Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: The Apartment: A Horror Story

The Apartment: A Horror Story The Apartment: A Horror Story by S.L. Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE APARTMENT by S. L. Grey

This story is non-stop horror. I seem not to have breathed through the duration of the read, and I'm sure its themes will manage to infest my dreams. The author does a marvelous job of balancing on a knife edge not only the protagonists [two, a married couple, alternating well-written first-person narrative], but also the reader. We remain on tenterhooks as we constantly endeavor to determine whether the causes are supernatural in origin, or simply a run of bad circumstances exacerbating the psychological decline of a grieving, troubled, mind. I know my perspectives have changed for having read it.

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Review: The Night Stalker

The Night Stalker The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE NIGHT STALKER by Robert Bryndza
DCI Erika Foster #2]

If you haven't begun this series with THE GIRL IN THE ICE, you're really missing out. Both are excellent, penned by an author who Is unafraid to expose his characters' true nature [whether protagonist, villain, or victim] and his grasp of character psychology is sound. His protagonist, Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster, formerly of the Manchester [England] force, more recently of London, is a headstrong individual whose reliance on "instinct" is fast becoming out of control. In my review of THE GIRL IN THE ICE, I offered comparison to Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone, and I believe this to be true for that book. However, by the finish of THE NIGHT STALKER, Erika is clearly devolving, so is diverging from similarity to other strong but unstable female sleuths. Nonetheless I shall be waiting impatiently for DCI Erika Foster' s next stunning appearance.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: I Am Providence: A Novel

I Am Providence: A Novel I Am Providence: A Novel by Nick Mamatas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas

Author H. P. Lovecraft' s headstone epitaph reads "I am Providence." Certainly he is that for his subset of fans. Come witness the antics, tragedies, and utter sneakiness and ego-posturing on display throughout the "Summer Tentacular," the annual fan convention held in Providence for writers, readers, fanzine publishers, and dealers in Lovecraft Mythos memorabilia. I learned much about Lovecraft' s fiction and life while following the convolutions of the multiple mysteries.

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BOUT OF BOOKS 16_Coming in May.

Bout of Books 16
May 9-16

Books I've Read:  

Monday May 9:

"Pitch," J. D. Horn (short story)
"Table 9," Amy Cross (short story)
THE AXEMAN, Ray Celestin [original title THE AXEMAN'S JAZZ]

Tuesday May 10:
WALLEYE JUNCTION, Karen Salavaggio
THE OCCUPIED, Craig Parshall

Wednesday May 11:
"The Lodge," Travis Burrows (short story)
ASH AND BONES, Mike Thomas
GHOST AHEAD, Spike Black

Thursday May 12:
- - -

Friday May 13:
"Mono no Aware," Ken Liu (short story)
DEAD MAN WALKING (Ishmael Jones Book 2), Simon Green

Saturday May 14:
OLIVER AND JUMPY, Stories 40-42, Werner Stjeskal [children's series]
THE HOUSE THAT HELL BUILT, Matt Shaw, Michael Bray, Stuart Keane
"Halloween Candy," Lyle Perez-Tinics (short story)

Sunday May 15:

Total: 16 books, 5 short stories

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I'll be participating--won't you??

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: A Haunting Is Brewing

A Haunting Is Brewing A Haunting Is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: A HAUNTING IS BREWING by Juliet Blackwell

A delightfully spooky California cozy, this Novella set in San Francisco's trendy Mission District combines characters from two of the author's series, Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries, and Witchcraft Mysteries. Talented renovator Mel Turner is in charge of fixing up historic Spooner House. When a young volunteer dies, Mel combines with natural-born witch Lily to free spirits trapped in the house, and identity the killer.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review: Little Dead Red

Little Dead Red Little Dead Red by Mercedes M. Yardley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: LITTLE DEAD RED by Mercedes M. Yardley

Oh my. SO not for the faint of heart. For the rest of us, first of all, this novella's prose reads like poetry. I would have finished so much faster if I hadn't so frequently stopped to savor images and metaphors. Second, this story is going to rip your heart out--again and again and again--and then, just when you think you can handle it: the eviscerating denouement. I never saw it coming. Couldn't possibly have expected it. Wish it hadn't been as it was. But dear me, what a powerful, potent noir is LITTLE DEAD RED.

