Publication Date: 13th January 2015 from Gallery Books.
A strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered—a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure.
When I read “The Troop” by Nick Cutter I was pleased to have found another horror writer that really appealed to me – his next novel, The Deep, is shocking and horrific yet eminently readable. A brilliantly imaginative story which I enjoyed thoroughly.
Taking place mostly 8 miles beneath the sea, it was a taut and claustrophobic tale that creeps up on you and makes you feel vaguely uneasy – playing on the real fears that can plague us, fear of the dark, isolation and what might be under the bed, it is perfectly poised to give you a scare, that little frisson that only comes when reading a decent horror story. The violence and yuck element that so enthralled me in “The Troop” is also here – Mr Cutter writes proper, in your face horror but offsets that with quietly eerie moments and it is both appealing and shivery.
The flashback sequences were chilling and added to the story perfectly – quite King-esque in the construction of these portions, it made me feel that if Mr Cutter continues to progress in this way he may well, in a few years, be knocking at the door of said Mr King when it comes to scary tales of the unknown (and the known of course) – although he is not there yet, there is definite potential. I’d like to see what a novel of his looked like without the “Ewww” element. Not that I don’t love these bits, I do, not many authors these days can pull off the “ick factor” and still make you want to keep turning the pages – but equally I’d adore to see what he could do with a totally subtle, menacing tale that doesnt include any blood and guts.
I would have liked to know more about the ‘Gets, which sets the scene for the story but then doesnt have that much to do with it – there is definitely room for more from this world, perhaps a surface set tale, yes indeed I would like to see that! I knew that I loved this book when I started casting in my head for the movie – because surely there should be one.
Overall though this was a really really good addition to the Horror genre, I can highly recommend it (and The Troop) for anyone casting around for a great new (well new to this genre anyway!) writer of scary tales.
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: Available now from Cutting Edge Press.
Source: Publisher review copy.
The unnamed hero in this novel feels invisible. With no job, no hobbies, no friends, and no interests, he walks aimlessly looking at the size and types of paving stones on the London streets to avoid staying in his seedy rented room. No one cares, no one registers or connects with him. His doctor won’t look at him when he goes in for his regular mental-health checks, the Job Centre Plus staff process his claim with disdain, his landlady shouts at him through his closed door. Suffering from depression, OCD, and compulsive masturbatory impulses, he is a nobody. The disconnection from society leads him to believe that he could kill and get away with it.
I’m not entirely sure what I made of this, one of those novels that is extremely clever, taking as it does a theme and giving it a fairly new twist – and frankly some of this book freaked me the heck out.
It is extremely violent with quite heavy sexual tones so if that is not your thing I would stay away – however if you want a “killer” book that will challenge you, engage you, make you want to hide away in a corner, yet be strangely fascinated throughout, this is for you.
Our main protagonist is strange, unyielding in intensity and sometimes, scarily, made me smile – there is some ironic humour to be had to be sure but this is a dark tale indeed. There is some stunning imagery within the narrative, shocking yet gripping, and always compelling.
Overall I don’t want to say I liked it – it seems as if this is a novel you should not use that word for – but it did give me a very different reading experience that I would rate highly. It is definitely one I won’t forget.
Happy Reading Folks!
Source: Purchased copy.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx…
Highly imaginative and taut horror tale, with an interesting twist on vampirism and some stunningly well drawn characters. A great deal of edge of the seat action and such remarkable writing that it all feels way too real. So real in fact that I genuinely had nightmares, especially because I have young children. Shiver. Absolutely superb. Not a lot else to say really. When you have a book this good you don’t want to spoil it with too many telling words…
A unique voice but the apple sure didnt fall far from the tree…
Happy Reading Folks!
Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.
In the scorching summer of 1976 – the hottest since records began – Christopher Norton, his wife Laura and their young daughter Faye settle into their new home in north London. The faded glory of the Victorian house is the perfect place for Norton, a composer of film soundtracks, to build a recording studio of his own. But soon in the long, oppressively hot nights, Laura begins to hear something through the crackle of the baby monitor. First, a knocking sound. Then come the voices.
Creepy. CREEPY. Why do I do this to myself? Sigh. Well obviously because being scared is something we love is it not? And in order to give me a fright within a book I’m reading the main thing I need is atmosphere and this novel had that in spades.
