jim Jones manipulated populaces), GALLOWS HILL examines paranoia, mass hysteria, and word of mouth propaganda, and how mob hysteria can immediately ignite into a lynch mob mentality and full-blown witch hunt. As a lifetime history and psychology aficionado, I remember all too well what such incidents lead up to. I read GALLOWS HILL in behalf of my September Banned and Challenged Books Challenge, and found this a terribly unsettling novel.

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Review: Daughters of Eve

Daughters of Eve Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Originally published in 1979, this is a revised (culturally updated) edition released in 2011 [the characters have cell phones, for example; many of the high school students drive their own cars). Lois Duncan was noted for her prolific publication in the YA Genre; in an interview appended to this edition, she stated that because her first published novel was YA, the publisher then contracted for further YA, and then on.


I found DAUGHTERS OF EVE immensely engrossing, yet ultimately unsettling [to the point of sleeplessness]. The tiny community of Modesta, Michigan is such a 1950's-era anomaly: to the point that the chauvinism is not only stifling, but revolting. It also proves to be dangerous, for the town's female population and for the abusers.


The novel is also a microcosm of an ideologue's descent into psychosis, and a charismatic individual's talent to warp minds and psyches. I'm not at all surprised that this novel has been a Challenged book, as its plot threatens the patriarchal status quo and the "powers that be." It's also psychologically disturbing. I read DAUGHTERS OF EVE pursuant to my September Banned and Challenged Books Challenge.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review: Missing Person

Missing Person Missing Person by Sarah Lotz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MISSING PERSON is a remarkable novel, rich in emotion and suspense and deeply-layered. The author has a keen appraisal of both human emotions, and contemporary Internet-fed and celebrity-driven "culture." Weaving contemporary events and investigations with those of the mid-1990's, she delves deeply into quite a cast of characters as we watch the consequences of their choices and their struggle against prevailing societal mores.

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Review: The Extinction Agenda

The Extinction Agenda The Extinction Agenda by Michael Laurence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE EXTINCTION AGENDA is a remarkably engrossing thriller which hooked me and held me from the very start. I was at once agreeably surprised, since the story stars certain of those Federal agencies I prefer not to consider and also, let's face it, Gentle Reader: hasn't in the past the Pandemic trope been "done to death"? (Forgive the pun.) But this author delivers it in a realistic, vivid, "in your face" way that inspires the reader to realize, "Hey, this could happen," then pray it doesn't. Definitely a page-turner I could not walk away from. In fact, I remained breathless throughout: a high-quality thriller indeed.

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: The Sixth Wicked Child

The Sixth Wicked Child The Sixth Wicked Child by J.D. Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm relieved and gratified that after the intrigue of THE FOURTH MONKEY followed by the slow pace Noir of THE FIFTH TO DIE, I discovered THE SIXTH WILD CHILD to be thrilling and riveting.


This stunning, suspenseful, and incredibly convoluted conclusion to the FOURTH MONKEY TRILOGY gloriously fulfills the promise and potential of the introductory THE FOURTH MONKEY. I was engrossed, couldn't sleep till I finished it, and even then spent a night pondering "But what then? And what happened to---?" And "Did the End mean this? Or did it mean something else entirely? Or what really happened?" So I can't say I'm quite satisfied with the ending; but I certainly became immensely involved throughout. Kind of sorry to see it end.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review: Ban This Book

Ban This Book Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't praise this children's chapter book highly enough! Although the characters are (primarily) fourth graders, the content abd philosophy can appeal to middle school, YA, and adults. Whose flame doesn't ignite to combat Banned Books? Certainly mine does.


This novel is a multicultural, divergent, subtly philosophical treatise in stimulating fictional style of the importance of celebrating Reading Divergence and the freedom to read. When a classmate's mother decides to remove certain books from the elementary school's well-stocked library, fourth-grader Amy Anne starts a crusade which soon blossoms into a campaign to free the books. It's a glorious event to witness.

I chose this title in celebration of Banned Books Week 2019.

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Review: Ban This Book

Ban This Book Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't praise this children's chapter book highly enough! Although the characters are (primarily) fourth graders, the content abd philosophy can appeal to middle school, YA, and adults. Whose flame doesn't ignite to combat Banned Books? Certainly mine does.


This novel is a multicultural, divergent, subtly philosophical treatise in stimulating fictional style of the importance of celebrating Reading Divergence and the freedom to read. When a classmate's mother decides to remove certain books from the elementary school's well-stocked library, fourth-grader Amy Anne starts a crusade which soon blossoms into a campaign to free the books. It's a glorious event to witness.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 2, 2019

Review: The Fifth To Die

The Fifth To Die The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read the initial mystery in this series, THE FOURTH MONKEY, in one day. THE FIFTH TO required two days, seemed much slower-, and really, I didn't like it much at all. Much more Noir than police procedural, and with Detective Sam Porter, star of THE FOURTH MONKEY, now "out in the cold" and acting on his own recognizance, I just could not develop the interest as I had with THE FOURTH MONKEY.

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BANNED BOOKS SEPTEMBER 2019



September 22-28 is Banned Books Week.
Banned Books Week

I'm commemmorating Banned and Challenged Books throughout the Month of September,
by Reading Contemporary and Classics either Banned or Challenged and reviewing each.




