My Top 5 Horror Books

Do you like to be scared? Not the oh-my-gawd-there’s-a-madman-with-an-axe-chasing-me-down-the-corridor type of scared, but the ‘safe’ scare of a good horror film or book, the type of scare where the monster stays safely inside the cinema or the pages of your book? I do. While you’d never catch me on a rollercoaster, the thrill ride of literary or filmic horror is something I actively seek out. With this in mind, and in the belief that I’m not alone in this, I thought I’d share with you my top five favourite scary books and films. This post will be about the books and I’ll share my scary movies next week. The Opener of the Way by Robert Bloch This collection of short stories by the writer of Psycho scared me witless. One story involving scarab beetles, while...

Read More

West Seattle Blues by Chris Nickson

West Seattle Blues is the second outing for music journalist Laura Benton. Set several years after Emerald City, Laura is now married with a son who is almost walking and a husband in the book business. She still works, albeit not as much as she used to, writing reviews and doing occasional interviews. When the editor of The Rocket calls Laura and asks her to contact old country singer Carson Mack (great name), who thinks his life story would make a good book, Laura isn’t convinced. She goes to see Carson and when he realises she’s the one who solved the murder of Craig Adler, he convinces her to help him find the son he has never known. Of course, this book coming from the pen of crime writer Chris Nickson, murder and intrigue soon come knocking at Laura’s door...

Read More

The Quick by Lauren Owen

I love a book which conjures me away to a different time, a different life and The quick, the debut novel by Lauren Owen certainly ticks those boxes. Brother and sister James and Charlotte live in Yorkshire where, in the absence of parents (a dead mother and disinterested father), they are looked after by household staff. Charlotte, the elder of the two, teaches James to read and write and together they explore the sprawling grounds of their house. When their father dies the purse strings are tightened, and while Charlotte goes to live in reduced circumstances in a cottage on the grounds with Mrs. Chittering, their father’s relative, James is sent off to school and university. James’s ambition is to become a writer and he heads to London where he shares rooms...

Read More

Red Cells by Jeffrey Thomas

Dark Fuse is proving to be a great publisher of horror shorts and Red Cells by Jeffrey Thomas is no exception. Jeremy Stake is a shape-shifting PI who is doing time so his client he impersonates doesn’t have to. Stake is in no ordinary penitentiary: this future world, populated by aliens and mutants, has a unique solution to overcrowding in jail. They created a new prison in a pocket universe, held together by physics I don’t profess to understand. And when inmates start to disappear, or rather explode in a mass of red goo, Stake finds himself at the centre of an investigation where his skills aren’t really wanted. He soon begins to realise that people – and robots – are not what they seem and that they may not be alone in this man-made universe. I...

Read More

Horror Shorts

Fancy a short shot of horror? I have two books to recommend to you. In Broken Sigil by William Meikle Joe Connors is a cop who is called to investigate the death of his friend, Johnny Provan. Connor’s investigations soon unearth an affair between his friend and his late wife and when he visits the rooming house where Provan was living he begins to suspect that there are darker forces at work than just betrayal. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but if you can imagine the love child of Stephen King and Micky Spillane what you come up with might look a lot like this wonderfully dark, noir-esque horror. Meilkle offers hints of other worlds, human gatekeepers and the all important symbolism of the Maltese Falcon. A lovely, traditional horror I stayed awake to...

Read More

The Troop by Nick Cutter

I love horror films but it is rare that a book in the horror genre satisfies and excites as much as a good movie. The Troop by Nick Cutter is one of few to hit the mark. Set on a small uninhabited island off Prince Edward Island in Canada, a small group of scouts – Troop 52 – is dropped off with their scout master, local doctor Tim Riggs. The aim is to spend the weekend on the island, orienteering and practicing their survival skills. But when a man who is more cadaver than human and can’t stop eating arrives on the island, he brings with him an infection which threatens every living creature. What are the origins of the infection? Who will it attack next? And is there any way to escape it’s virulent clutches? Tagged as a cross between Lord of the...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest