Archive for November, 2018

Hallowdene by George Mann

November 11, 2018 - 9:42 am No Comments

Hallowdene by George Mann
Published by Titan Books on 18th September 2018
336 pages

The Carrion King murders have been solved and Elspeth and Peter are getting on with life. Elspeth’s is still trying to be a success as a freelance journalist and working at the local newspaper. So, when local landowner agrees to the excavation of Agnes Levett’s grave, a 16th-century witch. As a topic of interest Elspeth covered the story from the start. The villagers of Hallowdene were divided about the dig, whilst some thought it was great for business and tourism, others feared the curse. So, when the 1st body turns up, Elspeth is already on the case.
Whilst Elspeth and Pete’s relationship is going strong, both of them have hopes and dreams which they won’t share with each other. Elspeth also starts to make friends in the village, as a social person she still missed her friends in London. One young girl she got on well with was Daisy, the waitress from the local café and whilst she quickly friends she realised that she had something to hide. As you are reading this book, you notice some changes from book 1, the main difference was Pete did most of the investigation by himself, Elspeth only helped with what she learnt from interviewing people for her story. This will please reviewers who did not like the close working relationship they had in book 1. Although them working separately helped you learn more of the story as somethings were told to Elspeth instead of the police.
This story had more of a fantasy feel to it than Wychwood, as Agnes’ curse seemed to affect a lot more people. As you follow the current murder you get to know more about her story from the moment she was accused of witchcraft.
This story was quick paced as there was always something happening, whether it was part of the investigation or the locals kicking off. With folklore and urban legends still popular, this is a series that can keep going and I hope that there are plenty more in the series.

The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali

November 6, 2018 - 6:59 pm No Comments

The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali
Published 20th May 2016
145 pages

Michael had a great job, a loving wife and gorgeous son, but the world came crashing down when he walked in to his wife holding a gun. From that fatal moment you could find Michael at a bottom of a bottle. In steps Lucifer who makes a deal, capture my souls and free your family.
As a cop Michael was a good man, but after losing his family, he came resentful and bitter. Only finding solace in a bottle of whiskey, he didn’t want to live his life. The only time he became alive was when he was capturing the souls.
Throughout this story you find out all about Michael’s life, from the moment he met his wife to after her death. Whilst his story is not in chronological order, it is not confusing as each chapter is dated. This also helped break up Michael’s killing spree, so you were not hit by it all at once. The planning through the story made it flow seamless and you are drawn into Michael’s life.
Where there is the Devil, there is also God and his appearance was nothing like I imagined. There are some big reveals at the end and it will help you decide whether Michael had made the right decision to go into business with the Devil.
When you think the story stops, the author hits you with the epilogue, which takes the story in a different direction and will make you download the sequel Escape from Hell. At only 150 pages you will read this quickly. The warnings are on this book for a reason and there may be scenes that make shock some readers. But as a lover of dark fiction this was right up my street.

The Flesh of Trees by Kath Middleton

November 5, 2018 - 6:26 pm No Comments

The Flesh of Trees by Kath Middleton
Published by Hilltop Press on 24th March 2018
176 pages

Tronhafen is a logger’s village, everyone who lived there worked for Grassen, an unethical employer who was only out to make a profit. Children have been going missing for as long as the villagers can remember. Every child had been warned not to go into Green Woods, but in any close community, there is always that one child who ignores the warnings.
Sylvie Hummel was 12-year-old girl, with a bit of a rebellious streak. Looking for adventure, she ignored the warning about going into the woods. When she entered the woods, what she saw would change her life for ever. Ancient trees covered the land each with their own stories to tell. Although she was young, she had an old head on her, and when the troubles started at the mill, she understood the danger that was coming to the village. Going into the wood she soon found out the secret of the Green wood and was quick enough to share it with her cousin Erik
The use of ancient trees to tell the story gave it a unique storyline that I have not come across before. The author’s descriptive style had you feeling that you were walking the paths with Sylvie. As the story spanned over 18 years, you follow the families as they age and grow. This story shows how humans can ruin the environment with their profit-making mentality and with more forest been destroyed does make you think. With its fantasy style to the story, you will have more respect for the gnarled oak that you see in the woods and will wonder what story they have to tell.
This is a gentle read and a good introduction to this new to me author

Mr Sucky by Duncan P Bradshaw

November 3, 2018 - 3:51 pm No Comments

Mr Sucky by Duncan P Bradshaw
Published by EyeCue Production on 2nd November 2018
127 pages

The idea of a vacuum cleaner responsible for mayhem and murder is what drew me to this book. Clive Beauchamp had an unusual childhood which resulted in him becoming a serial killer. But when his latest victim became the killer, his consciousness ended up being transported to a Mr Sucky. a vacuum cleaner with bite.
From the start of the story Clive came across as a bit of a blundering fool. How he had got away with murder for so long was a mystery. If it was not for his inner voice, think of Jiminy Cricket on steroids, he would not have killed anyone. But when he died and was brought back to life in the body of a vacuum cleaner, he had a new purpose, to get revenge with the maximum amount of violence that a suction hose could make.
This was a quick read and a laugh a minute. The action was non-stop, and I was hooked from page one. Written from Clive’s POV made the story flow, his inner voice played a big part in the narrative, but there was no confusion as their words were written in italics. Whilst the inner voice had no identity, I was imagining that it was one of Clive’s siblings who met a tragic end, either by Clive’s or his father’s hands. As the killings started so did the gore and some of the killings were quite unique. I did wonder how much time the author looked at vacuum parts imagining what damaged to a human body each part could do. The killings were quite graphic and as I was reading these scenes, I was thinking was I wrong to laugh. The book had a lot of one-liners and play on words, usually between Clive and his inner voice which broke up the violence.
As the story continues you get to find out more about Mr Sucky’s victims and even their stories were detailed, and you soon find out the reason Angela was with Clive. One minor detail that I will mention is the naming of one of the victims. Whilst my name is not uncommon it is rare to see it in a story, even though they were dead.
This story was fun to read and if you like your horror filled with humour than this is the perfect read for you. One thing I did come away with, was that I will never look at my own vacuum cleaner in the same light again and got me thinking what other appliances could do the most damage to people. A great read which should not be read in public unless you want to be looked at when you start laughing aloud.