3 Goodreads reviewers I respect recommended this title.

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Review: Berkley Street

Berkley Street Berkley Street by Ron Ripley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BERKLEY STREET by Ron Ripley

I don't know what author Ron Ripley's nightmares are like, but he certainly knows how to bring on the scares, in every single story. BERKLEY STREET is frightening, very much, and I finished unsure which scared me more: the haunts, or the humans [shudder]. BERKLEY STREET is part of the MOVING IN series. Do read this, but not at night and not alone.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: The Forbidden Territory

The Forbidden Territory The Forbidden Territory by Dennis Wheatley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FORBIDDEN TERRITORY by Dennis Wheatley

The early 20th century was plentiful with prolific authors: Dennis Wheatley, Sax Rohmer, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and many more. Most hold in common intriguing characters, wildly adventurous plots, and writing that is easily accessible, even nearly a century later. I'm so glad to see Dennis Wheatley's work in new publication. At minimum, his novels provide scenic, adventuresome, heart-in-mouth escapism, a perfect comfortable evening's reading entertainment, and maybe, some food for thought too.

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Review: Three Times Removed

Three Times Removed Three Times Removed by M.K. Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THREE TIMES REMOVED by M.K. Jones (Maze Investigations--The Genealogy Detectives Book 1)

I totally enjoyed this novel. Not quite sure what to expect when I started, but I've liked the genealogical cozy mysteries by Steve Robinson, so decided to try this new series and am quite impressed! Excellently written, with well-wrought, empathetic characters, fascinating plot lines, and a neat interweaving of present and past, in a beautifully scenic setting [rural Wales]. All this and an appealing paranormal thread, too. I was quickly drawn into the characters' lives, both contemporary and 19th century, cheering their successes and seconding their dismay, failures, and grief. Eagerly anticipating Book 2!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Medea's Curse

Medea's Curse Medea's Curse by Anne Buist
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: MEDEA' S CURSE by Anne Buist

One of my favorite themes in mysteries and psychological thrillers is the "difficult" female protagonist. You know who I mean: edgy, self-centered, often narcissistic, selfish, rough upbringing, but highly intuitive and with intense determination and drive. Take, for example, Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone; Robert Bryndza' s DCI Erika Foster; Celina Grace' s DS Kate Redman. All women on the edge, carving their own paths.

Enter Natalie King, not a criminologist, but a forensic psychiatrist, specializing in women who are either victims or perpetrators of violence (often both). Natalie gets a category all her own in the "edgy" niche, but she well deserves it. In terms of psychological evolution, if evolution is a mutable response to the collapse of society and culture, Natalie King is the next stage.

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Review: For Dead Men Only

For Dead Men Only For Dead Men Only by Paula Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: FOR DEAD MEN ONLY by Paula Paul

This fourth in the Alexandra Gladstone mysteries sees Dr. Gladstone pitting herself and her knowledge and training once again in opposition to patriarchal, insular, small-town society. Often we forget that women have only been an Integral component of the workforce for three-quarters of a century. In the late 19th century in rural England, Dr. Gladstone cannot term herself a physician, cannot use the honorific "Doctor," cannot perform autopsies! Nevertheless, she is a talented investigator, very much needed when the local Freemasons begin to fall prey, their deaths unexplained, and a mysterious figure appearing to be a Templar is seen on horseback.

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Review: The Girl In The Ice

The Girl In The Ice The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE GIRL IN THE ICE by Robert Bryndza

Not a debut novel, but the mystery debut, and first of a series, THE GIRL IN THE ICE introduces us to an unusual protagonist, Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster [her return appearance will be "The Night Stalker," upcoming in 2016]. DCI Foster is, at the risk of triteness, a "lone wolf." In some ways she is somewhat comparable to DI Kim Stone of Angela Marsons' series: both are empowered women in jobs for two centuries considered the province of men; both are "loners," live alone, don't socialize; are incredibly self-determined to the extent of flying in the face of authority. Both have strong, efficient, intuition. They are not alike nor derivative, though.

