#Bookreview Final Girls by Riley Sager #horror #thriller #Netgalley

Quincy Carpenter is the sole survivor of a killing spree that took place ten years ago at Pine Cottage. The press have dubbed her A Final Girl putting her in an exclusive group of three girls who have survived similar ordeals. However, when one of the girls is found dead Quincy is shaken, however her world starts to unravel when the third shows up.

This story is told from Quincy’s point of view in the present with flash backs to ten years ago told in the third person. It seems increasingly likely that Quincy is an unreliable narrator the more you get into the story but all my hunches and predictions fell by the wayside as I read this intriguing thriller.

A definite page turner that will give you goosebumps once you overlook the premise that there are only three female sole survivors of crimes of this nature, who could be dubbed Final Girls in a continent as large as the USA.

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#BookReview Scare Me by Richard Parker #Thriller

​This gruesome thriller starts off very well at a good pace and I found myself reading the plight of Will Frost with my heart in my throat. Will is rung at midnight and directed to Google himself, on doing so he finds himself looking at a website showing his home and pictures of other homes he must go to in order to pick up clues to find the whereabouts of his abducted pregnant daughter, Libby.

Each of the homes contains a scene more gruesome and Will races against time to find his daughter whilst his wife tries to find out who could be behind this game of abduction and blackmail. I found the pace slowing midway through the book and if it wasn’t for the plot twist in the last quarter of the book I would have found the book gorey but uneventful.

Overall after I finished this read I found myself wanting more, there was a distinct lack of suspense and terror, which made this an enjoyable but average read for me. This is the first book from this author and I would pick up his next to see how he comes along. 

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#BookReview Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill #Sundayblogshare #Horror

​Aging has-been rock star, Judas Coyne has a taste for the macabre, so can’t resist when he is made aware of a ghost for sale on an online auction site. Predictably he buys the ghost, but soon finds out the ghost in question is full of vengeance and is coming for Coyne and those around him. 

I found this horror quite a satisfying read, it is a ghost story that keeps coming at you and won’t let go. Alongside the suspense and horror I particularly enjoyed reading about the two dogs Coyne owns in the book who were substantial characters in their own right. 

There were points in the book where the pace of the story seemed to falter but overall it was a good horror read. 

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Book Review: The History Major by Michael Phillip Cash

​This unusual read will divide readers, as Amanda Greene, a freshman in her first week at college wakes up to find everything she has known changed. She encounters a stranger as her roommate and finds she has been enrolled in a history class she is forced to attend. The resulting nightmare leaves her as confused as the reader as to what is happening to her, but fortunately there is some explanation to the surreal images she experiences.

This short read is not a thriller in the traditional sense but more of an exploration of where we go in the afterlife and the inbetween. I am not a regular reader of this author’s work but I found this short read different and thought provoking. 

If you’re looking for something out of the norm and enjoy the mystery horror genre then this one might have been written for you. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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Book Review: The Devil’s Serenade by Catherine Cavendish

​Maddie inherits a gothic manor when her aunt dies and decides to move in to begin her life afresh after her divorce. But her memories of spending her summer’s with her aunt at the house stop abruptly when she reached sixteen and after a few strange occurrences after she has moved in, Maddie wonders what secrets the spooky house holds.

A haunted house story of epic proportions, which had me on the edge of my seat from the start. The atmospheric horror and suspense throughout the first part of the book is well written and the second half does not disappoint as we are introduced to the more malevolent characters of the story. 

As Maddie pieces her memories together through truth of her childhood begins to emerge but can she break the spell the house has cast for generations.

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Book Review: End of Watch (Bill Hodges Book 3) by Stephen King

Five years after the end of Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Book 2), The Mercedes Killer, Bradley Hartsfield has been in a neurology rehabilitation ward. Not expected to survive his injuries, Hartsfield continues to live in a state that allows him to avoid prosecution. However, rumours of strange occurrences in his room are rife and Bill Hodges is not convinced Hartsfield is as helpless as he’s making out.

When more deaths occur, Hodges is convinced something isn’t right but can Hartsfield really be responsible when he’s unable to do basic things for himself?

As much as I enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy, I found this third one harder to take seriously. However, if I buy into the premise of hypnosis and subliminal messaging etc, this is an entertaining read to say the least, but it wasn’t particularly scary. Horrifying from the point of view of what Hartsfield tried to achieve but not chill inducing, goosebumps giving, hair-raisingly scary.

I may have wanted to love this book and certainly for a lot of the main characters this was a dignified end, but I felt it dragged a little too much as the plot tries to sweep us away with possibility, almost on the point of over-labouring it.

Despite my reservations after reading the book, I could not have passed on it after reading and enjoying the first two. However, my quest for a hair-raising read will continue.

Links To Book
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#BookReview The Evil Inside by Philip Taffs #bookbloggers

I was kindly provided with a review copy of this book by Booklover Catlady Publicity in exchange for review.

