Book Review; Boy In The Box- Marc E Fitch

Some secrets just won’t stay buried

 Publication date April 2020/ Publisher Flame Tree Press

GoodReads link

 

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Synopsis

Ten years ago a mysterious and tragic hunting accident deep in the Adirondack Mountains left a boy buried in a storied piece of land known as Coombs’ Gulch and four friends with a terrible secret. Now, Jonathan Hollis and brothers Michael and Conner Braddick must return to the place that changed their lives forever in order to keep their secret buried. What they don’t realize is that they are walking into a trap — one set decades earlier by a supernatural being who is not confined by time or place: a demon that demands a sacrifice.

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Review

It took me a while to really get into this novel. Not because it isn’t fantastic, the current world situation sucked up some of my reading motivation. Once I really forced myself to sit down and get into this I absolutely loved it!

I’m always an easy win over when it comes to horror set in the wilderness, and Boy In The Box gives us exactly that.
Three former friends return to the forest to move the body of a child they murdered years before. Buried in the wilderness, all have suffered the guilt and trauma of their decision throughout their lives and now discover a planned redevelopment may uncover their mistake.

I didn’t find any of the men particularly likeable, but in this story I didn’t think it a necessity.  I can’t tell you much without spoiling the surprise.
Told mostly through the perspective of main character Jonathan with additions from his son and friend Michael, we join them on a terrifying journey through the snow, but they aren’t alone…

Maybe it was just my current temperament, or maybe the pacing does start out a little slow. Either way the tension ratchets up as the novel takes a surprising supernatural turn.

I definitely recommend and will be looking out for Marc E Fitch in future.

Perfect for fans of Nevill’s The Ritual.

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Book Review; Those Who Came Before- JH Moncrieff

People are dying at Strong Lake and the worst is yet to come…

Page Count 256

 Publication date October 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press

GoodReadsLink

 

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Synopsis;

An idyllic weekend camping trip is cut short when Reese Wallace’s friends are brutally murdered. As the group’s only survivor, Reese is the prime suspect, and his story doesn’t make much sense. A disembodied voice warning him to leave the campground the night before? A strange, blackened tree that gave him an electric shock when he cut it down for firewood?

Detective Greyeyes isn’t having any of it―until she hears the voice herself and finds an arrowhead at the crime scene―an arrowhead she can’t get rid of. Troubling visions of a doomed Native American tribe who once called the campground home, and rumors of cursed land and a mythical beast plague the strangest murder case she’s ever been a part of.

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Book Review; Slash- Hunter Shea

The Wraith Is Back!

Page Count 256

 Publication date October 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press

GoodReadsLink

 

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Synopsis;

Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith.

With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims. The Wraith is back, and he’s not what they expected.

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Blog Tour; They Kill – Tim Waggoner

What are you willing to become to save someone you love?

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

Publication Date: July 2019

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Synopsis

What are you willing to do, what are you willing to become, to save someone you love?
On the one-year anniversary of his death in a terrible car accident, Sierra Sowell’s brother Jeffrey is resurrected by a mysterious man known only as Corliss.
Corliss also transforms several people in Sierra’s life into inhuman monsters…
…Each of these people harbor grudges against Sierra, sparks of anger and resentment which Corliss fans into murderous flames…
Sierra and Jeffrey’s boyfriend Marc work to discover the reason for her brother’s return to life while struggling to survive attacks by the monstrous quartet whose only desire is to see her dead…
After the monsters carve a bloody swath through town – and each other – Corliss gives Sierra a chance to make Jeffrey’s resurrection permanent: if she’s willing to make a dreadful bargain.
Can she do what it will take to save her brother, no matter how much blood is shed along the way? Or will she allow him to return to the land of the dead and perhaps join him there?
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Review

They Kill has a very fluent pace, written in 3rd person, each character links to the next in either minor or major ways. The length of their own storylines are comparable to their contribution to the story. Some are short chance encounters whilst others are relations, colleagues and neighbours.
The way Waggoner tied all the characters together with one demonic man wreaking havoc in various chaotic scenarios reminded me of King’s Needful Things.

Occasional use of disturbing imagery includes a particularly rancid scene involving a drinking fountain. You’ll get a good stomach churn from the sex scenes too, they were uncomfortable and a little skeevy I felt.

I was never really invested in any particular characters or the story line. Sierra’s devastation over the loss of her brother was mentioned often but never really described in a way that ellicited enough emotion for my liking. It was just a tool to create the scenario and that showed.

The supernatural abilities of Corliss made him much less frightening. For me he was more of a fantasy character, and whilst I do enjoy fantasy it’s not what I expected from a Flame Tree Press title.
As well as being telepathic, Corliss travels by ripping holes in time and space. This along side his blackest black coat, long blonde hair and pointy fingers made him a resounding stereotype of the evil found in 90s entertainment. Unfortunately this robbed me of the tension Waggoner tries to build.

‘The Gyre’ and Corliss’ purpose are semi-explained in passing, I felt this either needed a lot more depth or to be omitted entirely. The same could be said of the monsters- acquaintances in Sierra’s life. Aside from Jeffery himself, none of them had a particularly strong bond with Sierra and so it seemed odd that they should all be hell bent on her destruction.

If you like silly horror then this is one for you. I think fans of Janz work would definitely enjoy Waggoner. Unfortunately I didn’t.

TW rape, child abuse, alcoholism.

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I received a copy of this title from Flame Tree Press in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks to Anne Cater.

Blog Tour Review; Chop Shop – Andrew Post

Sometimes running a business can cost an arm and a leg. Literally.

Page Count 256

Publication date June 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press

Good Reads link

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Synopsis:

Amber Hawthorne and Jolene Morris, business partners and roommates at the Hawthorne Funeral Home, are drowning in debt. People are complaining about the makeup jobs they’re giving deceased loved ones–the word clownish has been used–and both young women have a little trouble keeping their partying habits in line. 

When they start selling body parts on the black market to keep their business alive (Jolene much more reluctantly than Amber), their new buyers seem friendly and trustworthy enough at first. That is until the dead gangster they’ve recently parted up turns out to have been full of disease. Now Amber and Jolene’s buyers want something else to make up for lost profits, leaving the two undertakers to learn sometimes running your own business can cost you an arm and a leg. Literally.

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review; Chop Shop – Andrew Post”