The mystery here is complex and strongly founded in abnormal psychology. The author excellently does not telegraph the villain' s identity, instead offering readers several possibilities (not red herrings, but.actual contenders). I recommend THE GIRL IN THE ICE and anticipate further encounters with the intrepid and nearly fearless DCI Erika Foster.

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Monday, April 18, 2016




April 18: read Fred Harrison, BRADY AND HINDLEY: GENESIS OF THE MOOR MURDERS [2016 reissue] [True Crime, Britain]

April 18: read Haydn Jones, THE DEVIL AND THE UNICORN. [Horrir, Fic]

April 19: read Emilie Elkin Khair, KUDZU FOR CHRISTMAS [children's, fic]

April 19:  read Brooks Olbrys,THE ADVENTURES OF BLUE OCEAN BOB: INTO THE LEAD [children!s, fic]

April 18-19: read  Robert Bryndza, THE GIRL IN THE ICE [British crime, police procedural]

April 19-20: read Annie Buist, MEDEA'S CURSE [mystery, forensic psychiatrist, female sleuth,  Australia]

April 20: read Paula Paul, FOR DEAD MEN ONLY [mystery, historical]

April 20:  read M. K. Jones, THREE TIMES REMOVED (MAZE INVESTIGATIONS--THE GENEALOGY DETECTIVES BOOK 1) [contemporary & historical, mystery & family drama, Wales]

April 21: Dennis Wheatley, THE FORBIDDEN TERRITORY [suspense, adventure, historical]

April 21: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT--EXTENDED FREE PREVIEW

April 22: Ron Ripkey,  BERKLEY STREET [New England contemporary/historical Horror!]

Note: When possible, I like to devote Friday afternoon through Sunday night reading to "reading for myself."  This weekend, in honor of the Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon, it's an all-horror weekend. In addition to yesterday's read of BERKLEY STREET, I'm reading I AM PROVIDENCE [because anything Lovecraftian ROCKS!], LITTLE DEAD RED [highly recommended by Goodreads reviewers I trust], UNIT 731, THE LOVE OF THE DEAD, BLACK DOG. Rock on!!

April 23: Mercedes M. Yardley, LITTLE DEAD RED


April 23: Craig Saunders, UNIT 731

April 23-24: Nick Mamatas, I AM PROVIDENCE [mystery, Lovecraft, horror]

Total: read 15!


Review: Brady and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders

Brady and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders Brady and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders by Fred Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


More than six decades ago, a young man of Scottish birth, exiled to Manchester, in whom sociopathic tendencies already flowered, met a girl from Gorton at his workplace. He couldn't love her (forever after he referred to her as "the girl"), but he did perceive a kindred soul. She chauffeured him, he introduced her to pantheism and to the force he selfishly served, "The Face of Death."

They were Ian Stewart Brady and Myra Hindley, and they were killers. They are also icons of evil.

Author Fred Harrison, a journalist and economist, repeatedly interviewed Brady in the 1980's. His account, originally published in 1986, is here updated with a new introduction. This book is not pleasure reading, but I think its narrative is significant in terms of history and criminal psychology.

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Review: Die of Shame

Die of Shame Die of Shame by Mark Billingham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DIE OF SHAME by Mark Billingham

Another fascinating novel by a can't-miss author, DIE OF SHAME is exactly what the characters undergo, metaphorically or literally. Like a game of "Clue," my insistence on the identity of the villain bounced from one character to another, adding to the intrigue. Although there is plot--a strong one--I see the novel as character-driven. What the therapist calls 'here and now" is cleverly, consistently, intertwined with the past of various characters, and their backstory. Additionally, the female Detective Inspector is strong, empowered, determined, and evolving. London also is a character, by its presence.

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Review: Brady and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders

Brady and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders Brady and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders by Fred Harrison
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Review: The Black Magic Series

The Black Magic Series The Black Magic Series by Dennis Wheatley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sorry, this is not a treatise on performing the Dark Arts. Instead, this volume collects the first three novels in the Black Magic series by Dennis Wheatley, a prolific British author of the 20th century, who penned more than 70 suspense and thriller titles. I had known of this author since childhood, but these are the first of his books I've read.

