Wednesday, June 28, 2017

OTHERS & ODDITIES by Edward Lorn

In WHAT THE DARK BRINGS, Edward Lorn shared stories of hope, heartache, and horror.

Now Lorn returns with tales of terror, temptation, and treachery.

Water monsters, werewolves, leprechauns, and killer toilets are but a few of the OTHERS & ODDITIES you will find here.

Meet you on the other side.

I am a huge fan of Edward Lorn, so I don't know how I missed on out reading this collection of 14 short stories when it was first released. It does contain 2 stories that I have read previously, "Crawl" and "Trailer" which I believe may still be available in the Amazon kindle lending library (which is where I found them at the time)

My absolute favorites in this collection, in no particular order are ..

"Cinder Block" Because I have a soft spot for twisted tales of dysfunctional families.

"Crawl" An unhappy couple are about to separate. Perhaps that separation would have been temporary, or perhaps this trip would have led to eventual divorce, had it not been interrupted by the horror they encounter during their travels.

"Blah -Doop" Because it reminded me of a childhood fear I had long since forgotten and now I'll probably have nightmares. As a small child I was terrified to flush the toilet at night. I don't even know why, other than it was always so deathly quiet at night  when everyone else was sleeping but the toilet was a monster of a throne that made a monster of a noise when flushed. I remember holding the handle with one hand and opening the door with the other so I could be ready to run like hell back to my room before the noise finished. I felt like something was going to get me if I was not in my room before the sound stopped. Now I know.. there IS something in the toilet and it doesn't care if you make noise or not it can get you anyway. Blah doop!

"Trailer" After having extricated herself and her young son from an abusive situation a woman is on the run in her junky car on a cold winter's night.
As junk cars are prone to do, just when you need them most, hers breaks down in the snow. They seek shelter in an abandoned trailer which is not as empty as it appeared to be.

"Full Moon Over Cedar Hill" Finds Peter Hoskins wasting away in a nursing home, forgotten by his family after having suffered a stroke 3 years ago and basically waiting to die. When shrieks of terror and agony begin to fill the halls, it looks like Peter's wait may be coming to an end.

"What Comes Around Goes Around" A woman's plans to do away with her children and start a new life with her child hating boyfriend go awry.

"Just Short of Paradise" What if the holier than thou bible thumpers don't really know best?

"The Scare Rows" There's a new Halloween attraction setting up in town, and after reading this I don't think I'll ever be able to look a corn cob in the face again. Canned corn for me from now on. A funny, raunchy creepy Halloween tale.

4 out of 5 stars from me.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.

When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realizes she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.

A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorizing his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.

But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.

Happiness…and death.

The Lucky Ones is the terrifying new thriller from the #1 bestselling author of Follow You Home.

This is a brilliant thriller, told mainly from two different perspectives. On one hand we have the viewpoint of Ben, a soon to be divorced father trying to put his life back together. On the other hand we have a twisted serial killer with a warped philosophical sense of making people happy forever, by ending their lives when they are at their happiest. If he believes someone is a good person, worthy of happiness, they become a target. He skillfully manipulates their lives and the lives of those around them in order to make them happy. Ben, unfortunately is indeed a good man and the killer finds him deserving of happiness.
I was totally immersed in this fast paced story from page one. The action starts right away and never lets up. The suspense was nearly unbearable and made even more so by the fact that I cared about these characters. 5 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bone White by Ronald Malfi


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth by Ray Garton

First time in a digital format for this long sold-out limited edition novella!

Previously released as a special limited edition for Cemetery Dance Collectors Club members and long out-of-print, this collection features Ray Garton's most controversial religious horror stories that are sure to get him in trouble with someone. Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth is too over-the-top for a mass market publisher, but now is being made available by Ray for the ebook market. Be warned: This book is not for everyone, particularly the easily offended.

This volume will differ slightly from the Cemetery Dance edition in that two different stories are contained within. One of them, “Graven Image” has previously been released as a very limited chapbook from Cemetery Dance in 2007, with a print run of only 457 copies.

The stories contained within are:

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth
Graven Image
God's Work

I have been a Ray Garton  fan for decades, ever since my mother lent me her copy of "Live Girls." Since then I have devoured every novel he has published, at least the titles I was able to get ahold of, sometimes having to buy used copies of out of print titles but loving every word.
I was delighted to find this collection of stories available on kindle. Normally when reviewing short stories I would at this point discuss my favorites. I am unable to do that here. I am unable to choose any favorites, since every story is well worth 5 stars.
Now as far as the warning included, while this book is not for everyone, I can't really see any horror lover having a problem with it. Yes due to the central theme being organized religion and the hypocrisy sometimes involved, it will not be for everyone. You don't need to be an atheist to read this book, you just need a love of horror, a desire to be entertained, and an understanding that Ray's childhood experience in the Seventh Day Adventist Church did not leave him with happy memories.

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth tells the story of a good Christian woman, who raised a murderous son.
Graven Image brings to mind an old made for tv movie Trilogy of Terror.. but this time it's not an evil zuni doll, it's Christ on a cross purchased in a curio shop.
In God's Work a young Pastor tries to steer his congregation towards a less vengeful path.
Choices finds a happy family preparing to protest outside a women's health clinic the morning after a violent storm.
In Monsters a young man who has been harassed and ostracized  for not abiding the teachings of the church returns home.
Sinema  Is about a young boy being raised by his grandparents who suddenly finds himself getting extra special attention from Mr. Moser after finding the remains of a body in the woods.
In Punishments, a man returns to his home town after reading about the murder of the church organist whom he had not seen in 10 years.

5 out of 5 stars from me.