This tasty little tidbit of a macabre midnight snack was a novella I chose from the Black Tide Book Tour folks (formerly Blackthorn Book Tours). This was a fun read but it was a slightly different approach to horror, in my opinion. There is almost nothing horror related (almost) in the first half of the book. However, once the horror starts, it’s pretty much constant throughout the rest of the story.
In this particular tale, we have a group of friends who are getting together for Thanksgiving dinner. Friends and family gather to form a social circle as dysfunctional as any other average familial group. There’s a somewhat overbearing wife Char, whose husband, Doug, is a disappointment to her parents, Judy and Owen. Doug and Char have two children, Charlotte (a teenager) and Tommy (a school ager). They are present for the holiday gathering as well. A couple, Mike and Marleen, are friends of Char’s and invited to the festivities, but Doug isn’t a fan of these people. Or Char’s parents, for that matter. Friends Craig and Amy are also invited and supposed to make an appearance but they end up running late, which they are notorious for doing. Then we have Dan. Dan is Doug’s brother and has recently been released from prison. Doug and Dan’s parents, Fred and Mable, also attend this dinner. Doug also asked his best friend, Randy, to come to dinner for Thanksgiving. So, a typical holiday get-together with everyone there being unhappy that someone else in the group is there. Doug doesn’t like Marleen and Mike. Char doesn’t like Dan and Randy. Owen and Judy don’t like Doug. There are voiced complaints about Craig and Amy. And of course, the kids would rather be doing something on a digital device than interact with family and their parents’ friends.
But as the evening continues, many things start to go awry. Little things, big things, dangerous things, offensive things, and scary things from the dark. All this piles up into the culmination of an evening’s worth of negative energy combined with fear and horror. And that is where the real horror begins. Quite the setup for what turns into a very good story. As I mentioned earlier, the real action is in the second half of this story, but the detail and information given are truly needed to set the scene for what this dinner truly entails. Like with so many family get-togethers, this one doesn’t go as hoped or as planned. But slowly and consistently we get small glimpses of our tormenting villainous monster from the background, the tension of our characters, and the suspense of the unknown building up to a horror lover’s classic bloody and gory action-packed tale. Plus, we get to see what’s happening from different characters' points of view on the same events or other events happening at the same time. This is a creative way to give the reader the story and insight into whom the characters are as people and their role in the circumstances and events constantly unfolding.
I think any suspense lover would find this an entertaining read. Its structure of separating parts and then chapters make for a quick read that both thrills and entertains.
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Length: 385 pages
Before I start, here is the summary of this novel that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go:
“A detective with a dark secret...
Samantha Jazz used to be one of the top profilers in the Austin PD, living for the chase of hunting down a killer and bringing him to justice. That is, until one bad case nearly destroyed her.
A killer with a hidden agenda...
There’s a new kind of serial killer on the loose––and people are turning up dead. The only clues to their murders lie in the riddles the killer leaves behind. A mystery with more questions than answers, and a suspicion that he’s taunting Samantha.
A dead body wrapped in a riddle...
Samantha will have to use all her wits to solve each new puzzle before the killer can strike again. But the closer she gets to the killer, the more she draws him to her as well. And in this thrilling game of cat and mouse––only one of them will survive.”
This was a very entertaining novel to read and I don’t usually go for fiction so much. Here we have a story about a very dedicated law enforcement officer, Detective Samantha Jazz, and her intense and persistent pursuit of one of the most dangerous serial killers she’s ever encountered. And in this particular detective, we not only have a workaholic with an intense, but calm, personality, but we also have a woman with a profound and somewhat dark past.
Detective Jazz’s life is her job. And her job is her career, not just a job. Like a lot of other law enforcement personnel, she eats, sleeps, and breathes being a cop. Her profession permeates every aspect of her life, every aspect of her existence. She has a partner named Lang, who is somewhat the stereotypical male lifer in the department. He’s seen more than his share of horrors, he’s very blunt, perhaps a little bitter, and he’s definitely a pain in the ass. He's full of smartass remarks and witty comments, a lot of each said at many inopportune times. However, Detective Jazz can most assuredly hold her own against any member of the good ol’ boys club and she can fire back at Lang, or anyone else, with just as much wit, vim, and vigor as they throw at her. Sometimes she adds a little sauciness just for fun.