Surprisingly easy to read, these stories are literate, literary, simultaneously horrifying in their range. Mr. Wheatley is very opposed to practice of the Left Hand Path, and the paradigm of good vs. evil is the foundation throughout. Like near-contemporary H. P. Lovecraft, Wheatley is rather insular in his ethnic bigotry: the "dark races" are presented as of lower vibration than Caucasians, although more spiritually oriented (whereas Europeans are focused toward materialism and so conquered the world. Nevertheless these are exciting stories, perhaps in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer [a personal favorite], or Robert E. Howard.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: When the Music's Over: An Inspector Banks Novel

When the Music's Over: An Inspector Banks Novel When the Music's Over: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was very tardy discovering the mysteries/police procedural of Peter Robinson. I read ABBATOIR BLUES in July 2015, and immediately realized this is a series I want to consume. WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER is his newest (releasing August 9).

Wow. Mr. Robinson is unafraid to tackle serious topics, in-depth, and here the locus is the British police drive to identify and prosecute "historic sexual abuse," offenses against minors dating back to the 1960's, possibly earlier. The villain is a former long-time celebrity, in similar status to several real-life celebrities successfully prosecuted in Britain.

A second focus revolves on the assimilation in Britain of descendants of immigrants, and the unfortunately all too prevalent bigotry [on both sides], not found in all cases but still too frequent.

A third focus is the ugly practice of "grooming," which in the US is a familiar urban failing. In Britain, the practice seems to often consist of older males targeting minor females, the more vulnerable or those feeling bullied, or abandoned by family. Providing attention and gifts, the victims are tenderized emotionally and psychologically. Next follows the violence and pimping.

Mr. Robinson presents several strongly-developed.characters, victims, police, villains. Inspector Banks, delightful as he is, is not left to carry the story on his own. Several strong female characters also propel the plot and lend depth and richness.


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Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the Btk Killer

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the Btk Killer Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the Btk Killer by Katherine Ramsland
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

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Review: The Black Magic Series

The Black Magic Series The Black Magic Series by Dennis Wheatley
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

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BLOOD SACRIFICES by Brian Moreland_Tour

Blood Sacrifices houses four tales of terror by one of the masters of horror, Brian Moreland. Previously only available in digital format, these stories are compiled into one book and can now be ordered in print!

Follow along the tour with the hashtags: #BloodSacrifices #4TalesofTerror #BrianMoreland

Synopsis for Blood Sacrifices: Four Tales of Terror

Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publication Length: 282 pages

Some evils require sacrifices.

From the author of Dead of Winter and The Devil’s Woods come four tales of blood-tingling horror:

The Girl from the Blood Coven

In this short prequel to The Witching House, when Abigail Blackwood claims her hippy commune family has been massacred, Sheriff Travis Keagan and his deputies investigate. They discover there’s more than weed smoking going on at Blevins House. Much more.

The Witching House

Sarah Donovan is scared of just about everything, but she helps her adventurous boyfriend investigate the old, abandoned Blevins House, scene of a forty-year-old unsolved massacre. Little do they know the house is hungry for fresh prey

Darkness Rising

When Marty Weaver encounters three killers who like to play sadistic games with their victims,his own scarred past is unearthed. And when his pain is triggered, blood will flow…and hell will rise.

The Vagrants

Beneath the city of Boston, evil is gathering. While living under a bridge with the homeless, journalist Daniel Finley witnessed something that nearly cost him his sanity. Now, with a book published about the experience, he’s caught between the Irish mafia and a deranged cult preparing to shed blood on the street.

This is a collection of books previously published in digital format.

Purchase Links


Barnes & Noble



Brian’s Audio Books at Audio Realms


Brian Moreland, Biography

Brian Moreland is a best-selling and award-winning author of novels and short stories in the horror and supernatural suspense genre. In 2007, his novel Shadows in the Mist, a Nazi occult thriller set during World War II, won a gold medal for Best Horror Novel in an international contest. The novel went on to be published in Austria and Germany under the title Schattenkrieger.

