My Top 5 Scary Movies

Last week I blogged about my top five favourite scary books. This week it’s the turn of the silver screen. I love a good horror movie. There’s nothing to beat going to the cinema and sharing a “jump” with the audience, inevitably followed by a wave of nervous laughter. Although I love the genre, it takes a lot for me to feel really scared and while my choices may not make me afraid to turn the light out, they never fail to leave me with a satisfied smile. Hannibal I love Silence of the Lambs. It’s a wonderful film and a great book too, but I have always preferred the sequel. Partly, it’s the setting. Florence has rarely looked more lovely than under the expert eye of Ridley Scott. The colours are lush: dark reds, ochres and browns give the film a richness that’s...

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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...

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The Perfect Family

In the best traditions of Christmas, I’ve written a ghost story. The subject matter is very delicate so I think it only fair to issue some trigger warnings. If you have suffered from infertility, miscarriage or SIDS, you may find the following distressing.   The Perfect Family Joe had left her after the second baby. Two kids under three could be a handful, she acknowledged that. But being pregnant was so wonderful; to feel another being growing inside you, to watch your body change over the months, to experience the awe and magic when the baby arrived. Besides, being a mother was all that she knew how to do. It’s all she ever wanted. While other girls at school dreamed of their futures they’d mention pop stars and actors, but they’d also talk about...

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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...

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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...

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