A young family move to New York to make a clean start after tragic events, but their new start is tainted by events none of them can put behind them. The results are for all in the family to decline mentally as communication and relationships become strained. Can the family endure and come through the challenges of a new country intact?

I felt a bit disappointed by this horror read once I had finished it, mainly due to the fact I severely disliked Guy Russell, who had, in my opinion, very few redeeming qualities and didn’t seem particularly committed to his family or his job, rather just his own hedonistic existence.

I didn’t find the story scary or particularly spooky and to me this read more like a psychological thriller than a horror, even though I didn’t feel the author had a particularly great grasp of psychology to call this a psychological thriller.

The positive of this book was that I was intrigued enough to be curious as to how the story would end to actually read it to the end, but I will be making a point to do more research before I accept a book as a real horror read on face value again.

Links To Book:
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#BookReview The Mourning Doll by Karen Joyce Kay #TuesdayBookBlog

A mild historical horror, set in the Victorian era, Sir Lincoln Rineheart is an academic and part of the nobility, which he secretly despises. At a time where chartists are raising uproar and the archaic values of the ruling classes are fighting to hold on to their superiority a cynical Lincoln is called upon to mediate when his cousin is to marry.

An unfortunate death in the would-be groom’s family changes the circumstances of the marriage and Lincoln finds himself being gently propelled in the direction of the stunning Lady Madeline.

However, there appears to be what seems like an apparition of a dark haired woman, clad in an expensive red dress that appears at the start of the book and is known to drive away staff from Lady Madeline’s ancestral home. The afterlife is a particular interest of Lincoln and he cannot help but be beguiled by this dark haired beauty and sets on a course to unravel the mystery of this unknown woman.

With much detailing of the Victorian background, this novel really does show off the extensive research the author must have done prior to writing this book. However, as much as I enjoyed the way the scenes were set and the details of each character’s life shared, it diluted the horror factor for me.

Any impetus generated by the opening scenes of a dark Victorian manor in the early hours of the morning and a frightened governess unable to sleep was lost in the the heavily laden chapters that followed.

I like historical fiction thrillers and I like horror stories, I just wish the author had decided which one was more important in the telling of this story.

The characters undoubtedly were well written and it was easy to become invested in them, especially Lincoln who is a man of contradictions and very conflicted about the world he lives in.

Overall I found myself easily lost within the pages of Victorian England but my need to be frightened or spooked was disappointing unmet at the end of this book.

Links To Book:
This book appears to have been retitled The Montague Manor and is part of The Lincoln Series, which can be read for free by Kindle Unlimited subscribers available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
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Book Review: Shadow Menagerie by Michael Ayoob

A down and out town past the glory days of its steel industry is run by corrupt officials, who are brought an opportunity for rebirth, regrowth and recovery. However, the opportunity is vengeance disguised.

Regina is an adopted child as her single father struggles to bring her up, she finds herself suspended from school and discovers the history of the town they live in and an anomaly she cannot explain that haunts her.

The two stories about the town officials and Regina merge, as this horror gathers speed and you wonder what will happen to the town and Regina. As horrors go, this isn’t a bad read at all and I was rooting for things to work out for Regina and her small family.

An interesting read and my first from this author. I would be interested in reading more horror titles from Michael Ayoob.

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#BookReview Father of Lies: A Darkly Disturbing Occult #Horror Trilogy Book 1 by SE England

Mysterious psychiatric patient, Ruby, is being held and treated but a diagnosis hasn’t been reached and therapy has been ineffective, leading her psychiatrist, Dr Jack McGowan, to consider hypnosis. The therapy has detrimental effects on him and his team. When fellow psychiatrist, Dr Kristy Silver, learns about Ruby she sees the similarities between her case and one of another patient from the same small village of Woodsend.

Pursuing the lead Kristy finds herself challenging her beliefs and perceptions as she finds sheer terror as the result of her investigations.

Going by the description of this book it has an intriguing premise and sounded like an amazing horror read but, in hindsight, having just finished the book, it has a number of sticking points for me.

Firstly, there are a host of characters and the story is told from multiple points of view and from multiple points in time, which invariably leads to overlap and made the plot difficult to follow at times.

Characters such as Jack and Celeste seemed to be put front and centre then discarded once they had told their part, without any real resolution. This book was crying out for a decent editor.

There was more telling than showing and to give the author props, she did write the spooky horror element of this book really well, but just didn’t deliver a satisfying conclusion, mainly because there is another book in the series. The story seemed to be told clinically without much emotion in places.

The ending left me frustrated as we still don’t really know who Ruby is, the mystery behind the Father of Lies continues and I’m not sure I want to invest more time to be disappointed by another ending in book two as I’m told this is a trilogy.

It’s been a while since I have felt this conflicted about a book, especially a horror book, as horror is my favourite genre. No doubt more dark secrets are to come in the series I just wish I could count on the next part of the story being effectively told. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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