Shadows in the MistDead of Winter, and The Devil's Woods are his currently available novels, as well as his Kindle short-story The Girl from the Blood Coven and the novella it led into called The Witching House.  Now, he has released the full-length The Devil’s Woods. His novella, The Vagrantswas released in 2014, and another, Darkness Rising, in 2015.

He loves hiking, kayaking, watching sports, dancing, and making guacamole. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel.  When not working on his books or books for other writers, Brian edits documentaries and TV commercials around the globe. He produced a World War II documentary in Normandy, France, and worked at two military bases in Iraq with a film crew.

Brian lives in Dallas, Texas. You can communicate with him online at www.brianmoreland.comhis Dark Lucidity blogTwitter, or .

Praise for Brian Moreland

"For horror fans wanting a healthy dose of the small-town stuff a la Stephen King, be sure to pick up a copy of this (The Girl from the Blood Coven) memorable and frightening short story, a wonderful teaser that will whet your appetite for the main course, The Witching House, where the twisted story continues." -DarkEva/Hellnotes

" Very much in the tradition of HELL HOUSE, THE WITCHING HOUSE is a creepy, modern turn on the haunted house story." -Tim Potter 

"Far and away the best new piece of fiction I've read this year. With Darkness Rising, Brian Moreland reminded me why he's one of my two favorite (not King, Laymon, Ketchum...etc.) authors out there (the other being Ronald Malfi). I'm a huge fan of his novel, Shadows in the Mist, but I think this novella rivals it." -Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, on Darkness Rising

"Brian Moreland writes a blend of survival horror and occult mystery that I find impossible to resist. I know, when I've got one of his books in my hands, that I'm going to be lost to the world for hours on end. He's just that good." -Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Flesh Eaters

"A thrilling, wholly-engrossing read that masterfully crosses multiple genres and leaves the reader breathless. Moreland weaves one hell of a history lesson, rich with brilliant characters and incredible plot twists. Highly recommended!" -Brian Keene, bestselling author of The Last Zombie and Ghoul, on Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter is an exceptionally well crafted horror novel that tells a gripping story of dark religious doings, a horrific serial killer, and a sympathetic Inspector, in a dark and fascinating historical setting of 19th century Canada. The atmospherics are outstanding and the story offersplenty of surprises right up to its shocking and violent conclusion. Highly recommended.” 
- Douglas Preston,  New York Times bestselling co-author of The Monster of Florence and Cold Vengeance

Brian Moreland’s fiction is taut and spellbinding, often blending varied themes to form a dark genre very much his own.  From his WWII occult thriller Shadows in the Mist, to the haunting chiller The Devil’s Woods, Brian’s work is at once versatile, original, and deeply engaging.” -Greg F. Gifune, author of The Bleeding Season

"The Devil's Woods is an awesome horror novel, filled with nerve-wracking suspense and thrilling action!” - Jeff Strand, author of Wolf Hunt

Want to Feature Brian Moreland?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Brian Moreland, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.comkofabook@hotmail.com


Review: Blood Sacrifices

Blood Sacrifices
 by Brian Moreland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: BLOOD SACRIFICES by Brian Moreland

A delectable selection of 4 horror stories from Brian Moreland, the author noted for "thinking person's horror. Mr. Moreland, who can squelch 'em out with the best of them, is also a powerful intellect. Not for him is the simple slice-and-dice. He makes readers think, and expands their imaginative horizons.

Included here are "The Girl from the Blood Coven," "The Witching House," "Darkness Rising," and "The Vagrants."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Mammoth

Mammoth Mammoth by Douglas Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: MAMMOTH By Douglas Perry

From the first page, I felt a heavy dark cloud hanging over my left shoulder, the type that promises severe electrical storms and tornadoes. Only this cloud promises imminence of destruction, for the town of Mammoth View, and for the girls' camp on the mountain-the only runner's camp for adolescent girls in the nation. The cloud doesn't identify its form of destruction; but the reader will labor under a breath-suppressing dread nonetheless.

