Book Review: Hidden by Pat Herbert

The year is 1935. Art connoisseur-cum-private investigator Felix Underwood is asked to find out what happened to Reggie Soper, a young solicitor who disappeared without trace 15 years previously.

Determined to help Charlotte Soper find her missing father, his investigations take him from the comfort of his Bond Street art emporium to the wilds of Yorkshire where he finds his presence among the village locals not entirely welcome.

Undaunted by the wall of silence surrounding him, he continues his search, finding a friend and help meet in Mavis, the landlady of the inn where he lodges. Together, they uncover a nightmare; the full horror of which nothing has prepared them for.

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My Review

I have read several of Pat Herbert’s books but this one is my favorite so far.

Poor Reggie Soper has a run of bad luck once he meets Charlie Feathers, scoundrel, liar, and cheater. Reggie has every reason to dislike the man but has no idea how bad of a person Charlie truly is. I was horrified at how far things progressed because of Charlie.

It’s a shame that Elsa doesn’t have more faith in her husband, especially since she knows how he feels about his daughter. Elsa is one of those characters you can’t help but dislike. She could have prevented the horrific events that would take place.

Years later, when Reggie’s daughter Charlotte begins looking for him, it’s amazing how quickly things come together after she hires Felix Underwood. Given the darkness that reigned throughout the book, I was more than satisfied with the ending. This is definitely a book I recommend.

About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin. This is her 17th novel. In her novels, Pat likes to include all the hallmarks of British suspense thrillers including unpredictable characters, dark deeds, misdirection and misunderstandings, and at times, a touch of the mysterious.

Short Story Review: Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation by Mike Thorn

“Dreams of Lake Drukka” and “Exhumation” explore the unearthing of horrific, long-buried family secrets. Journeying into the darkest recesses of the past, these stories depict the dire consequences of discovering the truth.

Writing about this duology, author Mike Thorn says: “It was only in retrospect that I could see the connections between these two stories. When I revisited them for publication, it struck me that they work well as companion pieces. Both plots depict unfulfilled pacts with supernatural undercurrents, both include journeys to uncover unresolved familial trauma, and both pivot around the revelation of repressed memories. I wanted to explore the relationship between setting and atmosphere in these pieces, and to depict horror within internal and physical ‘sites of trauma.’ The characters are grappling with painful memories / experiences that have held them back, consciously or unconsciously. One story focuses on a character who is the agent of her own revelations, whereas the other story sees someone whose agency is quickly and brutally taken away.”

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation are for fans of horror. Both stories deal with family secrets and the consequences of actions in the past.

Dreams of Lake Drukka was my favorite of the two stories. Sharla insists that she and her sister Jeannette go to the lake where their mom drowned several years ago. She knows that something wasn’t right and needs to find out what actually happened. Or should she have just left it alone?

In Exhumation, Abel is attending his cousin’s funeral. He meets another man, Norm, who claims to be a cousin as well; but he has no recollection of Norm, probably because when he met him, it was during the years Abel was on drugs and alcohol. Norm insinuates that Abel was there when something terrible had happened to Alan, and even though Abel has no desire to found out what it was, he may have no choice.

This was a quick read but as a fan of horror, both stories definitely kept my interest.

About the Author

Mike Thorn is the author of Darkest Hours and Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Dark Moon DigestThe NoSleep PodcastTurn to Ash and Tales to Terrify. His film criticism has been published in MUBI NotebookThe Film StageThe Seventh RowBright Lights Film Journal and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Visit his website, follow him on Twitter or contact him by email.

Book Review: Legacy of a Corrupted Mind by Leanne Willowmoon and various authors

What if he invited them all to dinner to never show; instead, they will give him one final show…

​Nine guests find themselves around the dinner table awaiting E.A. Perry’s latest writing project announcement only to find that their host is crazed following the death of his beloved. And now, these guests will become the entertainment at the end of it all – a legacy to leave behind for a troubled and intriguing gentleman.​Enter the Victorian house of horrors where these strangers must work together to face the ultimate escape room if they wish to make it out alive. With rain pelting down around the manor, a night that never ends, and secrets they never wanted revealed, these unfortunate companions must solve puzzles, trudge through oceans of blood, and face the agony of their sins as they are trapped in a neverending tale spun by the master himself.