When Christopher and Laura move into their new Hampstead home, at first all appears perfect as they work to make it their own. However things take a sinister turn when Laura starts to hear ghostly voices through the baby monitor and Christopher finds his recordings have more on them than should be there…
This is a bit of a slow burner, with the tension building in a relatively peaceful manner – but all the while leaving you slightly off kilter. Spirit voices is not a new subject by any means, but it is a compelling one and done very well here with a genuinely disturbing story. As Christopher becomes more enthralled with the phenomenon and builds a whole project around it, Laura sinks further into a state of fear and anxiety, sensing a very real evil within her new home. The different ways the characters react to events around them is one of the great things about this.
As things take a sinister turn you will end up looking over your shoulder – towards the end of this I could barely put it down. I can’t help but think what a great movie this would make – especially if they could find a composer to turn the music on the page into something very real and terrifying. With an ending that got to me, all in all I would recommend this to fans of ghost stories that are truly eerie.
Happy Reading Folks!
First of all thank you kindly to the publisher for the advance copy of this book via netgalley.
First of all I WILL say that this is not for the faint hearted – however if you are a fan of Horror then you will ADORE this one. Following the misfortunes of one scout troop and their leader as they battle to stay alive when faced with, well, not sure what to call it without giving plot away, so perhaps you should hold on and find out for yourselves…
Some of the “horror” content is graphic in nature – I am not squeamish however some parts of this book did make me cringe – having been brought up on Stephen King’s older novels and those where he does go down the full horror route that is no mean feat (Dreamcatcher anyone?) However I would perhaps liken it to “Lord of the Flies” in general feel and scope as others have. This is a book where children have to leave childish things behind…and as such adults and older teenagers would enjoy it if they enjoy this genre. I would HIGHLY recommend that no person reads this novel while eating their dinner!
The story is well imagined and intriguing – its not all about the horror – and the characters are well drawn and you will root for them. It is also one of those books where if you were watching it in movie form you would be playing “pick your survivor”.. there are no guarantees here about the well being of any one person you may care for. Its cleverly done and will surely keep you turning the pages. Oh. And I slept with the light on…
All in all, as a book blogger and someone who tries to look after your welfare – I would definitely put this on your reading list if you like horror or thrillers and don’t mind a bit of blood and stuff – but if you are nervous in nature and would not usually go for a book like this then you are probably wise to avoid this one also! I very much enjoyed it and I imagine that it will do very well. Try it…it can’t hurt you…Honest.
Happy Reading Folks!
Giles Grant has been a Police Officer for five years. He was recently promoted to an armed response unit, and today is the end of his first day. He is a staunch believer in the afterlife, and that not everybody gets to move on when they die. Whilst he has only ever experienced the mildest of unexplainable events, tonight will change everything.
A great little short “ghost” story set in the same Universe where Augustus Baltazar resides – a fast yet creepy read.
Perfect coffee break story – I wouldnt recommend you read it late at night alone in the house though..or at the very least if you DO then lock all the doors. And have the axe proof duvet handy.
Nice lead in to Book Two, The Scar That Bleeds, coming soon. One I’m looking forward to.
Thank you to the author and publisher for copy via netgalley.
The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards…but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children’s windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.
So, Mr Goldens first horror novel in more than a decade (why WHY when they are so good, I may have to have words) opens in a snow storm where wicked things are afoot and is immediately chilling in more ways than one. This storm hides a deadly secret and when it is done, many have lost loved ones and a town is in mourning…
Fast forward 12 years and another storm is approaching. People are understandably skittish (me too!) and as it turns out, with good reason…
I loved this one because it creeps up on you – then hooks you in fast. I read most of it huddled under my axe proof duvet and jumping at shadows – perfect Halloween week reading.
This is subtle..Christopher Golden proves here that the best creepy stories do not need out and out gore blood and guts, the best ones are the ones where its the atmosphere that gets you, and where the characters are realistic people that you can root for even as unrealistic things are happening to them. It did genuinely make me shiver now and then (creepy, misbehaving children will do that to me every time!) and it is an imaginative and disturbing tale.
I’d like more please. If you do happen to read this review Mr Golden, don’t leave it another decade – this reader suffers chronic impatience.
Happy Reading Folks!
Coming November 5th from Dark Fuse
Thank you to the author and publisher for the copy via netgalley.
Given up for adoption just hours after her birth, thirty-year-old Caitlyn Connelly has longed her entire life to uncover her family history. Subject to bizarre and inexplicable visions, Cait is desperate to learn whether her biological mother can provide any insight as to the origin of her unusual ability.
The second creepy tale I have read during this Halloween week, and the first thing that struck me was the absolutely stunning cover – if you are a lover of creepy tales that alone would certainly draw you in and the story lives up to its promise.
