books, reviews

Book Review: The Breach – M.T. Hill

Freya Medlock, a reporter at her local paper, is down on her luck and chasing a break. When she’s assigned to cover the death of a young climber named Stephen, she might just have the story she needs. Digging into Stephen’s life, Freya uncovers a strange photo uploaded to an urban exploration forum not long before he died. It seems to show a weird nest, yet the caption below suggests there’s more to it.

Freya believes this nest – discovering what it really is and where it’s hidden – could be the key to understanding the mysteries surrounding Stephen’s death.

Soon she meets Shep, a trainee steeplejack with his own secret life. When Shep’s not working up chimneys, he’s also into urban exploration – undertaking dangerous ‘missions’ into abandoned and restricted sites. As Shep draws Freya deeper into the urbex scene, the circumstances of Stephen s death become increasingly unsettling – and Freya finds herself risking more and more to get the answers she wants.

But neither Freya nor Shep realise that some dark corners are better left unlit.

My thoughts:

I’m still not 100% sure what happened at the end of this book, it was so strange and slightly confusing. I’m also not sure exactly what Freya and Shep encountered underground.

But that seems to be intentional, designed to create the same woozy confusing sense within the reader that the characters are dealing with.

I was kindly sent this book with no obligation to review.

books, reviews

Book Review: The Hunted – Gabriel Bergmoser

Frank owns a service station on a little-used highway. His granddaughter, Allie, is sent to stay with him for the summer, but they don’t talk a lot.

Simon is a dreamer and an idealist, in thrall to the romance of the open road and desperately in search of something.

Maggie is the woman who will bring them together, someone whose own personal journey will visit unimaginable terror on them all.

My thoughts:

This hits the ground running and doesn’t stop, a real horror story that unfolds with a lot of blood and violence.

It made me think of some of the Australian Outback horror films like Wolf Creek, with two young women’s lives at risk in the middle of nowhere.

I was kindly sent a copy of this book with no obligation to review.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis*

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

My thoughts:

I was so excited to read this and I was not disappointed. Creepy, compelling and sinister; it draws you in like a moth to a flame, you just can’t resist following Lola into the woods and caves of 1920s throwback Harrow Lake.

I grew up in the London suburb of Harrow and we had our fair share of folklore and stories, but nothing as spine tingling as Mr Jitters, cave ins and murder.

Although this is YA, I think plenty of adult readers will enjoy it too, Lola makes for a engaging and very naive protagonist and the residents of Harrow Lake are suitably odd for the setting.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Book Review: The Twisted Ones – T. Kingfisher

When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods in this chilling novel that reads like The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show.
When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?
Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more–Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.
Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors–because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

My thoughts:

I found this book super creepy. The weird appearance of the twisted things and the deeply sinister implications of life in their hands made me shudder.

Well written, gripping and perfectly capable of giving you bad dreams.

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher with no obligation to review.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Snowball – Gregory Bastianelli*

A group of motorists become stranded on a lonely stretch of highway during a Christmas Eve blizzard and fight for survival against an unnatural force in the storm. The gathered survivors realize a tenuous connection among them means it may not be a coincidence that they all ended up on this highway.

Gregory Bastianelli Gregory Bastianelli is the author of the novels Loonies and Jokers Club. His stories have appeared in the magazines Black Ink Horror, Sinister Tales and Beyond Centauri; the anthologies Night Terrors I, Cover of Darkness and Encounters; and the online magazines Absent Wilow Review and Down in the Celar. His novella The Lair of the Mole People appeared in the pulp anthology Men & Women of Mystery Vol. I. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he studied writing under instructors Mark Smith, Thomas Williams and Theodore Weesner. He worked for nearly two decades at a small daily newspaper where the highlights of his career were interviewing shock rocker Alice Cooper and B-movie icon Bruce Campbell. He became enchanted with the stories of Ray Bradbury as a young child, and his love of horror grew with the likes of Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. He lives in Dover, NH, in a Colonial home built in the 1700s. He enjoys kayaking, hiking and bicycling in the summer and snowshoeing and racquetball in the winter. Along with spending time with family, he enjoys traveling, especially to Italy where he has visited his ancestral home and relatives residing there and hiked the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast and to the top of Mt. Vesuvius.

My thoughts:

What starts as a fairly conventional tale of an assortment of people stuck in a snow storm becomes something much darker and creepier as they start to realize monsters roam the snow covered landscape around them.

Winter is the time for creepy ghost and hotter stories and this is definitely creepy and filled with horror.

The concept of a group of travellers telling stories to pass the time isn’t new – Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is exactly that, but it works as a good way to gather people together and then torment them too.

I’m sure a lot of people would agree a snowed in road is hell, and perhaps that’s where the characters in this story have ended up.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.