Posts Tagged ‘Thriller’

I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas

February 8, 2017 - 7:54 pm No Comments

I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas. Night Shade Books, New York. $15.99 (US). 241 page paperback. ISBN: 978-1-59780-835-4

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

There is one kind of story that never seems to make sense. It is the first person narration of a person who turns out to be a ghost. The questions that hang over it is, who are they telling this story to, how are they telling it and who is listening? If the spirit has gone on to judgement and is having to justify their presence it becomes a different kind of story. Another kind of story that has a low success rate of being convincing is the one set at a convention, perhaps because genre readers are too familiar with them. It is almost on a par of a writer writing about a writer – we want the story, not the story of how the story was written. But like everything, sometimes you find an exception. Nick Mamatas has set his novel at a convention and the first person narrator is dead. His skill has made it work.

Although there are horror conventions with a Lovecraft theme that are held in Providence, Rhode Island, the one featured in I Am Providence is not one of them. Convention attendees may think they know people who have a resemblance to the characters in this book, but that is superficial. All conferences, whether genre, business or scientific have attendees with similar characteristics. That is to be expected. Here, the Summer Tentacular is the H.P. Lovecraft convention which draws this group of fans to the town. Most of them seem to write in, what they consider, the style of their hero. The impression given is that this is a place to have your ego stroked.

From the beginning, we know that Panossian is dead. He tells us so in the first paragraph. He is just as perplexed about the situation as a critical reader might be. He still seems to be able to think and hear. He wonders if this is a condition for all the dead and if this is a phenomenon that fades as his brain rots. What he does, as there is nothing else he is capable of, is to run through in his mind the events leading up to his murder and to try and make sense of them. He can also hear and try to interpret what is going on in the morgue. This excellently handled device keeps the plot going forward as well as filling in gaps in the narrative that only the victim would be aware of.

Paralleling, Panossian’s story, is that of Colleen Danzig. This her first Summer Tentacular and is the outsider through whose eyes we see the other, quirky characters. She appears to be an otherwise well-adjusted human. She becomes involved because, in order to save money, she is sharing a room with Panossian. They have not met before now, except on-line. Because of this, she is asked to identify the body. She is the viewpoint character in the present away from the morgue and aware of any developments in the police investigation.

The murder seems to revolve around a rare book which the author has bound in human skin. For this reason he hasn’t been able sell it on eBay, because they have a policy against auctioning body parts, and skin counts as such. Panossian was sent one of the only five in existence and has a private buyer for it, though for much of the time there is doubt over the existence of the book, or the potential transaction.

Mamatas is an author well versed in the writings and cult of H.P. Lovecraft and to add to the delight of the book, each chapter heading is the title of a Lovecraft story. The design of the book adds interest as tentacles insert themselves into the pages. And tentacles wind through the plot as the origins of the events here stretch back to a time beyond. Recommended.

Searching for Sullivan by Carissa Ann Lynch

January 17, 2017 - 6:18 pm No Comments

Searching for Sullivan by Carissa Ann Lynch

Published by Limitless Publishing on 17th January 2017

215 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Veronica Von Derbach is a single mom to Sully.  After a disastrous boat ride, Sully goes missing, presumed dead. Veronica having to carry on living her life becomes a parapsychologist, a ghost hunter. The majority of her cases she has disproven the present of a ghost, but when a grainy photo of a ghost at Lake Merlott arrives across her desk, she knows she has to investigate.

Veronica is a very brave woman, after everything she went through, she still got her degree and was renowned in her field. In all her cases, she showed compassion to the clients. When she began investigating at Lake Merlott, she was still professional even though she was scared to find out the truth.

This book was full of suspense and kept my interest from the start. The twists in the book kept me guessing throughout, and I was really surprised with the final twist, it was definitely what I did not expect. It was written with such feeling, you could really feel Veronica’s pain.

As usual Carissa knows how to tell a haunting story and is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects. If you want a great story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then buy this book. 1st class

Competition – Sarah Pinborough Behind her Eyes

January 12, 2017 - 6:59 pm No Comments

Awesomeness – Harper Collins have offered a copy of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough to you, Terror Tree readers!

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David

Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

To be in with a chance to win this hugely anticipated mystery/thrill book by the very talented Sarah Pinborough here’s what you do:

1) Like our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TerrorTree

2) Share this post with the Amazon Links to the book on Facebook or Twitter then notify us on our Facebook Page under the competition post.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Her-Eyes-Sarah-Pinborough/dp/0008131961/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484247072&sr=8-1&keywords=Behind+Her+Eyes+by+Sarah+Pinborough

The Eleventh Letter by Tom Tomaszewski

December 19, 2016 - 8:31 pm No Comments

The Eleventh Letter by Tom Tomaszewski

Published by Dodo Ink on 25th October 2016

225 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

51nuznofa1lWhen Chris Katiwa began packing to move to a new premise, he didn’t think that finding some old tapes would stir up a load of memories. The tapes played the interviews between him an eager psychotherapist and Louise a young woman involved in a missing persons/murder case in Italy. Added to this is a mysterious woman who is rescued by Chris when she is outside his office in the heavy snow storm.

The author had a way of telling story, they kept me hooked from the beginning. The idea of the interview tapes was a good way to tell Louise’s story and you could just imagine listening to her voice whilst wondering if she was responsible for her friend’s demise.  Jumping to the time of the interviews we then follow Chris in his quest to get to the bottom of the mystery and to prove Louise’s innocence. Whilst reading I was on the edge of my seat as I was expecting something to happen. The introduction of Asha and Josephine was unexpected and I was surprised of their true identity. The way the story was laid out helped develop the main character as the young Chris in Italy was very unsure of his skill and lent a lot on his mentor, whilst when he got older and was working in Harley Street, he was confident in his abilities

With the story line incorporating London, Italy and the interview with Louise, you would expect this to be a confusing read, but it wasn’t, each chapter told you exactly when and where it was set.

It is hard to pigeon hole this book into one particular genre, but I would say that this is a Suspense Ghost story, that will keep you gripped.  I will definitely look out for more from this author

Dead of Winter

July 17, 2016 - 11:53 pm No Comments

Dead of Winter

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Gerri Brightwell
Publisher: Salt Publishing
Page Count: 239
Release date: 2016
Reviewed by Chris Amies

Mike Fisher is a slob. An overweight, down-on-his-luck cab driver in one
of the coldest places on Earth. All he really cares about is his teenage
daughter whom he rarely sees. So when he receives a message from her
that her step-dad is acting strangely – and then she vanishes – he,
reluctantly, is stirred into action and sets off to find her. He and his
‘permanently lost’ friend Grisby, in his taxi with a cartoon bear on the
door, in the depth of the Alaskan winter.

Which of course is when things start going really bad. Starting with a
visit to Breehan’s stepfather’s house, which they could have told
themselves was a bad idea but you have to start somewhere.

This novel moves along nicely and does give you a feel for being in such
a cold place – Gerri Brightwell has lived there for some years, having
moved there from the UK she has actually found somewhere even colder
than the UK to go and live in. Part of the reason it read so easily for
me was that it is told in the present tense, although third person. It
reminded me of the novels of Carl Hiaasen — although Hiaasen’s novels
are all set in Florida, where you most definitely do not freeze to death
if you lock yourself out. It does however cover matters of interest in
the present day United States such as militias (or would-be militias
based around a core belief in being too cheap to pay your taxes). There
are sufficient shenanigans and turns in the plot to keep the reader well
interested.

It was a good read.