BOOKS READ:

BAN THIS BOOK! by Alan Gratz
https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-ban-this-book.html?m=1

DAUGHTERS OF EVE by Lois Duncan
https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-daughters-of-eve.html?m=1

GALLOWS HALL by Lois Duncan
https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-gallows-hill.html?m=1

DOWN A DARK HALL by Lois Duncan
https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-down-dark-hall.html?m=1


  • CORALINE by Neil Gaiman. Reread.
LEGION by William Peter Blatty
https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-legion.html?m=1

R. I. P. 2019



Peril One: 4 Books (more like 40-60, for me, since I live for Horror, Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense, Speculative) COMPLETED

Peril of Short Story (I have a plethora of Anthologies to read, hence, Short Stories)

Peril of the Review: I review every title I read. So, there's that. COMPLETED

This is also fits well with September Banned Books, as I'll be reading Horror Banned Books such as the Goosebumps Series, along with others.

Books Completed:

1. THE FIFTH TO DIE by J. D. Barker (THE FOURTH MONKEY #2). Mystery, thriller, suspense, horror
2. THE SIXTH WICKED CHILD by J. D. Barker (THE FOURTH MONKEY #3). Mystery, thriller, suspense, horror
3. BAN THIS BOOK! by Alan Gratz. Elementary grades, freedom of reading. Read for Banned Books Werk/month
4. THE EXTINCTION AGENDA by Michael Laurence. Technothriller, pandemic, human evil, New World Order, Nazis.
5. MISSING PERSON by Sarah Lotz. Horror/thriller/mystery/killers/internet/family dysfunction
6. DAUGHTERS OF EVE by Lois Dumcan.
YA: Psychological Horror/Psychosis/Charisma/Fanaticism/Family Dysfunction
7. GALLOWS HALL by Lois Duncan. YA: paranormal and psychological horror. Historical background (contemporary setting). Charismatic manipulation. Mob hysteria.
8. DOWN A DARK HALL by Lois Suncan. YA:
Contemporary paranormal. Mediumship.
9. 29 SECONDS by TM Logan. Workplace harassment. Academia. British. Thriller.
10. NOBODY MOVE by Phillip Elliott. LA Noir with a Difference. Feckless "Hero." Strong Female Characters.
11. CORALINE by Neil Gaiman. Reread from October 2014 for Banned and Challenged Books September. YA urban fantasy/horror. Black-eyed.
12. THE RING'S LIST by Jade Nicole-Bracken. UK Conspiracy thriller. Debut.
13. THEN SHE WAS GONE by Lisa Jewel. Psychological horror. Family dysfunctions.
14. BEYOND THE GATE by Mary Sangiovanni. Cosmic Horror. Lovecraftian.
15. LEGION by William Peter Blatty. Catholicism. Judaism. Psychiatric. Police Procedural. Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theology. Sequel to THE EXORCIST.
16. NO ONE'S HOME by D. M. Pulley. Contemporary/historical weave. House focus. Haunting. Family Dysfunctions.
17. SHIFT by Chris Dolley. Near-futuristic. Science Fiction. Higher Dimensions. Psychiatry.
18. AN EYE FOR AN EYE: THE DOLL by John Daul (The Blackstone Chronicles Book 1). Horror.
19. TWIST OF FATE: THE LOCKET by John Saul (The Blackstone Chronicles Book 2). Horror.
20. ASHES TO ASHES: THE DRAGON'S FLAME by John Saul. Horror. (The Blackstone Chronicles Book 3)
21. THE SECRET SANTA by Traci Harmetiaux. Horror.
22. IN THE SHADOW OF EVIL: THE HANDKERCHIEF by John Saul. )Thr Blackstone Chronicles Book 4). Horror.
23. DAY OF RECKONING: THE STETHOSCOPE by John Saul. (The Blackstone Chronicles Book 5). Horror.
24. ASYLUM by John Saul. (The Blackstone Chronicles Book 6). Horror.
25. THE BLACKSTONE CHRONICLES COMPLETE SET.
26. LOVE, PRIDE, VIRTUE, AND FAITH by Bharat Krishnan. Stories retold of Hindu Mythology.
27. SAVING BUDDY by Nicola Owt. Animal Rescue!

Reviews Completed:



https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-ban-this-book.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-extinction-agenda.html?m=1
  • https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-missing-person.html?m=1
https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-daughters-of-eve.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-gallows-hill.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-down-dark-hall.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-29-seconds.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-nobody-move.html?m=1


https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-rings-list_12.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-then-she-was-gone.html?m=1

https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-beyond-gate.html

 https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-legion.html?m=1


https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-no-ones-home.html?m=1

https://intotheabyssreviews.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-shift-by-chris-dolley.html?m=1

https://intotheabyssreviews.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-love-pride-virtue-and-fate-by.html?m=1


https://thehauntedreadingroom.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-saving-buddy-heartwarming-story.html?m=1

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Review: Bloody Genius

Bloody Genius Bloody Genius by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An exciting and thtillingly-paced police procedural with an amazingly convoluted mystery, BLOODY GENIUS is #12 in John Sandford's enthralling Virgil Flowers series. Virgil is the long-haired, band T-shirt wearing agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who lives on a farm with pregnant girlfriend Frankie, expecting twins. Virgil is called in to assist in a Minneapolis case, involving the murder of a University professor, which has stumped local homicide. The case has far more ramifications than expected and the suspense level remains constantly high.

View all my reviews