Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions by Lois H Gresh

August 15, 2018 - 4:26 am No Comments

Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions by Lois H Gresh
Published by Titan books on 4th July 2017
352 pages


I enjoy reading genre mash up featuring famous fictional characters. Holmes and Watson are asked to investigate a murder of a tram engineer, an easier case for the brains of Holmes or so it seems. However, they are thrown into a supernatural situation after bodies are turning up stripped of flesh with strange symbols are etched on the bones.
Whilst eventually Holmes may come across the Cthulhu, the title was a bit deceiving and I would have emphasized the sub title instead as that explained the story. Holmes and Watson were recognisable from the start. Everyone has their own interpretation of the two iconic characters and whether you have read the books or watched the TV or films, there are characteristics that stand out. I like that the author picked out the best bits of both and then added her own twist on the characters. She showed the loyalty of Watson and how he was torn between the love of his life Mary and Holmes. As I was reading this story, I could picture them striding over London looking for clues.
Whilst I enjoyed the story, I felt that some of the back stories were irrelevant to this story, and whilst these characters may appear later in the series, it gave it a disjointed feel and I wanted to get back to the Holmes situation. The Holmes and Watson story was gripping and their story flowed smoothly. The addition of Order of Dagon was the link to the Cthulhu and gave the story the fantasy/horror feel. The killings were detailed and unusual and baffled the police from the start. However true to form, Holmes did not let the unknown get in his way and where possible found a scientific explanation.
I will carry on with this series as I want to see where the story takes me and whether Holmes will get closer to the Cthulhu.

Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue

August 4, 2018 - 7:29 pm No Comments

Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue by Brian Keene, John Skipp, Mary SanGiovanni, Robert Ford, Max Booth III, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Hayward, Bryan Smith, Matt Serafini, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Patrick Lacey, Adam Cesare, Alan M Clark, Somer Canon, Rachel Autumn Deering and Jeff Strand.
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 3rd August 2018
220 pages

Based in San Francisco, The Shantyman had been around for years, so long that its history was oozing out of the walls. Now the doors of the club have been opened, come in, sit down and Welcome to the Show.
For this review I am going to choose some of my favourites.
Night and Day and in Between by Jonathan Janz: The year is 1926, Raft a PI has been hired to find Clara. His leads take him to The Shantyman, where a singer matching Clara’s description is performing. The early scenes in the club, were just how I imagine a speakeasy. The sultry blonde, singing seductively accompanied by a piano. What starts out as a simple missing person case soon takes a turn to the dark side when Clara’s secret is revealed.
Pilgrimage by Bryan Smith: Jason, George and Karla were sightseeing, stopping outside the Shantyman to learn its history, they decide to get off the bus and get a feel of the place. What they don’t factor in is the odd, stoned passenger that joins them. Things get stranger when the drug they take, takes them to different times. The story continues around Jason and his time in the club. What wasn’t expected was him running into 2 infamous people from history.
Master of Beyond by Glenn Rolfe: Sean now the owner of the club decides with his staff to play with a Ouija board. Jillian the manager wants no part of it and leaves, but the following day not only has she got to deal with a big concert but also what was called. All I will say is that there is a reason why I will not play with Ouija boards and this story enforces this.
Open Mic Night by Kelli Owen: We have all heard of the 27 club, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison to name a few. This story is how the famous became members of it and Harry is the one man who can stop it, but he needs the help of Gwen who works the bar on open mic. I enjoy the speculation of the 27 club and this story puts a different spin on it.
Just to be Seen by Somer Canon: The story of a fan and her infatuation with the singer Will Fontaine. This story could be real live account as there are some fans that have such a stalker obsession it could result in death.
I have been spoilt by Crystal Lake Publishing, the anthologies published have all had some great stories and this book is no different. Welcome to the Show has 17 stories, each with a different insight of what goes on behind The Shantyman’s four walls

Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack D McLean

July 30, 2018 - 9:42 pm No Comments

Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack D McLean
Published by Creativia on 17th December 2016
239 pages