Her adversary in this dramatic tale is a serial killer she has dubbed, The Poet. She chose this moniker because of the unique signature he displays in his killings. At first, this presents as a relatively normal investigation. However, Jazz soon realizes that The Poet is somehow very familiar with her and her personal life, and the people in her life. This of course intensifies the entire situation, raising both the danger level and the need to catch this perpetrator.
In the course of her pursuit of this murderous deviant, she finds that, like many serial killers, this particular offender is of high intelligence, challenging her intellectual capabilities as well as her detective skills. During the investigation, we also find out more and more about Detective Jazz, her past, and her way of thinking, her personality. All of this combines to create a thrilling and suspenseful chase of a brazen and daring killer on the loose. And it’s up to Detective Jazz to stop him.
I was intrigued by the summary of this book, but after the first two pages, I was hooked. I had had this novel on my reading list for a very long time. I finally got to this book’s turn on my list and was super excited to read it at last.
This author is a great writer. The amount of detail expressed in this piece of work is crucial to the suspense and anticipation the content invokes. From the very beginning, I was on the edge of my seat anxious to read the next chapter. This was one of those stories that, as the reader, you are constantly trying to solve the case along with the detectives. With each new victim, we get new clues. We are presented with an array of people that are involved in this case. Some are obviously harmless and not the killer. Some characters are a little on the creepy side and somewhat suspicious but don’t have the serial killer vibe. Others are the kind of characters you just know have to be dirty in some way, but are they the killer?
The way this author reveals tiny pieces of the story at a time reflects the path detectives and other law enforcement officials must take to solve each crime. While sometimes it may seem tedious, each little clue is another piece of the giant jigsaw puzzle one has to complete to solve and close a case. In my opinion, the flow of the case in this novel is fairly realistic. Without having worked in law enforcement, I can only form that opinion based on my experience being raised by a police officer and growing up directly associating with all kinds of law enforcement personnel from patrol officers to judges. This case in this novel moved much like a real investigation. The author was very careful to make sure that the details of the case and the investigation were realistic and believable. Again, in my opinion, she did an excellent job.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes crime fiction, detective stories, or anything full of suspense, keeps you on pins and needles and keeps you guessing, just like the rollercoaster the police go through when trying to work a case. After reading this book, this is an author I am going to follow on Goodreads.com and see what other works she has available.
Pain and Gain
The Untold True Story
Book authored by Marc Schiller
I sat down to start this book and I didn’t put it down until I was at the end. I read the whole book in one day. It was truly gripping and I could not help but finish it. It was an incredible story to read. Not because it was unbelievable. Oh no. Far from it in fact. Unfortunately, when this author first tried to tell his story to law enforcement and even doctors, they assumed he was not being truthful. The truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. Indeed, that is the situation in this case. And while some of what this author tells about his experience may seem outrageous or like something you just can’t believe, I assure you, this story is possible. In my experience as a true crime researcher, the one thing that is constant in crime is that there are no limits to human depravity. There are no limits to how dark or demented a person can be, no limits to the arrays of pain, degradation, humiliation, and suffering that some people are willing to inflict upon others. There’s no real limit to the lengths some people go to and no real limit to whatever their reason is for such abhorrent behavior. Crime happens on all levels, in all areas, and it’s committed by people from all backgrounds and situations.
In this particular case, we have one victim and multiple perpetrators. And it’s not just the four people that kept this man prisoner but also people outside of the kidnapping and torture that helped victimize this gentleman further by helping strip him and his family of everything they had in the world. All their property, all their money, their business, their home. These monsters even took the kids' toys. They cleaned him out. The greed was endless and they had no qualms about how they got their hands on what they wanted.
Now, I’m sure many people think this kind of thing could never happen to them. That they would never be coerced into signing over everything they owned. However, you can’t say what you would do unless you’ve been in his position. And his position was very grave. He was chained to a wall. He was tortured physically, emotionally, and psychologically. He was degraded and humiliated. His family was in danger. At a certain point, one has to reach the conclusion that material possessions can be replaced but human lives cannot be. It got down to the most basic of factors---survival. Everything beyond survival could be addressed once he was free.
