From the Deep: Kateri Stanley

From the Deep is the second novel I’ve read by Kateri and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, if anything, I became even more immersed in the story since the characters she’d drawn within it seem real: authentic. Jules is our hero, a man struggling to raise his daughter alone after the death of the wifeContinue reading “From the Deep: Kateri Stanley”

Beneath the Dark: Ian Backhouse

What a brilliant idea! Ancient demonic spirit leaking into our dimension through the careless occult shenanigans of a hapless young man. The entity wreaks havoc in this isolated island community and the resident cop has no other recourse than to call in the experts: a paranormal investigator and an academic. Between them they manage toContinue reading “Beneath the Dark: Ian Backhouse”

Badlands: Gary Kruse

Great debut Set in Cornwall – a little counterintuitive, maybe, considering the darkness we’re about to discover – Badlands is a page-turning thriller from a great new voice in the genre. The writing is fantastic; Kruse’s ability to use a decent verb makes the narrative fair trip along, uncovering mystery and mayhem in his smallContinue reading “Badlands: Gary Kruse”

A Quiet Apocalypse: Dave Jeffery

“A Quiet Apocalypse” stands full square in the tradition of the genre. By its very definition, such literature requires that the population becomes somehow depleted or wiped out, triggering a reptilian-brained imperative amongst the remnant to establish control. New hierarchies. Only the fittest survive, the most ruthless, the most brutal; its main characters having toContinue reading “A Quiet Apocalypse: Dave Jeffery”

Glasshouse: Morwenna Blackwood

This is a sequel to “The (D)Evolution of Us”, a dark and harrowing novel about a set of damaged individuals who are trying to claw their way up each precarious step in their lives: some with success, some not so much. In Devo, their relationship with social services and mental health providers is only fleetinglyContinue reading “Glasshouse: Morwenna Blackwood”

Clever, ghostly and charmed

What a cryptic, creepy & supernatural experience that was. This left me guessing and guessing and guessing. What a talented author Mordant is, to include hard hitting subjects such as ancestory and domestic violence, but with the huge spin of paranormal pocession. ⁣⁣I felt at first whether alone at night, this was going to beContinue reading “Clever, ghostly and charmed”

Tipping Point: Michelle Cook

The title “Tipping Point” probably refers to the moment at which there can be no return from catastrophic climate change. A difficult subject to write about in fiction; easy to get both doomy and also maybe a little worthy. Not the case with this author. Her near-future eco thriller is so busy embroiling her mainContinue reading “Tipping Point: Michelle Cook”

The Curse of the Mountain: Tyler Cram

A group of kids, having just left high school, go on a hike and discover a book. They make the mistake of opening it and having done so, unleash all sort of mayhem and madness on their small town of Roanville. Massive wolves, terrifying spiders, zombified residents, and lots more: the list is a what’sContinue reading “The Curse of the Mountain: Tyler Cram”

This superb novel takes gothic horror to a most frightening level

This superb novel takes gothic horror to a most frightening level. The horrible bits are stomach churning, made more acute by the contrast between these sections and the rest of Mordant’s elegant prose. What is Emma escaping from and why is she headed to the very cool sounding Flammark – a seemingly chocolate-box village? There,Continue reading “This superb novel takes gothic horror to a most frightening level”

Outstanding! One of my favourite books of the year; it deserves more than five stars.

Wow! This book is completely awesome! I honestly couldn’t put it down and would have read it all in one day if my eyes hadn’t decided it was time to sleep and I wanted my full wits about me as the electrifying conclusion approached. Described as a supernatural thriller, it really only dips its toeContinue reading “Outstanding! One of my favourite books of the year; it deserves more than five stars.”

A suspenseful, well written, engaging gothic tale.

The story starts by introducing us to the central character, Emma, who leaves an abusive and controlling relationship to start afresh in the sleepy village of Flammark. As she comes to terms with the new life in the village, she starts to realise that everything is not as it initially seemed. As Emma engages withContinue reading “A suspenseful, well written, engaging gothic tale.”

A real page turner!

I really enjoyed this book, a great read and page turner. I loved the mix of genres with just the right amount of creepiness for my vivid imagination. The dialogue is relatable, I found myself muttering a few choice words along with the characters in parts! Would definitely recommend and can’t wait for the nextContinue reading “A real page turner!”

Face Off! “The Dark Chorus” by Ashley Meggitt and “The Sadeiest” by Austrian Spencer

I read these two books back-to-back by accident rather than design. I’m glad of the confluence because it pointed up a stark similarity in their themes that was simply impossible to ignore.   Both have a take on the release of souls. At the start of The Dark Chorus (TDC), the concept is introduced throughContinue reading “Face Off! “The Dark Chorus” by Ashley Meggitt and “The Sadeiest” by Austrian Spencer”

The Unquiet Spirit: Penny Hampson

This is a lovely story. Reminiscent of Barbara Erskine, The Unquiet Spirit, weaves historical allusions within its contemporary setting: a much-loved and ancient house on the outskirts of similarly ancient woodland in which there harbours a terrible secret. Her characters have been through the mill. I was especially impressed by the character of Tom andContinue reading “The Unquiet Spirit: Penny Hampson”

Caffeine and Nicotine: Eric Weule

This is a deceptive novel. It purports to be a crime fiction, but in actuality it’s a great deal more than that. Primarily, I think, it’s about cleaning up the world.There are two main characters, each with their own POVs: Jackie, a strong but secretly damaged individual who has forged a life for herself asContinue reading “Caffeine and Nicotine: Eric Weule”

Façade: Helen Matthews

“The problem with wearing a façade is that sooner or later life shows up with a big pair of scissors.” I can’t remember where I got this nugget from, but it certainly does sum up this particular “Façade” by Helen Matthews. There’s the central metaphor – the family home – seized by entropy and fallingContinue reading “Façade: Helen Matthews”

The Devolution of Us: Morwenna Blackwood

Such a lot to say about this book. Not an easy read but – because of that – nevertheless moving and provocative. Written from different points of view, and often flashing back through time, a picture is built up to explain the reasons behind the choices each character made, and because of their flawed personalities,Continue reading “The Devolution of Us: Morwenna Blackwood”

Cry of the Lake: Charlie Tyler

Charlie takes ordinary characters, characters like you and I, and sets them against a backdrop of dysfunction so damaging, the main players become quite extraordinary. Opening with an inciting event which calls us to read on, we become sucked into their world of pretence, share their coping strategies as they shape and become shaped byContinue reading “Cry of the Lake: Charlie Tyler”

Stone Angels: Paula R. C. Readman

I love dark crime and this is definitely dark! The main character, James Ravencroft, is an artist who, once he sets his eye on a model for one of his ‘still lifes,’ will stop at nothing to capture them on canvas – to become his ‘stone angels.’ ‘Capture’, of course, is the operative, word, sinceContinue reading “Stone Angels: Paula R. C. Readman”