Dark Fuse knows how to pick them thats for sure – in this case I was immediately drawn to Caitlyn, a terrifically imagined character, sympathetic, in some ways haunted and well, just nice. Then you have the other side of the coin – in Boston the eerie “Mr Midnight” prays on the weak and the disillusioned in ever more terrifying ways. Frankly he scared the living daylights out of me and what more can you ask for from a horror novel. Not a lot…
Still, the beauty of this book is the yin and the yang. The light and the dark. Caitlin and the serial killer – both with gifts, both reacting to those gifts in very different ways. As it becomes clear that the two are linked in more ways that one you will be unsettled, looking over your shoulder and absorbed into their world. Clever writing.
It is violent. It is at turns subtle and gory. If you love Horror then you will love this. If you don’t or are scared easily, leave this book alone and lock all your doors..just in case you understand.
Happy Reading Folks!
Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.
When night falls, fear spreads…
The Lake District: a wild landscape, rife with stories. Detectives Zoe Barnes and Sam Taylor are called to investigate the disappearance of two children.
But they quickly realise they have been drawn into a complex and unnerving case that hides a much darker intent: as they dig deeper, whispers grow of a community hiding a deadly secret – and talk of witches, the like of which hasn’t been heard since the seventeenth century, is spreading.
So books don’t really tend to scare me. The obvious exception being the odd Stephen King story, but this one was genuinely creepy, with terrifically atmospheric prose and an intriguing tale.
Starting with a literal witch hunt we then jump forward in time to a small community in the Lake District where two children have gone missing – sent down to investigate, Zoe and Sam soon become embroiled in local secrets, some of them their own.
I really did enjoy this one in a shivery behind the sofa kind of way, which is certainly one of the best ways of reading a terrific tale- one of my favourite things about it was the sense of place that the author put across. I have visited the Lakes and its true – in its quieter moments it can be both beautiful and haunting…its not difficult to immerse yourself in this story and believe that perhaps something dark is afoot..
The novel also had a wonderful flow to it, keeping you at the heart of the action with some great characterisation and a good few twists and turns. I loved that the behaviour of our main protagonists was not always honourable and often misguided – I loved Zoe, at the same time I often found her rather foolish.
Overall a fantastic read which makes me want to seek out Mr Grieves other novel, SleepWalkers, as soon as possible.
Happy Reading Folks!
Coming November 12th From Dark Fuse
Thank you kindly to the author and Dark Fuse for the copy via netgalley.
Meg and Harry have retreated to a remote cottage on the northeast coast of England to recuperate from the mental and physical stress of losing their baby. While exploring the ancient coastal landscape, Meg chances upon eighteenth-century quarry mines reclaimed by nature. But birds and butterflies aren’t all she finds.
Oh my word. A short but incredibly creepy tale this, it actually did send shivers up the old spine (and my spine is fairly old these days!) and had me jumping at shadows…hey what else exactly can you ask for from a dark and twisty tale?
So, Meg has suffered a trauma and this comes through brilliantly here – how much of what she is experiencing is in her head and how much is real? After finding the entrance to an abandoned mine strange things start occurring, and something lurks within…
Muddy handprints. Disappearing children. Meg’s own demons. All add up to an intriguing premise and heck, one of the most heart pounding conclusions to a book that I have read this year.
For a shorter story this packs a hell of a punch – a psychological horror thriller (yes I know I’m mixing it up there but you get ALL of that and then some here) that plays on insecurities and perception and that little child in all of us that still believes there IS a monster in the closet..
Cleverly done, intense and also a whole lot of fun, grab yourself a copy of this, lock the doors, switch all the lights on, have your axe proof duvet to hand and enjoy…
Happy Reading Folks!
Holson is a sleepy, middle-class suburb, whose most interesting news amounts to farmer’s markets and Friday night football games.
When young Brandon Grey disappears, no one thinks he’ll be missing for long. When another boy vanishes, parents begin to worry about their children. When bodies turn up in the local river, cut to pieces, stuffed inside industrial-strength black trash bags, the town begins to shut down.
So, this one took me about 2 hours to read all in all, mainly because once I started I could not stop. Always a good sign…
We meet Jake and Colin, best friends, growing up in very different environments, spending endless hours together doing what kids do. One day, while playing outside, they notice a mysterious stranger taking pictures of them from the end of the street – and this sets off a chain of events that will take them on a strange and compelling journey….