This story was not just about a kidnapping either. It was about betrayal and loss. It was about fear and pain. And it was largely about the concept of pure faith in general (not religion) and perseverance. No person or animal should have to endure the things this man endured. The trauma and torture inflicted on this man were nothing but sadistic. The leader of this whole vicious circus was violently mentally ill, in my opinion. I saw signs of a severe malignant narcissistic personality. Plus, a horrific anti-social personality coupled with what seemed to possibly be a kind of bipolar disorder. Please know, with confidence, that not everybody that has any kind of mental illness is dangerous. Nobody is dangerous automatically just because they have a mental illness. There are a few that do end up dangerous and their mental illness may exacerbate that. But just being bipolar or just being even a malignant narcissist doesn't automatically mean that you want to hurt people. Still, in this case, this perpetrator's mental illness was not a positive factor in this experience on the whole. I can’t and won’t say that his mental illness caused him to do what he did, because I do not believe that to be the case and because I am not a licensed professional in the field to make such a determination. I will say that an already violent and unpredictable personality was made worse at times by varying factors of his illnesses. All of this becomes crystal clear as you read about what actually happened, how it all came about and transpired, and the explanation of the people involved.
But the main takeaway from this case is hope, perseverance, self-respect in all circumstances, and the importance of family. Marc Schiller is an absolute example of a good human being. He is an example of fortitude and stability. His harrowing account takes you deep into his experience as a prisoner of these demented tormentors. He tells about things he could have easily left out because they were embarrassing. He wants people to understand, as close as they can, exactly what he went through. And the only way to do that is by being completely open and honest about the entire experience. And I can imagine it took quite a bit of emotional and psychological strength and resolve to put all of this down on paper into a book. This must have been painful to write and yet, at the same time, somewhat cathartic.
This was just an average man. A family man that worked a typical accounting job, provided for his wife and kids and tried to be a good person and help others when he could. He lived in a normal house and had a normal, fairly uneventful life as an adult. His childhood was rough but it didn’t hold him back from anything. If anything the struggles he endured growing up would mold him into the man that was able to survive this ordeal. This written account takes you through every event of this case, almost day by day. The detail expressed in this book creates a very clear, very vivid, and very horrifying picture. And it is one survivor’s story you can’t ignore. Marc is very relatable and he tells his story with emotion and transparency.
This was an excellent book. As a frequent reader and researcher of true crime, I had heard about this case before and knew the general story. But I did not know all the details, big or small. Also as a frequent true crime reader, I can say that this is one of the more horrifying kidnapping cases I have read about. It was not only an incredible story but it was an inspirational one as well. Learning about something like this makes you think about things like priorities and how spoiled we can get with all the advances in life now. It makes you think about the difference between what you want to endure and what you can endure. The two are very different. While he didn’t want to go through any of this, Marc endured his captivity day in and day out, vowing not to be broken. And he wasn’t.
Any true crime reader should like this book. It was well worth the read.
This was an interesting collection. I chose this from the Blackthorn Book Tour group's June Quick Bite selections. It’s a small assembly of four short stories. Although I did not fall in love with this collection, it certainly wasn’t a struggle to read. Still, it is more on the eerie side rather than the traditional horror with gore and such.
The first story is Family Roots. This is the longest story of the four at just a little over five pages. This was also my favorite tale in the book. It’s a fantastic fearful little tangled tale of love, revenge, and unseen mystical forces. The second story is a tiny two-page tidbit relating the fallout of certain wounds and illnesses partnered with the inner workings of the world of a trapped mind full of fear and confusion. The next story is Affirmations running at just over three pages. This is the tragic relation of abuse, fear, curious happenings, and powers unseen and unknown. The final story is just a bite. It is one paragraph long bearing the title Warm. This compactly served story gnaws at the heart with death, longing, mystery, and sadness.
I did enjoy this small collection of stories for the most part. The author seems to want to reach the reader on a more emotional and psychological level. There is a clear style to the writing being that each story has a kind of implied meaning, action, behavior, or circumstance. I assume this is intended to make the reader think, filling in open parts of the tale and deciding meanings with their interpretation rather than the author just putting it out there. For me, this was a good attempt and I see what the author was trying to accomplish. It was effective in a basic sense for me but did fall just a little short in having the kind of fervent effect that I believe was originally intended. I also wasn’t thrilled about the stories getting so much shorter as the book went on. This was especially true for me when I got to the last story. Personally, it is difficult for me to call such a paragraph an actual story. It read to me as the opening paragraph of a very creepy, spooky story, and then it just stops, sort of falling flat in my opinion. Especially since it’s clear that the plot idea has real potential to be expanded.
Nevertheless, overall I did enjoy reading this book. I only wish it had a little more substance to it. I am certain this particular author is capable of it as what was presented in this book could serve as a teaser to a full-length anthology of short horror stories.
Echoes in the Dark by P.L. McMillan
Print length: 13 pages
Age range: This is an adult collection
Trigger warnings: death, murder, domestic abuse
Amazon Rating: New collection not yet rated.
