Review: Crossroads by Laurel Hightower

cover of Crossroads by Laurel HightowerCrossroads by Laurel Hightower
Off Limits Press (August 10, 2020)
93 pages; $12 hardcov $7.01 e-book
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Thomas Campbell famously remarked: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” This proves painfully true in Crossroads, the newest release from rising horror superstar Laurel Hightower. Her previous novel, Whispers in the Dark (2018), garnered tons of well-deserved accolades. This time around, Crossroads explores a mother, Chris, mourning the loss of her son, Trey. There is plenty of real-life horror in that itself. Things take a turn toward the supernatural as Chris recalls the concept of a crossroads demon, like the one that Robert Johnson was famously rumored to have sold his soul to in exchange for musical success. Continue Reading

Review: Murmur by Patrick Freivald

cover of Murmur by Patrick FreivaldMurmur by Patrick Freivald
Barking Deer Press (July 14, 2020)
223 pages; $4.89 e-book
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Patrick Freivald, author of novels and short story collections, presents his latest, an urban fantasy thriller set in New York City, high on the eroticism, high on the grittiness, and high on the compulsive readability. Continue Reading

Review: All the Dead Men by Errick Nunnally

cover of All the Dead Men by Errick NunnallyAll the Dead Men by Errick Nunnally
Twisted Publishing (July 20, 2020)
252 pages; $18 paperback
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

All the Dead Men is the sequel to Blood for the Sun by Errick Nunnally, both recently re-issued by Haverhill House Publishing. This is a werewolf novel, but it’s unique not only because the protagonist comes from a mixed-race background (he comes from a black father and a mother from the Kainai nation of Saskatchewan in Canada), but also suffers from a condition like Alzheimer’s. The thing that struck me must about Alexander Smith, the protagonist, when we first meet him is the way his scent power works with analysis of clues to solve murders. Trigger warning: those who have issues with harm against children should be aware that Blood for the Sun starts off with it, and it continues in the next book as well.  Continue Reading

Review: In the Garden of Rusting Gods by Patrick Freivald

Cover of In the Garden of Rusting GodsIn the Garden of Rusting Gods by Patrick Freivald
Barking Deer Press (September 2019)
210 pages; $14.95 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Patrick Freivald has released a new short story collection from Barking Deer Press entitled In the Garden of Rusting Gods. An established novelist, Bram Stoker Award-nominee (and, with Andrew Wolter, winner of the Richard Laymon President’s Award in 2015), he writes horror for both young adult and adult audiences alike. His short fiction has mostly tended toward science fiction horror, which he excels at, so for readers wanting their fix, his collection will fit the bill. Continue Reading

Review: Hellrider by J.G. Faherty

Hellrider by J.G. Faherty
Flame Tree Press (August 2019)
304 pages; $24.95 hardcover; $10.37 paperback
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Eddie Ryder is a reluctant protagonist who owns his departed father Big Eddie’s car garage, but it’s a burden he did not wish for. He used to be a member of a biker gang called the Hell Riders. On top of being repulsive in many ways, they’re also devoted to racism. Eddie still respects most of their code, not out of choice, but out of necessity and survival. Continue Reading