I loved this – as much a “coming of age” story as anything else, Jake and Colin and those surrounding them are terrific characters to follow along with into some dark and chilling times. Forming a detective club they investigate the disappearance of Brandon Grey with nothing more than their wits and their bicycles…and what they find is horrifying and dangerous.
As the story twists and turns towards its chilling conclusion I was compelled to read on. I believe this is Mr Turkot’s first full length story, all I can say is I hope he writes more. I will certainly be reading them if this one is anything to go by. Easy to read and hard to put to one side, I very much enjoyed it. Thank you to the author for the copy via BookLikes Giveaway.
Thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for the review copy and for the disturbed sleep….
New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice brilliantly conjures the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou—where three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface—in this intense and atmospheric new supernatural thriller. Out October 15th.
Intense and atmospheric. Right. Spot on description. Hey, me, I don’t get creeped out by novels often, a good horror or ghost film yep, can affect my nights but when I’m reading of strange and terrible things my brain usually seems to accept that and much as I enjoy them they stay where they are supposed to. Exceptions to this rule: Geralds Game by Stephen King and now, The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice…
For a start its a brilliantly imagined story….one that almost immediately sinks into your subconcious and stays there for the duration, no matter what else you are doing. A family disappears, a town mourns, but something strange and terrible is going on…and for those left behind the nightmare may only just be beginning.
Some real life events are incorporated into the story and that works well – the atmospheric and truly haunting setting give it an edge and I loved the whole thing. I love Mr Rice’s writing style, and setting the novel both in past and present to get an overall look at what is going on creates an offset to the reading experience and all in all this was a wonderful addition to the halls of horror fame.
It won’t be for everyone – but if you like a good supernatural and twisty tale of intrigue then I’m fairly sure you will enjoy this. Even if you do dream of snakes and dark water and terrible things….
Happy Reading Folks!
Thank you to the author and publisher, the pretty terrific guys from Dark Fuse, for the copy of this novel via netgalley.
A low hum in the air causes nosebleeds and headaches…and a sink hole appears in the sleepy town of Hopmans Hollow bringing with it mayhem and horror. As it spreads an eclectic group of survivors gather together to try and save their town…but what will they be willing to sacrifice and can they hold onto their sanity long enough…
I really did like this book. I requested it because I have enjoyed other books from this author and I wanted some great Horror reads to add to this page on my site…and I wasnt disappointed. Once again Mr Meikle has managed to absorb the reader straight into the tale…this and one other novel kept me reading until way into the early hours of this morning…once I started I found it difficult to put aside as there was always just one more thing I wanted to know!
An overwhelming sense of tension pervades the pages – definitely not for the faint hearted, but definitely for fans of horrific well written tales – it will keep you guessing as to the origins of the Hole and that adds to the ambience – nothing straightforward, logical or cliched here..it would certainly make for a terrific movie. Yes I have cast it in my head. No I’m not telling you. That leads nicely onto the characterisation…
I adored all the characters – especially Ellen and Janet – and the author has managed to get a great mix, all bringing their own drinks to the party so to speak. Each one has his or her own foibles and due to the nature of part of the storyline – which I won’t give away – this gives an added impact to the story as a whole. Cleverly done.
If you are a lover of the Horror genre then this one should definitely be added to your list. If its not your usual comfort zone this would be a good one to dip your toe in the water with…it has a great premise and delivers on many levels.
Happy Reading Folks!
Thank you to Dark Fuse and the author for the copy of this novel via netgalley.
First of all I want to say the main character in this novel has the best name I’ve ever come across. Obadiah Grudge. Rolls of the tongue, absolutely loved it. Well, perhaps having a great character name isnt the main point of a novel so lets be a bit more specific…
Obadiah is a best selling writer with a drinking problem. After a death in the family his life takes a turn for the worse…discovering Daddy was a monster hunter and now said monsters would like nothing better than to kill his son in the most horrible way imaginable is not the greatest thing to realise…and so Obadiah faces a fight for survival…
The opening chapter is superb and hooks you straight into the story. Obadiah as a character is hilarious – but also, well, not that nice! I didnt like him much, in fact occasionally I was rooting for the monsters. He doesnt want to believe these things exist and yet ultimately he doesnt have a choice. The world Mr Boatman has created is a terrific one – not a lot I can say without spoilers but its cleverly done and with plenty going on I think this would make a great series..and certainly thats how it reads.
