Archive for June, 2018

Bermuda: A thrilling prequel novella by Robert Enright

June 8, 2018 - 5:32 am No Comments

Bermuda: A thrilling prequel novella by Robert Enright
Published 4th June 2018
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

If you have read Doorways and The Absent Man, then you would recognise Franklyn “Bermuda” Jones. Whilst hints are throughout these books of his earliest life in the BTCO, I wanted to know more. Bermuda is that story.
Reading this book, you soon realise what a lonely life Bermuda had. Having no one to explain why he can see the Otherside, his only hope was medical intervention, which did not go down well. Once he was on the BTCO radar he found his purpose with his life and we get to learn more about the agency and the people who worked there.
We follow him whilst he is going through training and on his first case. We are introduced to is partner Argyle, but the author does not give to much away about his past, given me hope that a short story will be written about him. On this case Bermuda spent most of his time with his trainer Denham. I really liked Denham, he was no nonsense and reminded me of a sergeant major in the Army. There was a bond between himself and Bermuda and by the end I think they were friends. Denham whilst not liking Bermuda’s methods knew that he was an exceptional agent.
This was a quick read and it was interesting to follow Bermuda from not having a purpose to becoming the agent who got the job done. The creatures from the Otherside are fiendish as ever, their killings are savage. Because Bermuda is not as experienced, the story felt more intense. If you have not read any of the full length novels than this is a good book to start your journey, if like me you have than it a good book to carry on Bermuda’s story.

The Portrait Lingers like a Whisper by TWM Ashford

June 7, 2018 - 8:59 pm No Comments

The Portrait Lingers like a Whisper by TWM Ashford
Published by White Inc on 5th June 2018
130 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I first came across this author when I read his dystopian series Blackwater and loved what I read. So when this book was released I got it straight away.
“Jane” wakes up with no memory, in a strange house and no one to tell her how she got there. Wandering round the house, she meets “Jack” who is in the same predicament. One thing they know they need escape, but with an unnatural darkness surrounding the house and “Jack” not what he seems, Jane knows she is in danger.
Written from Jane’s POV, the story follows Jane as she wanders around the house. There is a sense of desperation as Jane realises that she is in trouble. The pace changes throughout giving the story an intense feel to it. The more she investigates, the more she is confused and whilst she comes across strange experimental drugs none of this helps. The introduction of apparitions makes this feel like a ghost story, but the author had a way of leading you in the wrong direction. The writing style was illustrative and it felt as you were watching Jane as she struggled with her situation. As I was reading this I did not expect the truth about Jane when it was revealed and it was unexpected.
A completely different read from Blackwater and still as good

The Puppet Show (Washington Poe Book 1) by MW Craven

June 6, 2018 - 8:11 pm No Comments

The Puppet Show (Washington Poe Book 1) by MW Craven
Published by Constable on 7th June 2018
352 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After a body turned up with Washington Poe carved in it. Cumbria Police knew they needed extra help. This was the 3rd body to turn up. Brining in the NCA, they needed one man. The problem was he had left under a cloud and living in isolation.
Washington Poe was not a typical police officer. Not one for lip service he was not afraid to ruffle feathers to get the job done, usually resulting in angering the higher ranking officers. He had high regards for justice and would always fight for the little man. He would follow the clues and his ability to think outside the box got the results.
DI Flynn was your typical officer trying to do her best in a man’s world. She did let Washington a free rein as she knew how it worked. As a boss, she was fair and was always the one to try and keep the peace.
My favourite character throughout the book was Tilly Bradshaw. The technology whizz kid with an analytical mind.. Whilst it was not mentioned I had the impression that she had autism. It was so refreshing to read about a character who did not think what people thought about her. She was blunt and straight to the point and not afraid to speak the truth. Having lived a sheltered life, everything she did in the field was new and she reminded me of a kid at Christmas.
From the beginning of this story, you are hit with a gruesome killing and you knew what to expect. The story was fast paced whilst you follow the investigation. As the story progressed you get to find out about Poe’s previous case and you soon realise what sort of man he is. The story is well plotted and even though I tried to guess I had not got a clue who the serial killer was. The reasons behind the killings was tragic. The harrowing scenes were broken up with some witty moments, thanks to Bradshaw. This thriller was fast pacing as there was always something going on.
This is my first read by this author and I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely look out for more in this series. A must read for thriller lovers.