About Echoes in the Dark
Four short tales of suspense, horror, loss, and the macabre.
Perfect for a quick read. But be careful, this fiction comes with a bite! (A quick bite – get it? It’s a quick read!)
Family Roots: An orchard whose trees listen
Unseen Cost: A man gets his sight back.
Affirmations: Live, laugh, kill.
Warm: A haunting scent, a memory.
About the Author
P.L. McMillan is a Canadian ex-pat living in the States, after having taught English for three years in Asia. She is a victim of a deep infatuation with the works of Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and H.P. Lovecraft.
To her, every shadow is an entryway to a deeper look into the black heart of the world, and every night she rides with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night wind, bringing back dark stories to share with those brave enough to read them.
You can check out more on her website at https://plmcmillan.com or follow her on Twitter at @AuthorPLM.
This was one of the most interesting and captivating collections I have read in a very long time. I chose this from the Blackthorn Book Tour folks and once again, our tastes in literature come together in perfect unison.
This anthology is a mysterious kind of collection all in itself. There are stories of all types of dark and sinister themes. While the entire collection would not really be considered horror, a great number of these tales bring the darker and less palatable horrors of actual reality out in the open. I would personally classify this collection as more of a dramatic thriller anthology than horror.
What we read for entertainment is an entirely personal choice. I happen to enjoy reading work that stimulates my brain. Just like any other muscle, the brain needs to be exercised to stay strong and healthy. Use it or lose it, as they always say. This group of stories is by far one of the most thought-provoking anthologies I have ever come across. Typically we apply personal experience and knowledge to what we read, watch, hear, etc. The most unique characteristic of this author’s writing is that it often takes on a point of view that is not what the average reader might have originally thought of or might have never experienced for themselves. This is a clever and intriguing way of really getting into the heart and mind of the reader. If the story is being told from a point of view we are not used to seeing or hearing it gives the reader an opportunity to open their minds and expand their capacity for empathy and understanding. We often only see things from our own side and it’s beneficial and valuable that we get the chance to learn about a different view.
The actual content of each story was great and the plots were thrilling. My only issue was that there are quite a few places where a small word is missing (such as ‘a’, ‘whole’, ‘the’, etc.) or the wrong word is typed, like ‘hours’ instead of ‘ours’. It seems quite possible from the minor grammatical errors that this book was dictated in a voice-to-text program and not typed up by hand. Which is completely fine. The finished product could benefit though from a final spellcheck and grammar check, and maybe even a final physical read-through.
The one thing that did make certain parts a little harder to read was that a great portion of the writing uses a run-on sentence structure. The sentences are four or five lines long and as little as three sentences can take up over a third of a page while creating a paragraph. Now, this isn’t necessarily negative as it comes across as it would if someone were verbally telling you the story. That’s kind of cool. It gives it a more personal feel. On the flip side, the long sentences have a lot of information in them. This is a lot to absorb in one sentence and I often had to go back and read the whole sentence a second time to get everything the author was trying to convey. Again, if this were a person telling this story verbally, none of that would matter. You would have the tone of voice and various pauses and inflections to convey that material. But, when reading, it might be easier to break the long sentences up and utilize more commas and semicolons to get the right effect.
Still, there are a few stories in this collection that weeks after reading are still in my mind. So this writing absolutely has an impact on the reader. This will be a collection I remember for quite some time.
About the Author
Miles Watson has won more awards and accolades than almost any independent writer of his generation. His various works have won the following:
The Cabin Sessions
Author: Isobel Blackthorn
Here we have a definite must-read for those that love psychological and suspense thrillers from Blackthorn Book Tours. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a horror novel it certainly is a wonderful cerebral tug of war. With the steady and consistent build-up of tension and suspense, the author leads the reader through the lives and happenings of a select group of people gathered on a stormy night at a local cabin where they play music and gossip about each other.
This tantalizing page-turner has an easy-to-follow format due to the author’s clever insight. Each chapter is named after a character. When you read each chapter, you are instantly aware of whose “world” we are in and can easily find where we are in each character's story. This story also has plenty of twists and turns to captivate the reader and keep them guessing what will happen next.
Additionally, this particular author has an extensive vocabulary coupled with poetic wit and tempered patience. This means there are no “dead” spots or filler text. The story keeps moving, characters keep building and in doing so, they become more realistic and relatable with every event in the plot, no matter how minute or significant each experience or event may be. All of these skills are melded together to create a fantastic story to curl up with next to a fire and completely submerge yourself in the twisted minds of normal individuals.