This perception carried throughout the book, but the numerous characters so engaged me that my attention remained riveted. Both writing and character are excellent. As for plot: after several decades of mystery reading, guessing at villains and outcomes, MAMMOTH fooled me, totally, and more than once! I had the thrill of discovery, because "I sure didn't see THAT coming!!"

Definitely a Best of 2016!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Review: The Guilty

The Guilty The Guilty by Gabriel Boutros
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: THE GUILTY by Gabriel Boutros

In an ironic example of life imitating art, the day prior to reading THE GUILTY, I pondered the description of "The Devil's Defender," the autobiography of John Henry Browne, the defense attorney who represented Ted Bundy and many others accused of heinous crimes. As I considered the ramifications of defending such individuals, I read THE GUILTY, in which a Montreal defense attorney finds himself pondering similarly. A man who self-admittedly cared nothing about witnesses (they're the prosecution's lookout) and lived only for triumph, yet eventually he enters into circumstances which impel him to reconsider his profession and his [lack of] principles.

Robert Bratt is not a character for whom I could develop any empathy. An arrogant egotist, he defended accused to acquittal, freeing some to reoffend. Of course, for Bratt, those clients (white-collar crime as well as rape and murder) paid him well "to do what he loved to do," which I guess made his clients only well-paying tools.

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Review: Longreave

Longreave Longreave by Daniel Barnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: LONGREAVE by Daniel Barnett

If you've read Daniel Barnett's THE SAFE, you will find yourself impelled to read LONGREAVE, an equally astounding yet very different novel. (If you haven't yet read THE SAFE, why haven't you?) THE SAFE focused on a man already deemed mad. LONGREAVE chronicles a perfectly ordinary man's descent into madness. In one day, Mark Currier loses his childhood home, his wife, his employment, and his lifelong "home away from home," the Longreave Hotel, a late 19th century icon on the Atlantic, where his father had been employed, and where Mark works.

Upended to the point of homelessness, virtually abandoned, adrift Mark sinks his sizable severance payment into a brand-new obsession: restoring the foundation of the Longreave, which has suffered erosion damage from winters and salt-water breezes.

No one knows Mark remains in the hotel--not his wife, her odd brother, nor the former owner. Only his deceased child, whatever hides in the unused boiler, and Mark's escalating madness know...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review: Blood Sacrifices

Blood Sacrifices Blood Sacrifices by Brian Moreland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BLOOD SACRIFICES by Brian Moreland

A delectable selection of 4 horror stories from Brian Moreland, the author noted for "thinking person's horror. Mr. Moreland, who can squelch 'em out with the best of them, is also a powerful intellect. Not for him is the simple slice-and-dice. He makes readers think, and expands their imaginative horizons.

Included here are "The Girl from the Blood Coven," "The Witching House," "Darkness Rising," and "The Vagrants."

View all my reviews

Review: Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle: Episode 1

Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle: Episode 1 Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle: Episode 1 by Max Gladstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BOOKBURNERS Episode 1

An exciting new book serial [remember how popular were the serials penned by Charles Dickens in the 19th century?] focusing on a secret Vatican society which recognizes the existence and validity of magic. Tasked to hunt and recover dangerous books ("hungry" books), its members find a trove hidden by the brother of an NYPD cop, when he is possessed, and his cop sister is enlisted in the society.

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review: Saving April

Saving April Saving April by Sarah A. Denzil
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SAVING APRIL by Sarah A. Denzil

This was a nonstop read! Immediately I was very involved with the characters and my empathy was quickly elicited. Like protagonist Hannah, I was quick to "point the finger" of blame, and like Hannah, totally astonished when the story turned upside down and inside out in a suddenly startling denouement!! A startling psychological thriller loaded with suspense!

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review: The Dark Side of the Road

The Dark Side of the Road The Dark Side of the Road by Simon R. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DARK SIDE OF THE ROAD by Simon R. Green

This novel "blew me away"! Seamless in exposition, convoluted in its mystery, extending clues cautiously, I found myself enrapt from Page 1. (I also discovered a new favorite author--yes, sometimes it only takes one story.)

