Review: ‘Cthulhu Blues: A SPECTRA Files Novel’ by Douglas Wynne

Cthulhu Blues: A SPECTRA Files Novel by Douglas Wynne
JournalStone (September 2017)
302 pages; $16.93 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Cthulhu Blues is a fitting conclusion to the SPECTRA Files series which began in 2015 with Red Equinox and continued last year with Black January. I’m going to miss Becca Philips and Jason Brooks as they battle the cosmic horrors found in the Lovecraftian mythos. I’ll even miss Becca’s dog Django.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Truants’ by Lee Markham

The Truants by Lee Markham
The Overlook Press (July 2017)
256 pages; $6.99 paperback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The Truants is Lee Markham’s debut novel and, in some ways, it shows.

I admit I had a love-hate relationship with this book. It was a bit esoteric for me and the author had an annoying habit of just listing the character’s actions. For example…Continue Reading

Review: ‘Indigo’ (Various Authors)

Indigo by Various Authors
St. Martin’s Press (June 2017)
352 pages; $19.27 hardback; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I found Indigo to be overall satisfying, but it was certainly not without its faults.

Indigo features the talents of great genre writers like Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Kelley Armstrong, Jonathan Maberry, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James Moore, and Mark Morris. However, with these many strong writers, each bringing their own voice to the story, there were times when, as a reader, it seemed the tale would be going in one direction and suddenly it would change dramatically as a new writer took the reins. 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: ‘Whispered Echoes’ by Paul F. Olson

Whispered Echoes by Paul F. Olson
Crystal Lake Publishing (June 21, 2017)
275 pages; $14.99 paperback; $0.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Admittedly, I have heard of Paul F. Olson, but up until now, I can’t say I’ve read any of his work. I can happily say I’ve now corrected that omission. Whispered Echoes is a wonderful collection of old and new.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Come to Dust’ by Bracken MacLeod

Come to Dust by Bracken MacLeod
JournalStone (June 23, 2017)
$17.95 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Last year, I got to read Bracken MacLeod’s Stranded. Sixteen crew members of the Arctic Promise become ice bound under strange circumstances. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s one of 2016’s better reads.

Bracken’s new release, Come To Dust, is even better. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Monstrumführer’ by Edward M. Erdelac

Monstrumführer by Edward M. Erdelac
Comet Press (January 2017)
335 pages; $15.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

If you read Edward M. Erdelac’s story, Andersonville, about the most sadistic rebel prison of the Civil War, with a supernatural twist, you likely have some idea where he’s going with this new novel, Monstrumführer, combining the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, with Frankenstein’s monster. Once again, this gifted storyteller plays with historic events and imbues his tale with elements of horror, as Josef Mengele endeavors to improve upon the work of Dr. Victor Frankenstein.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Crow Shine’ by Alan Baxter

Crow Shine by Alan Baxter
Ticonderoga Publications (November 2016)
$29.99 hardcover; $22.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The first short story I ever read by Alan Baxter was “In Vaulted Halls Entombed,” which featured a group of soldiers chasing terrorists into a cave in Afghanistan only to see them trapped by something their training never prepared them for. Since then, I always get excited when I see his name attached to an anthology.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Savage Jungle’ by Hunter Shea

Savage Jungle by Hunter Shea
Severed Press (April 2017)
198 pages; $11.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Fresh from their adventure in Scotland, Natalie McQueen and her brother Austin are called upon to aid Henrik Kooper in his quest to find the lost city Gadang Ur and the elusive Orang Pendek. Go ahead and Google it. You’ll find it’s every bit as much of a thing as Bigfoot, Yeti, The Jersey Devil, and The Loch Ness Monster—all cryptids Hunter Shea has written about in previous books. As a matter of fact, Savage Jungle is a sequel to his book Loch Ness Revenge.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction’ by Kenneth W. Cain

Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction edited by Kenneth W. Cain
Crystal Lake Publishing (March 2017)
217 pages; $13.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction features twenty-five stories. In any collection of this size, there are bound to be some hits and some misses along the way. Fortunately, there are more of the former, leading me to suggest this work be added to your personal TBR list.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Feral’ by James DeMonaco & B.K. Evenson

Feral by James DeMonaco & B.K. Evenson
Anchor/Blumhouse Books (April 2017)
320 pages; $9.57 paperback; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Ever read a book with all the right ingredients, one that’s well written, has characters you care about, tells a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, yet leaves you feeling disappointed?

That’s exactly how I feel about Feral, the new novel from the powerhouse team of James DeMonaco and B.K. Evenson. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Jackals’ by Stuart R. Brogan

Jackals by Stuart R. Brogan
CreateSpace (January 2017)
356 pages; $13.95 hardback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I’m reading a horror novel and I know who’s gonna die. Jackals is NOT one of those novels and I loved it. It begins with a big surprise and delivers one powerful punch after another, right to the unexpected end.Continue Reading

Review: ‘We Are Always Watching’ by Hunter Shea

We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea
Sinister Grin Press (March 2017)
460 pages; $18.59 hardback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Due to dire circumstance, Matt Riley, his wife, Debi, and their fourteen-year-old son, West, had to move in with West’s Grandpa Abraham. Grandpa insisted the place where he lived was haunted. That was fine with West, because “(he) devoured horror books like they were M&Ms.” I loved the mentions of popular horror podcasts and magazines, as well as a number of today’s most-read writers within the genre.  Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Garden of Delight’ by Alessandro Manzetti

The Garden of Delight by Alessandro Manzetti
Comet Press (March 2017)
250 pages; $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The Garden of Delight is a sexually charged compilation of stories from Alessandro Manzetti. Most have been previously published, but a few of the tales are new to this collection. All the stories share a similar tone and spirit as they explore human decadance through the centuries. When it comes to sexual relations, nothing is off limits.  Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Haunted Halls’ by Glenn Rolfe

The Haunted Halls by Glenn Rolfe
Shadow Work Publishing (December 2016)
280 pages; $14.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good in-your-face horror novel. Don’t get me wrong, I read and enjoyed an abundance of excellent work in 2016, but when I compare them to The Haunted Halls, the latest from up-and-coming horror writer Glenn Rolfe, they’ve all been rather tame.Continue Reading