There is nothing outwardly special about each character. No obvious hero types or high-moral preachers. No clear-cut villains or physical wars are being waged. Instead, we get to know these people almost as we would in real life. Slowly, carefully, little details here and there combined with behavior and thoughts. These characters develop and mold into true people with thoughts, issues, and solutions.
A lot happens in these few hundred pages. Many lives are unveiled and a lot of truly personal and intimate details are revealed. Just like in real life, the characters are all different. And yet equally as realistic, these people we meet are no different from many others, each having their qualities and personalities, flaws and issues, dreams and failures, losses and successes.
Today we have a short review of what my book tour group calls a “Quick Bite”. These are short stories that take little time to read but still fit in the horror/suspense/thriller genre. Once a month we get the option of asking for that month’s “Quick Bite” and the opportunity to review it. This month we had a very intriguing tale that is only about eight pages long.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with our character. Our main character has no name. There is no solid description of them to form that image in the mind of the reader. You get little tidbits here and there, but nothing to form a complete image of a real person. And yet, we quickly realize that this main character is also the narrator. Written in an almost stream-of-consciousness manner, the author takes us inside the head of this character and the prison cell they are in. And then it just kind of takes off on its own.
I found the story to be quite entertaining and it had a constant grasp on me. I liked the kind of anonymity that the character has while still being someone absolutely relatable. I can typically read about a page per minute on average. I got through this eight-page story in just about five minutes.
There are so many seemingly random oddities in the dialogue but I assure you, these comments for a very clear picture when put together and put with the context. I must admit, while it takes a lot to shock me and I wasn’t really “shocked”, some of the comments and dialogue in this story caught me a little of guard. Now, for me, that just adds to the fun of the story and the whole feeling of suspense, and that need to know what happens next and where all of it is going.
This was all that is in the summary I got:
“Prison time hangs heavy. Prison life is not kind. There is a [sic] corruption in it. There is no redemption.
But everyone needs a break. Everyone needs a friend.”
But, that was enough for my interest to be genuinely piqued. And it is a unique writing style that doesn’t show up very often. That makes for a new kind of fresh type of reading experience.
My only struggle was that there were no quotation marks around the lines of dialogue. It was a little confusing to follow but not difficult and certainly not impossible. But the actual formatting of the piece which was all left justified and did not always have those few “return” lines between paragraphs to space them out coupled with the missing quotation marks for dialogue did sometimes make me stumble a little here and there through the story. Meaning that I would have to go back and re-read certain parts to make sure I was fully understanding who was saying what to whom and from where and at what time. But that is my only criticism.
I like the content of the story and the way the character was written. I think on that front, which is the most important of all, did a fantastic job. This is even a short story that I will be reading more than once. I enjoyed it that much. It gave that perfect combination of a chill crawling up your spine and a devious smile of satisfaction at the same time.
This would be a fabulous quick read for any fan of any aspect of the horror genre.
About The Author
Carly Rheilan was born in Malta and lives in the UK. She was educated at Oxford University (which she hated and left) and then at Brunel (a small-town technological university where she stayed for a Ph.D.). She is a psychiatric nurse. She has done research into criminal justice and taught in universities. She has children of her own and has also fostered children with mental health problems. She has worked many years in the NHS, in secure units and prisons.
Get your copy at the link below:
Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/SuspendedAnimation
This book was an interesting compilation of unsolved crimes that span over several years and include a variety of crimes. These are real cold cases that have never been solved. The purpose of this book is to give the reader all the available information and let them decide what they think happened. I would have to say though this book was very interesting and informative, it is not for those who need conclusion when reading or watching films, stuff like that. If not knowing what happened is going to bother you then you probably aren’t going to like this book.
However, if you don’t mind the absence of conclusion and you enjoy true crime then you would most likely find this book intriguing to read, just as I did.
The author has gone to great lengths to present all the facts of each case in a well-written narrative format, telling the reader a story as they learn all about the case. Just like with anything heavy with details and loads of information there are just a few small dry moments where the book gets just a tiny bit boring but they don’t last but a few paragraphs here and there.
Overall, I liked this book. It was very captivating learning about all these new cases that remain unsolved. We mostly just hear about the cases that get closed and the people that get arrested. To me, this book was a nice mix between the flow of fiction and the truth of a textbook, melded together to make for one entrancing read.