Protagonist Ishmael Jones is a fascinating and admirable character, with an honor code all his own, exemplified throughout his life. When he unfolds his secret truth, metaphorically my eyes widened to saucer size and my jaw dropped [yes, more mind-boggling than quantum physics!]. I plan to run off and devour everything Simon R. Green has composed, and witness my imagination and admiration expand.

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Review: Hell's Marshal

Hell's Marshal Hell's Marshal by Chris Barili
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HELL' S MARSHAL by Chris Barili


Frank Butcher endures his eternity in Hell, believing it righteous torment, if never atonement, for committing patricide and filicide. As agonizing as is the periodic fire, it's both justified and well-deserved, he is convinced. When the underworld' s judges convene and order him back to Earth, Frank Butcher demurs. But someone must capture the escaped soul of Jesse James, now inhabiting a living person, with a sizable and deadly agenda to accomplish. Enter "Hell' s Butcher."

"HELL' S MARSHAL" is well written, gritty, visual, and compelling horror. It is Book One in the HELL' S BUTCHER Series.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Review: The Apartment: A Ghost Story

The Apartment: A Ghost Story The Apartment: A Ghost Story by Anthony M. Strong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellently written, tremendously scary, horror is implacable. I've just found me a new favorite author!

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The Monster Underneath, Synopsis

Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publication Length: 219 pages

Reality can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare…

Max Crawford isn’t a typical prison therapist. He uses his unusual psychic ability to walk with convicts through their dreams, reliving their unspeakable crimes alongside them to show them the error of their ways.

Max always has to be on his toes to keep himself grounded, but the FBI agent waiting for him in his private office immediately puts him on edge. The bureau wants Max to go way outside his comfort zone to enter the dreams of suspected serial killer William Knox.

To get a confession and secure the future of his prison program, Max must gain Knox’s trust by any means necessary—and survive the minefield of secrets waiting inside a murderer’s mind. Secrets that could turn Max’s reality into a living nightmare.

Biography of Matthew Franks

Matthew Franks lives in Arlington, Texas with his beautiful wife and children. He studied
psychology and creative writing at Louisiana State University then obtained a Master’s Degree in counseling from Texas State University. When he’s not working on his next story, he’scounseling adolescents or trying to keep up with his three highly energetic daughters. You can connect with Matthew at: authormatthewfranks.com.

Praise for The Monster Underneath

“An assured, gripping, totally engaging debut, Matthew Franks will have you burning through the pages of this taut supernatural thriller at breakneck speed. If Christopher Nolan and Stephen King ever teamed up to write a novel, this would be it. Highly recommended!”
–Ronald Malfi, author of Little Girls

“What if you could see inside the dreams of anyone you came in contact with? Would you dare to look? Could you handle the things you’d find within? The Monster Underneath is a real nail-biter – one of those ever-spiraling stories that you just can’t put down until you reach the surprising end!”
–John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Covenant and The Family Tree

The Monster Underneath is an intense and clever debut in which reality is more terrifying than the nightmares and twisted dreamscapes of a madman. Author Matthew Franks is a name to remember, his stories you won’t soon forget.”
–Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls

“Matthew Franks’ debut novel takes you through the darkest, twisted alleys of a killer’s mind and then drags you several steps further, beyond the status of observer and into the disturbing realm of accomplice. A harrowing tale of murder and delusion and moral ambiguity.”
–Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of DamnableDiabolical, and the dark thriller collection, American Nocturne

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble


Want to Feature Matthew Franks?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Matthew Franks, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.com


The Monster UnderneathThe Monster Underneath by Matthew Franks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars 


Not-so-ordinary therapist Max Crawford enjoys his quiet life with his wife and daughter. At Texas-Huntsville Penitentiary, he does dream therapy with inmates, literally entering their dreams to alter their psyches. Life is stable, until an importunate FBI Special Agent insists he travel to Arkansas to enter the mind of a conscieless accused killer, a university professor. Max and his family will find their lives upended and endangered. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: Serpentine

Serpentine Serpentine by Peter Parkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SERPENTINE by Peter Parkin and Alison Darby

With SERPENTINE, readers revel not only in a champion suspenseful thriller/mystery, but conspiracy theory too. TWA 800. World Trade Center. Shades of Edward Snowden. Sneaky quasi-government cover-up. And it all begins with the catastrophic inaugural run of the brand-new Black Mamba roller coaster in Alexandria, Virginia, built by Flying Machines Inc., brainchild of Nathan Morrell, a structural engineer and savant.