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman

June 5, 2018 - 8:17 pm No Comments

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman
Published by Black Shuck Books on 3rd June 2018
166 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read the novella Becoming David and some other short stories in various anthologies written by this author. I was pleased that he had now got his own collection in the Black Shuck Books Shadows series. The book features 5 short stories where the mental state of the main protagonists play an important part to the stories
Broken on the Inside: The title of the book is a story about Kira a young woman who over time became histrionic. Living with her mom who had the same condition, Kira wanted a cure. So when she came across Dr Secombe who professed to a miracle cure. Kira knew that she had to give it a go. As you are following Kira’s story, there is a sense of happiness as she gets her old life. However as the story takes a turn for the worse, you can sense the tension between Kira and her mom’s relationship. The story builds to a shocking reveal, which I did not see coming.
Discomfort Food: Rebecca works in a fast food restaurant and has a secret that only the meals know about. This reminded me of a modern version of the Tell Tale Heart. This was very descriptive and I loved the ending.
The Man Who Fed the Foxes: Paul is suffering from depression. Drinking heavily, he finds some peace when a family of foxes take up residents in his garden. After he began to feed them, they had an unusual way of showing their satisfaction. The majority of the story revolved around Paul’s grief. As I learnt more about why he is so upset, the actions of the foxes made it just right. An unexpected ending.
There Was an Old Man: I think most people know the nursery rhyme, There was a Old lady that swallowed a fly. Well this story is about John Hinklow and the aftermath of this event. As the story progress you can sense John’s anguish and do wander if a lot is in his head. The story is a page turner as I wanted to find out what happened at the end.
Virtually Famous: Having read this story in Imposter Syndrome, I was happy to see it in this collection. This is what a wrote the 1st time I read it and I still agree now. From the start this story got me hooked. The opening line “He died a thousand times today and would die a thousand more”. Chet Tyler was fixated on his own game and whilst some gamers wanted to be him others wanted to kill him. The fascination Chet had with the game was unnatural. The author has the knack of making you unsure whether you are reading the gaming or Chet’s experience. The lines of fact and fiction is blurred. You know Chet had a substance abuse but was he imagining it. All this made me want to read more.
Each story was completely different and whilst there were not monster’s and demons in this book, it shows how frightening human nature and conditions can be. Each story built up to unexpected endings. I love this author’s short stories and I hope they are more to come. If you have not read any of this authors work before than this is a great collection to get you started.

Larry 3D by Adam Millard

June 1, 2018 - 10:20 pm No Comments

Larry 3D by Adam Millard
Published by Crowded Quarantine Publication on 8th January 2017
162 pages
Yvonne Davies

Larry is back…….again.
Fearfest is the biggest horror con, thanks to Wally Perkins. Like other cons, people dress in cosplay, watch cult films and usually have a good time. Thanks to Edie Travers, this year will go down in history, the year she resurrects her dead son and infamous pigface serial killer Larry.
As the story is set at a con, you can imagine the number of characters and whilst some only make a brief appearance, each one we meet have their own individual style. I had been to a number of cons and I have seen many people who fit the bill. Set in a multi screen cinema gave this story a different feel to the other two as although it was a large complex, the “victims” hiding places were more obvious. Who would hide in a toilet when a serial killer is on the prowl.
There is humour throughout and no one escapes getting the mick taken out of them, even the over exposed actor William Defoe. To find out what he was doing you need to read the book. Like your traditional slasher movies, you still have stereotypical girls, you know the ones, the ones who run and hide whilst screaming blue murder. The main group in fear of their lives were the most unusual group put together. A strong female, a dwarf and 2 cops stuck in the 80s. The killing sprees are bloody and the trusty axe is as sharp as ever, even Edie has a big part to play.
This was a quick read as there was always something going on. The author has a descriptive style that enables you clearly picture the scenes in front of you. Look out for appearances of popular films and the way they play a big part in the story. For the final part in the trilogy, this a good addition to the Larry series.