Its not for the faint hearted. Mr Boatman has a truly gifted eye to the horrific and the ironic…no glowing lovesick vampires in this novel thank heavens..just an adventurous, dark, often hilariously funny tale of a world barely imaginable and a man who suddenly finds himself thrust into a very different kind of limelight. The “supporting cast” are all wonderful as well…so all in all a terrific read.
Compelling stuff for a genre that I don’t read nearly enough of…certainly this novel has made me determined to find more. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride but one that I would certainly take again! One tip – don’t start reading it unless you have some time. I sat up until 3am this morning because once I started I didnt want to stop!
Happy Reading Folks!
Thank you to the author for the copy of this book to review.
Right first of all, if you are faint of heart or have a nervous disposition I would probably not read this novella- although you will be missing out if you don’t. It took me under two hours to complete, that was how enthralled I was. Incidentally, reading this novel AND going to see Elysium at the cinema on the same day is probably not conducive to your health. Elysium has exploding people…this novel has exploding lives….
So, Macon, marathon runner, father, tattoo artist, goes for what should be a simple run, and ends up entangled in a nightmare….his wife, behind him, won’t escape either…
Doesnt sound like much when I give you that little blurb does it? Determinedly though I’m not going to tell you anything else because the true genius of this book is that its so unexpected. It is horrifying. Family pitted against family…Mother against Mother….how far would YOU go to protect your children? In a funny kind of way it had a whole Star Wars thing going ….the light versus the dark side….neither giving up, both determined to come out on top. And characterisation is key – Lyric, oh Lyric, broke my heart…and hey this really is a horror story at heart and yet it has real gut wrenching emotion as well. Don’t see that too often…
This is a powerful story mostly because you really have no idea where its going….Mark Matthews has a very particular turn of phrase and the ability to keep you guessing, and to have you on the edge of your seat as you wonder who will ultimately triumph…A real page turning Good v Evil tale of terror. Loved it.
Happy Reading Folks!
I have been reading stories from this book for a while – GREAT to pick up with a cup of tea when you only have a shorter amount of reading to do. This review is a guest review from my Twitter friend Janet. You can follow her here if you feel so inclined – she is a reader like me and can, on occasion, be highly entertaining! https://twitter.com/janetski04
I came to this book with a little gentle persuasion (they know who they are!!), and I’ve got to say I’m glad I did. More than glad. This book is a gem of a book. An anthology that after a couple of stories in reminded me of a tv programme back in the late 1970’s, 80’s called Tales of the Unexpected, here in the UK. Early episodes were based on works by Roald Dahl and this book is very reminiscent of that. A popular programme that was sometimes genuinely scary, full of twists and turns, and is now remembered fondly by people of a certain age today! The theme tune in the opening sequence still rings loudly!
The book is made up of different sized stories ranging from short to slight longer, with one chapter dedicated completely to poetry. Here in the book tales are told with an unexpected, sometimes sinister, sometimes ironic and comedic twist. As the reader moves through it quickly becomes apparent that the stories are gently interwoven, in a really clever way. Characters that you thought had disappeared for good, suddenly coming back to life, because their story is yet unfinished. Dark characters, comedic characters, some you genuinely feel sorry for, yet each handled with the same delicacy and light of hand. Some may find this book dark, even frightening perhaps, but I didn’t, I just came away after each delicious chapter with a smile at the brilliant irony of it all!
And that really is how I approached the book, as a treat, a treat to dip into and relish when I could, in between tasks and everyday chores that life has a tendency to throw at us all. It really is very well written with some brilliant lines dotted about.
Ratings can only ever be based on a reader’s own experience, and I don’t give 5 stars easily but I do try to approach each rating in a realistic way. Would I recommend this? Yes I would, highly, whether you’re brave enough to take it on, is really up to you! But it would be a great shame if you didn’t!
If you like a great Supernatural thriller then you are in for a treat with this book – its the first I’ve read from this author (I think it was his debut novel), I picked it up at my local bookshop, and I’m certainly going to look into reading his others. I have been remiss in my supernatural/horror reading lately – concentrating more on Urban Fantasy, Crime and YA stuff so determinedly picked this up from my to be read pile and dived in. The story grabs you straight away and its terrific for atmospheric scene setting. Nick Close returns to his hometown after his wife dies – still haunted by past trauma that saw him lose a friend. He soon finds a whole list of unexplained events surrounding the woods at the edge of town and as Nick makes the connections a horrifying truth begins to emerge. Great stuff. An author to keep an eye on.
Thanks so much for the review. I really appreciate it, and I cross-posted it to my blog: http://markmatthewsauthor.blogspot.com/