View all my reviews

Review: The Monster Underneath

The Monster Underneath The Monster Underneath by Matthew Franks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Not-so-ordinary therapist Max Crawford enjoys his quiet life with his wife and daughter. At Texas-Huntsville Penitentiary, he does dream therapy with inmates, literally entering their dreams to alter their psyches. Life is stable, until an importunate FBI Special Agent insists he travel to Arkansas to enter the mind of a conscieless accused killer, a university professor. Max and his family will find their lives upended and endangered.

View all my reviews

CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Janz_Tour

Review:  CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Jana

Jonathan Janz is a veritable authorial genius. That's not flattery, Gentle Readers: that's fact. He is a genius of prose, and a genius of literate horror. I don't know how much time he spends on a book, but each gem is freshly polished and perfect. In my mind is a virtual library of Mr. Janz, because once I've read one, it remains forever with me. [Take, for example, THE CLEARING OF TRAVIS COBLE. I read it in 2013, and it STILL wakes me, terrified. ]

CHILDREN OF THE DARK, quite simply, is going to be

Children of the Dark, Synopsis

Print Length: 293 pages
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Will Burgess is used to hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, son of a drug-addicted mother, and charged with raising his six-year-old sister, Will has far more to worry about than most high school freshmen. To make matters worse, Mia Samuels, the girl of Will’s dreams, is dating his worst enemy, the most sadistic upperclassman at Shadeland High. Will’s troubles, however, are just beginning.

Because one of the nation’s most notorious criminals—the Moonlight Killer—has escaped from prison and is headed straight toward Will’s hometown. And something else is lurking in Savage Hollow, the forest surrounding Will’s rundown house. Something ancient and infinitely evil. When the worst storm of the decade descends on Shadeland, Will and his friends must confront unfathomable horrors. Everyone Will loves—his mother, his little sister, Mia, and his friends—will be threatened.

And very few of them will escape with their lives.

Biography of Jonathan Janz

Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a
way, that explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story.”

2013 saw the publication of his novel of vampirism and demonic possession The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species. Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, “Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror–Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows–will find much to relish.” Jonathan’s Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.

Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a “Rousing-good weird western,” and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014’s top three novels by Pod of Horror. 2015 saw the release of The Nightmare Girl, which prompted Pod of Horror to call Jonathan “Horror’s Next Big Thing.” 2015 also saw the release of Wolf Land, which Publishers Weekly called “gruesome yet entertaining gorefest” with “an impressive and bloody climax.” He has also written four novellas (Exorcist Road, The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.

His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Jonathan at www.jonathanjanz.com. You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.

Praise for Children of the Dark

Jonathan Janz brings us a vicious tale of terror with the innocence of youth in a coming of age tale that should surely make Stephen King smile.” – Dave, Beneath the Underground

“Jonathan Janz has written the next definitive coming-of-age horror novel that is sure to be mentioned alongside those that came before it. Be on the right side of history and read it now, before it becomes a classic.” –Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to be Paid

Praise for Jonathan Janz

“Janz is the literary love child of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum (with a little Joe Lansdale DNA in the mix), with all the terror that implies. Try him out. You won’t be disappointed.” 
-Pod of Horror

“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites.” –Brian Keene, best-selling author

“It’s the best of its kind I’ve read in years, such that I’d call it 'The Quintessential Haunted House Novel.' You’ve taken the old school traditions of the form which readers want and then have injected modern style, characters, and macabre, hard-edged mayhem into the guts of the story. THAT’S the way to do it, my friend!”
-Author Edward Lee on House of Skin

“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner, multi-published author

"Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror--Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows--will find much to relish." - Publishers Weekly on Savage Species

Purchase Links