​What is real and what is not, and who will survive the stroke of ink on the final pages of Perry’s life? Fans of Edgar Allan Poe will be thrilled by this roller coaster ride of his characters brought to life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Legacy of a Corrupted Mind is different from anything I’ve read before. I was interested though because when I was a teen I had a book with the complete works of Poe. I find his works dark but intriguing, which pretty much sums up this book.

Legacy of a Corrupted Mind is a bit too long and although it’s good and kept my interest, I think the length may put off a lot of readers. I found it amazing that so many writers wrote the different parts and it was difficult to distinguish between them. The way it is set up with many of Poe’s characters invited to dinner is brilliant. And what their absent host puts them through on this neverending night is a fitting tribute to Poe’s works.

Short Story Review: Origins by S.M. Boyce

A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Short Story

Mel has a curse: she can see what’s invisible to most humans. We call them ghosts and demons. She calls them living nightmares.

When she was five, she had her own ghost. A good ghost. She swore to never leave his side, but over time, he scared her. She pushed him away. She broke her promise.

Now well into her twenties, Mel meets her old ghost again. And this time, he’s brought the darkness with him to prove his point…

…you don’t break a promise with a ghost.

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My Review

I chose to read this short story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This story is very short but still packs a punch. Mel promised her ghost when she was young that she’d always be his friend, but she broke her promise. Now she’s in her twenties and he has decided that he doesn’t want to be ignored any longer. Her good ghost isn’t so good anymore…

I’ve always liked S.M. Boyce’s writing and that’s still the case in Origins which gives a little background to her horror novel Ari. I haven’t read Ari yet but I’m going to have to find time to read it. I enjoy a well written horror story!

 

 

About the Author

When S. M. Boyce graduated with a degree in creative writing, she realized that made her well-qualified for serving French fries. It would take years of writing hundreds of thousands of words of all kinds before she became the fantasy and horror novelist she is today.

Boyce specializes in action-packed stories that weave in fantasy, mystery, and heroines with a knack for mischief. All romantic leads are based loosely on her husband, who proves that soulmates are real.

She has a deep love for ghosts, magic, and spooky things. If you’ve already finished her books, check out her blog or twitter feed for a dash of adventure.

Connect Online
Blog | Novels | YouTube | Amazon | Goodreads

Book Review: Big Bad Wolf by Nancy Gray

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Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared her and, lately, she has been having strange dreams about it that make it seem like it’s something more.

Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her, or worse, escapes the prison of the last creature it took to sate its horrible appetite.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Big Bad Wolf is a scary story for middle grade readers and I think it would at least send a chill down the spine of young readers. Jane is in middle school and gets the lead part in a play as Red Riding Hood. The wolf is an old stuffed wolf that was donated by a family and it scares her and gives her bad dreams.

Of course Jane tries to tell herself that she’s silly for being scared which is a normal reaction, but she finally gives in to the realization that something is very wrong and it’s more than her imagination. She eventually enlists the help of other students who also end up believing that the wolf is evil. Will they be able to get rid of the evil that lurks inside the wolf?

This is a good story for this time of year. Not only is it scary and a fun story to read but it touches a little on some Native American beliefs which may be of interest to readers. It’s definitely a story for middle grade readers and it could be one of those stories that will help get reluctant readers to pick up a book.

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About the Author

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her middle grade series Spine Chillers. She also published her YA fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.

Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Book Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.
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The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.
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For the sea was a fair master.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a mixture of stories that range from predictable to horrifying. I’d read one story and know how it was going to end. Then the next story I’d think, “I can’t believe that happened!” There are also love stories and tales of murder. My favorite story was about an android that has almost found a way to feel like humans do. Another one, Letting the Dead Grow, will stay with me for a while. It amazes me how Calvin Demmer can make the reader feel so much in so few words. I look forward to reading more of his work.

I read this book in one sitting but it would be a good one to have around when you just a few minutes to read here and there. I definitely recommend The Sea Was a Fair Master.  It’s a memorable book of short stories and if you like multiple genres, especially horror, you’ll enjoy it.

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About the Author

Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.