The Best New True Crime Stories:
Partners in Crime
Book 5 in series of 5
As most of my readers know, I am very interested in true crime. Human behavior and their reasons for said behavior fascinate me. So far, this book makes the third that I have read of the five currently available in this series. So far, each installment in the series has been incredibly interesting, very thought-provoking, and fairly disturbing at times.
In this particular collection, we have a vast array of types of crimes. These crimes include acts such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault, and more. The one thing all of the dastardly deeds described in these pages is that for each crime there was a pair of perpetrators, not a single person. This focus on various atrocities committed by people that not only partner together to commit these acts but also feed off of each other and thrive on being together and involved with each other in each crime.
This book shows that some people while fairly harmless individually can become something dark and dangerous when paired with the right person. Somehow some people just have chemistry that drives them into the depths of depravity together as one solid unit. Apart from and without each, other these offenders probably wouldn't have ever ventured to hurt another. But together? Together they can combine to become a very lethal and formidable duo.
And still, some of the cases presented show us that when bad people pair up with other bad people they can behave worse than before. They can embolden each other, challenge each other, push and pull at egos and insecurities. Whatever it takes to get what they want.
I once heard something to the effect of 'when two damaged people come together no matter how much they love each other you can expect more damage'. Now, I don't know if that is truly 100% correct but the cases laid out in this collection certainly show that the people who were already on a bad path seemed to only exacerbate that by joining together with another damaged person. (I'm not talking about normal dysfunctional kind of damage. I'm talking about people who already lack moral psychology, have a skewed measurement of right and wrong, and who have already forgone the basics of humanity.)
While perpetrating their violations upon innocent victims each of these pairs were willing participants with no regard for anyone or anything, nor did they have any real concern about any consequences that may arise from their criminality. They become very wrapped up in each other and almost seem to live through their crimes in a fantasy world where nothing bad can happen to them and there will be the fairytale ending where they live happily together forever and ever. But the reality is very different.
I found this book to be just as interesting as the other two that I have read. I like that each case is written by a different author. This gives the reader a variety of writing styles to keep the information stimulating and appealing. This is also a valuable way of letting the stories be told in different voices. Each person, especially authors and true storytellers, tells their account of the events in their own way. Some people are more fact-based. Others are more descriptive with vivid imagery created for the reader. Some are a combination of storyteller types. But we all have our own voice.
Furthermore, the cases are from all over the world at different times in the past. It's not just current crimes or crimes committed in just one region. Again, this is a technique that is beneficial to the reader as it exposes them to events they may not have otherwise known about or even thought to research. There were several cases in this edition of this series that piqued my interest and I made notes to try to find even more information in addition to the large number of facts already presented to me.
For the true-crime buffs, this is one you will definitely want to read. It's not filled with horror and gore, although yes there are many appalling tragic events detailed. But it truly is more of a written documentary of people who, when they paired up, were nothing but bad news, detailing their crimes and histories, both personal histories and each couple's histories leading up to their crimes. I hope this series continues to grow. I'm very anxious to see what special subset of criminals Szereto chooses to educate us about next.
Click HERE to purchase your copy now!
This novel was one of the books I chose to review from the Blackthorn Tour group. This was a novel that I enjoyed reading. This story is, in my opinion, a new take on typical paranormal activity mixed with the kind of slow but steady suspense that keeps you turning page after page. There were a number of nights that stayed up way later than I should have just to keep reading.
There are a few instances where the author gets a little long-winded, very similar to the style of Stephen King in the novel IT. There were more than just a couple of areas where the author repeats the same information multiple times, almost as if it were some sort of reminder or recap, which is fine but, not necessary.
I also felt that the length of the novel was a little long for the actual story content it possesses. I felt that there was a significant portion of the background and filler content that could have simply been omitted and the story would have been just as impactful, if not even more so. Other parts of this kind of content could have been condensed to avoid repeating the information so much. Plus, I found the characters a little, I don’t know, disjointed maybe. They seemed hard to relate to a lot of the time. Even though their personalities where well represented by their dialogue, the rest of the details about the characters seemed kind of faint and eventually seemed to get lost in the body of the plot.
All that being said, I did enjoy the story. I found the descriptive and creative writing completely conveyed the shattering imagery that left vivid and often very eerie pictures in my mind as I read on. This talent alone made the story worth reading. However, I must say that for pure horror lovers I think this novel is a fifty-fifty shot as to whether it will be well received in that audience. I think this would be more popular in the suspense/thriller drama type of genre.