Review: ‘3 Minutes’ by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström

3 Minutes by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström
Quercus (July 2017)
432 pages; $18.35 hardback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Now for something quite different: a Nordic thriller set in South America. While several Scandinavian authors continue to invade the bookshelves of American readers, almost all of them are set in those countries, which isn’t a bad thing. Unknown settings make for exciting reads. Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström have exploded onto the scene, most recently with 3 Seconds, and here, with the sequel, 3 Minutes. Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Best of Subterranean’ edited by William Schafer

The Best of Subterranean edited by William Schafer
Subterranean Press (July 2017)
752 pages; $37.74 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

In what is already being looked back on as a groundbreaking ten-year run, Subterranean magazine published a staggering array of stories featuring one elite, award-winning author after another. Three years after the last issue was published, The Best of Subterranean arrives as an overdue celebration of one our finest, most lamented genre magazines.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Black Mad Wheel’ by Josh Malerman

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman
Ecco (May 2017)
304 pages; $17.29 hardback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

When Bird Box hit the horror scene three years ago, something special happened. Readers discovered a new voice, one which was lyrical and rhythmic but could also turn brutal on the next page. Josh Malerman wrote like a musician carving away at an album of great songs.The result was a true original which should have won the Bram Stoker award.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Dark Tower: The Art of the Film’

The Dark Tower: The Art of the Film text by Daniel Wallace
Scribner (July 2017)
208 pages; $27.19 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Some might view books like The Dark Tower: The Art of the Film as big, expensive brochures for upcoming movies, but for me they’ve always provided a fascinating glimpse into the process of bringing these large-scale extravaganzas to our screens. Even when they come from the kind of rich source material of, say, an eight-book series written by Stephen King, there’s a lot of designing and refining that goes into the look of a movie like The Dark Tower. This volume gives us a glimpse of that, but I’ll confess that it left me wanting much, much more.Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews ‘The Dark Tower’

I was fortunate enough to see The Dark Tower on Tuesday evening at the Bangor Mall Cinemas 10, an event sponsored by Zone Radio. The audience was filled with people who won tickets from the station. In addition to getting a chance to see the film early, attendees also won some King-related merchandise as door prizes, including Dark Tower novel sets, audio books and signed ARCs of the final three volumes in the series. Dark Tower t-shirts were flung into the audience, too.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Boy’s Night: An Extreme Horror’ by Wrath James White and Matt Shaw

Boy’s Night: An Extreme Horror by Wrath James White and Matt Shaw
CreateSpace (June 2017)

91 pages, $7.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I generally dig Wrath James White. Both The Ressurectionist and 400 Days of Oppression held sly, unique takes on what usually qualifies as “Hardcore” or “Extreme” horror. I don’t really know anything about Matt Shaw, but this is the book Amazon dumped from their catalog until the cover was redesigned, so I had to buy it, though it has been returned with a different cover.

Unfortunately, it failed to live up to my expectations. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Bone White’ by Ronald Malfi

Bone White by Ronald Malfi
Kensington (July 2017)
384 pages; $10.17 paperback; $7.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Seven years ago I was sent an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) for a novel called Snow by some author named Ronald Malfi. I’d not read anything by him then, and at first the novel looked pretty pedestrian. Monsters devastate a town during a blizzard. The initial setup seemed to point in that direction: a flight is cancelled because of the snowstorm, so several folks set out in a rental car to try for home the long way, and come upon a town cut off by the storm. It looked like a fairly simple paint-by-the-numbers affair, albeit written very well.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Blood Sacrifice’ by Barry Hoffman

Blood Sacrifice by Barry Hoffman
Next Century Publishing (March 2017)
408 pages; $12.95 paperback; $7.95 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Barry Hoffman is back with a kick-ass thriller that is also a horror novel, crime novel, supernatural novel and more, all wrapped up in a story which races by in what can easily be called his best effort since his “Eyes” series. Blood Sacrifice brings into the fold a set of new characters which hopefully will be returning in future entries. Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Damned Vol. 1: Three Days Dead’ by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree

The Damned Vol. 1: Three Days Dead by Cullenn Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree
Oni Press (March 2017)

152 pages, $9.99 paperback; $1.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

The Damned Volume 1: Three Days Dead can only be described as horror noir. It’s set during prohibition, when mobsters and criminal organizations build fortune peddling vice to the citizens of the city. However, those sins are controlled not by human gangsters, but by rival families of demons. The long-standing feud between two of the families is about the come to an end thanks to a brokered deal to consolidate power. But before things can be finalized, the bookkeeper tasked to brokering the deal is kidnapped along with a ledger that could spell doom for all the families.Continue Reading

Review: ‘A Life Removed’ by Jason Parent

A Life Removed by Jason Parent
Red Adept Publishing (May 2017)
284 pages; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chad Lutzke

It’s been a while since I’ve read any kind of crime thriller, and I’ve quite missed it. Books like Red Dragon, The Bone Collector and Intensity certainly have their place in the horror world. After all, what’s scarier than reading about something more than capable of happening right in our own backyards by the person down the street who’s convinced their homicidal ideations are healthy and normal? I was looking forward to taking that kind of ride. Unfortunately, the scenery was too familiar to sit back and thoroughly enjoy it.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Process (is a Process All its Own)’ by Peter Straub

The Process (is a Process All its Own) by Peter Straub
Subterranean Press (July 2017)
96 pages; $40.00 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

The majority of slasher fiction—whether it’s short stories, books, or movies—tends to focus on the hunt. Here’s a group of thinly-sketched victims, cannon fodder to be creatively knocked off one-by-one; and here’s a killer, often silent, usually masked, his or her motivations as mysterious as their identity. What comes after is, more often than not, a by-the-numbers recreation of the stalk-n-slash formula that’s been a staple of horror since the 1970s.*Continue Reading

Review: ‘Monochromes and Other Stories’ by Matt Bechtel

Monochromes and Other Stories by Matt Bechtel
Haverhill House Publishing (April 2017)
148 pages; $12.95 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

“Some people just see the world differently. Matt Bechtel is one of those people.”—James A. Moore.

After reading this collection I’d have to agree with that assessment. Matt has an eye for detail and is masterful at shedding a unique light on the otherwise mundane.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Marathon’ by Brian Freeman

Marathon by Brian Freeman
Quercus (May 2017)
408 pages; $19.16 hardback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

This book will undoubtedly hit several nerves for fans of well-written, tight, timely thrillers. Brian Freeman (Editor’s Note: Not to be confused with Cemetery Dance staffer and author Brian James Freeman) has cemented himself as a strong contender for being one of the top writers in the genre today.  Marathon is a firecracker which doesn’t exploit the headlines as much as blows them apart and delves into the topics which really matter—all within a story that never lets up. It does, however, let the novel breathe.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Tunnel’ by Carl-Johan Vallgren

The Tunnel by Carl-Johan Vallgren
Quercus (June 2017)
336 pages; $18.35 hardback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

For those who haven’t read any thrillers set in Scandinavian countries, please start here. This is pure horror even before the story kicks into gear. The setting contains more darkness found in most contemporary American or British horror and brings to mind the beautiful terror of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, but it has its own personality, one which will make many readers a fan of the genre. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Mormama’ by Kit Reed

Mormama by Kit Reed
Tor Books (May 2017)
288 pages; $17.63 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I love “quiet horror.” I love a book filled with tension, atmosphere, and that creeping-up-on-you sense of unease where you can’t quite put your finger on what is wrong, but you know something is.

Here’s the thing: eventually, all that atmosphere and tension and unease has to pay off. When it does, it’s magic. When it doesn’t, it’s like cracking open a cold soft drink only to find that it’s gone flat.

Mormama, I’m sorry to say, is the flat soft drink of haunted house books.Continue Reading