Working along side MI5 and MI6 is a department that cleans up, you know the one, the staff who do the dirty work, the department that no-one talks about.
Lawrence Odd worked in an abattoir but he fancied something different. Something for him to get a kick out and satisfy his thirst for death. After getting a job in the “Cleaning” Department, he went through vigorous training, but whilst he tried to be the best, ,a locked door was calling to him. Once the secrets were revealed and the hints from his targets, caused Lawrence to rethink his job and put all his skills into practise.
Written from Lawrence’s POV, this was written like a biography. The story flowed evenly with its mixture of comedy and murders making it an easy read. Set in the 80s, the technology was outdated for today. Every detail regardless how small was explained in detail making it even more funny and if you are as old as me you can remember the tech. The killing scenes were typical hitman, but with an artistic flair. Naming his kills like “Bolt out the Blue”
It is not often that I root for the “bad guy” but Lawrence was different. Lawrence was a quirky character and some of his one liners had me laughing out loud. One scene in particular was when he had to stare a goat to death.
Having read this author’s work before I knew that I would have a giggle and I was not disappointed. I hope to read more of Lawrence’s exploits.

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road

July 21, 2018 - 4:55 pm No Comments

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 20th July 2018

Following on from Gutted, C.H.U.D. Lives and other anthologies from Crystal Lake comes Lost Highways. A bumper collection of 26 short stories with one thing in common the open road.
With so many stories I was spoilt for choice, but some of my favourites were:
Not From Detroit by Joe R Lansdale: An elderly couple are very much in love. This is a beautifully written story and so heart-warming. This story that love will conquer all even in the face of death.
Jim’s Meats by Kelli Owen: A couple are on a road trip and are running out of petrol, but pulling over at a petrol station, just made it dangerous. This story built the tension up to the final chase. This is a story I would love to be a full novel. Whilst a lot is unknown about the Jim’s meat and the residents of the town, your imagination can join the dots.
Your Pound of Flesh by Nick Kolakowski: Hitchhikers are a regular feature in road trip stories but this story had a twist when Jill Cafferty stopped to pick up a young girl in distress. This story takes you on the hunt for a serial killer. Incorporated in this story was the difficult topic of domestic violence which was handled with sensitivity. The author takes you on an emotional journey which near the end will have you picking up speed to find out what happens. The twist to the story was a surprise and the ending made the story whole.
Having read the majority of Crystal Lakes anthologies, I knew that I need to add to my collection when this was released. Whilst I recognised quite a few of the authors, there were still authors I had not read and I admire the dedication that the publisher puts into finding the various authors to keep anthology fresh. As usual the art work on the cover and in the book was exquisite. Each story was unique and with various length will keep you captivated throughout your read and possible you may not want to read this if you are planning your own road trip. Although it may be a good survival guide.

The Grindhouse: Diablo Snuff 2 by Carver Pike

July 18, 2018 - 10:02 pm No Comments

The Grindhouse: Diablo Snuff 2 by Carver Pike
Published by Erotic Mayberry Publishing on 5th December 2017
318 pages

Tobias aka TK Tantrum is a horror author. Having a fascination for Melvin Morose, he had always wanted to write a book at the infamous writers retreat at The Grand Georgina. So when his best friend and PA bought him a ticket for the event he was so excited, all he wanted to do was to write his best seller. However, when the history of the house overlaps with real life, it becomes a matter of life and death.
Tobias is a character that you instantly like. As an author all he wanted to do was write his greatest work ever and he was achieving it. When hell broke loose at the hotel, he was torn between running and saving the others, but knew that he had little chance.
Not having read any of this author’s work I did not what to expect, but wow. This book has everything for horror lovers. From the opening scene it grabs you and for me I got my introduction to Diablo Snuff. The horror is full on and whilst it is graphic throughout, I felt it was more intense with the introduction of Tobias’ visions. The character Charlie Red reminded me of the bogeyman, something to scare you children by and if you read this alone in the dark, you could imagine the THUD THUD THUD of his footsteps walking down the hall. The scenes about the slaves were haunting and you could see how hopeless their situation was. The descriptive details that the author put into this work was extensive and you could close your eyes and still imagine you see the pictures on the walls.
This story took you on a rollercoaster of emotions whether you are screaming at Tobias to run, grimacing at machetes as they fly through the air or reading pure erotica, you are in for one hell of a story. The action believe it or not intensified even further from around 80% and I found that I could not put the story down as I needed to know if they survived. I have purchased book 1 so I can carry on with the journey and I cant wait for The Maddening .