Monday, November 29, 2021

Nocturnal Pursuits by by Glenn Rolfe

Glenn Rolfe (Blood and Rain and August’s Eyes) is back with a new collection of deliciously frightening, thought-provoking horror. Whether dealing with werewolves in “The Dead Brother Situation”, a vicious cult in “The Devil’s Kin”, an evil doll in the Splatterpunk Award-nominated “Molly”, or gut-wrenching loss in “Gone Away”, these fifteen dark tales promise to entertain, cause your skin to crawl, and make you feel a little more.

Nocturnal Pursuits takes you on a journey into the heart of an author both obsessed with and afraid of the macabre. Be it a suicide woods, a crazed gas station attendant, or neighborhood enigma throwing a party, you won’t soon forget these encounters.

When the shadows fall upon the day and the living are fast asleep, Glenn Rolfe is wide-awake wrestling with aliens, demons, and the ghosts that take up the dark corners of his mind. You’ve been invited. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Don't let the title lull you into a false sense of security when the sun rises. The danger is everywhere, on land and in the water. You are just as likely to encounter evil in the dark of night as you are in a daycare or a fishing trip. You may not even be able to identify who the bad guy is or where the source of danger will come from until it's too late. It's a trap. Trust nothing and no-one. My favorites were The Guide, which is one of the more milder stories, less about terror and more about loss. You Can Have It All Back in which a terminally ill woman on hospice care begins to hear a voice. Out Of Range is a great example of not knowing where the danger will come from, and having no way to prepare or protect yourself. Kelvin's World is revenge with a twist.
If you love short horror stories as much as I do, this book is for you. Nocturnal Pursuits is full of murderous surprises.

4 out of 5 stars
I received an advance copy for review.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

A Nest of Nightmares by Lisa Tuttle

 In Lisa Tuttle’s stories, the everyday domestic world of her female protagonists is invaded by the bizarre, the uncanny, the horrific. In ‘Bug House’, a woman who goes to visit her aunt is shocked to find she is dying – but even more shocking is what is killing her. The divorcing couple in ‘Community Property’ arrive at a macabre solution for how to divide ownership of a beloved pet. In ‘Flying to Byzantium’, a writer travelling to a science fiction convention finds herself caught in a strange and terrifying hell. The thirteen tales in this collection are highly original and extremely chilling, and they reveal Tuttle to be a master of contemporary horror fiction.

Never before published in the United States and highly sought-after by collectors, A Nest of Nightmares (1986) is a classic of modern horror. This new edition features the original paperback cover art by Nick Bantock and a new introduction by Will Errickson.

First off Happy Thanksgiving to those in the USA
This is likely to be my only review this week due to the baking frenzy I'm currently in. My reading time has been drastically reduced at the moment.

I love that Valancourt Books is re-releasing all these great horror classics from the 70s and 80s. I have been on a mission to read the ones I have missed the first time around. If you also missed out or were too young back in the heyday of horror I strongly recommend checking out all that is available from Valancourt.
A Nest of Nightmares contains 13 short stories originally published in 1986. They feel surprisingly timeless other than one person's desperate need to make a phone call which made that particular story feel dated, though anyone who survived the years without a cell phone will still understand what it was like to not have constant and instant access to make a call.
The stories are quite dark and more than one tale focuses on the dissolution of a relationship, where the horror is perhaps the feeling of being left out, abandoned, forgotten and lost. There is the conventional creature feature type horror, and haunted objects and a weirdly current feeling in the  tale of a woman looking forward to the fence she's heard they are building to keep people from getting into the country from Mexico. There were only a couple of stories that missed the mark with me. I would recommend this to all who enjoy short horror stories with unexpected endings.
4 out of 5 stars

About the author
Lisa Tuttle taught a science fiction course at the City Lit College, part of London University, and has tutored on the Arvon courses. She was residential tutor at the Clarion West SF writing workshop in Seattle, USA. She has published six novels and two short story collections. Many of her books have been translated into French and German editions. She has also written under the name Maria Palmer.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Legend of the Dogman by David C. Posthumus


Something dark and malevolent stalks the majestic Northwoods of Michigan, and each corpse sends a new wave of terror through the small town of LeRoy. Anthropology professor Jack Allen uncovers a pattern of strange encounters, disappearances, and unsolved murders that shake him to his core. The deeper Jack delves into the horror in the woods, the more his life falls apart around him. With his family and all of Northern Michigan hanging in the balance, Jack must find a way to stop the cycle or risk losing everything to the ultimate predator. Meet a new kind of monster in David C. Posthumus’s bone-chilling suspenseful thriller, The Legend of the Dogman! 

The legend of the Dogman goes back for centuries. Whether anyone believes in it or not it doesn't stop the sightings and carnage that occur in every year that ends in a seven.
The bodies are starting to pile up in LeRoy. Mutilated animals and massacred humans are being discovered at an alarming rate. Is there a crazed murderer on the loose or could there be a monster afoot?
Part family saga, part supernatural horror this chilling read kept me turning the pages late into the night. There were some spots were the pace was a little slow for my taste but I loved the whole family dynamic and how what happened with Jack as a child shaped the man he has become. Family is everything to him and he will need their help to deal with this threat. Who will survive the Legend of the Dogman?

4 out of 5 stars
I received an advance copy under no obligation to write a review.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Waiting by Hunter Shea


Newlywed Cassandra Pagano lies in a state between life and death, her body fed and preserved by the machines at her side. While she struggles, unaware of the world around her, someone waits a boy. A phantom that appears solid, real, "alive." Cassandra s husband, Brian, sees him in the house, by her bedside, running down darkened hallways. The boy walks without sound, whispers words that can t be deciphered.

Terror and tension are driving Brian to the breaking point. Why is the boy there, and what does he want with Cassandra and her fading soul?

A newlywed suffering a deadly infection is rushed to the hospital from her wedding reception. The prognosis is looking pretty bleak and the husband decides that if she has any chance of recovery it will be in their new home instead of the cold sterile hospital.
He brings her home, where he and her mother attempt to care for her along with a visiting nurse.
What he doesn't know, is the history of his new home or why a ghostly apparition of a boy begins to appear.
This was a quick read, more sad than scary, more emotional than chilling, until suddenly the ending gave me a solid case of the heebie jeebies. 

4 out of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher under no obligation to write a review.