Review: ‘Devils in Dark Houses’ by B.E. Scully

devilsDevils in Dark Houses by B.E. Scully
DarkFuse (August 2016)
510 pages; $19.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Having never read anything from B.E. Scully before, I had no idea what to expect. Truthfully, I didn’t anticipate being entertained as completely as I was. Devils in Dark Houses is a set of four equally powerful novellas set in the author’s home state of Oregon. The stories are all connected through a pair of homicide detectives assigned to the individual cases.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Where the Dead Go to Die’ by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells

wherethedeadgoWhere the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells
Crystal Lake Publishing (November 2016)
197 pages; $14.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Been a while since I’ve read a great opening line, but this one drew me right in: The dead roam those halls.

Emily Samuels is starting new job and the protesters are out in force, complete with signs reading, “LIFE IS 4 THE LIVING”,“BRING OUT UR DED”,  “NO TOLERRENCE FOR BONE EATERS”, “LET’S FINISH THE JOB”.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Clockwork Universe’ by John W. Dennehy

clockworkClockwork Universe by John W. Dennehy
Severed Press (November 2016)
148 pages; $9.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Clockwork Universe is the debut novel from John W. Dennehy. Kevin Barnes is a commuter, headed to Boston from the Merrimack Valley in Southern New Hampshire. On the weekends he performs in a throwback punk band and he looks the part, with a purple Mohawk, diaper pins in his ears, and jackboots with crimson laces.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Odd Man Out’ by James Newman

oddOdd Man Out by James Newman
Bloodshot Books (November 2016)
150 pages; $8.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Odd Man Out was originally released as a signed limited edition from Thunderstorm Books, but this truly is a book everyone should get to read, so now it’s deservedly getting the wide release treatment from Bloodshot Books.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Haven, Kansas’ by Alethea Kontis

havenkansascoverHaven, Kansas by Alethea Kontis
CreateSpace (October 2016)
308 pages; $19.99 hardcover; $11.28 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Alethea Kontis is already a very successful writer, but one I’ve never had a chance to read, until now. Haven, Kansas may be a YA novel, but it is certainly not without its scares.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Wrathbone and Other Stories’ by Jason Parent

wrathboneWrathbone and Other Stories by Jason Parent
Comet Press (October 2016)
160 pages; $12.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Jason Parent’s new collection, Wrathbone and Other Stories, includes some wonderfully original tales of horror.  There may be only 5 stories in this collection, totaling 160 pages, but each tale is deserving of your attention. If you have yet to discover Jason’s work, this book will serve as a worthy introduction.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Vyrmin’ by Gene Lazuta

vyrminVyrmin by Gene Lazuta
Bloodshot Books (October 2016)
360 pages; $13.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Before I get to the review, just a quick comment about the publisher, Bloodshot Books. I really admire the effort being made to find books that either had a limited print run or have gone out of print over the years and giving them new life in the digital age by releasing them in paperback and e-book formats. Earlier this year, they gave this treatment to The Awakening by Brett McBride, a wonderful coming of age story and one of the best books I’ve read in 2016.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Dream Woods’ by Patrick Lacey

Cemetery Dance Reviews

dreamDream Woods by Patrick Lacey
Sinister Grin Press (October 2016)
318 pages; $16.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I love amusement parks, especially the old ones from my youth. The local ones were the best, where sometimes it seemed the rides were likely to fall apart while you were still riding them. The ones within an hour’s drive from where I grew up—Lakewood Park, West Point Park, and Willow Grove Park, all in Southeast Pennsylvania. In its dying days, the later was known as Six Gun Territory. I remember they used to have a small wooden coaster, The Scenic; exciting not because of it’s speed or height, but because of the way it always seemed like it could leave the track at any moment.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The End of Halloween: Four Tales of All Hallows’ Eve’ by Greg Chapman

Cemetery Dance Reviews

The End of Halloween: Four Tales of All Hallows’ Eve by Greg Chapman
Self Published (September 2016)
60 pages; $1.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

halloweenWriter Greg Chapman loves Halloween. Not exactly a bold statement; the man is a horror writer, after all. What makes this interesting, however, is that Greg is from Australia, where Halloween is not nearly the big deal it is in the United States.

In his novella length collection of short fiction The End of Halloween: Four Tales of All Hallows’ Eve, Greg writes with the passion of a long-time devotee of the holiday on which Americans are expected to spend 8.4 billion dollars in 2016.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life’ by Ruth Franklin

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
Liveright (September 2016)
624 pages; $25.14 paperback; $16.05 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Admittedly, I don’t read a lot of biographies. Not my thing. Nothing against them, I just prefer to spend my time reading fiction. That being said, when I saw there was going to be a Shirley Jackson biography, I decided to get out of my comfort zone just a bit.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Savages’ by Greg F. Gifune

savagesSavages by Greg F. Gifune
Sinister Grin Press (September 2016)
168 pages; $17.00 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Reminiscent of the pulp fiction stories of the ’30s through the ’50s, or perhaps the B-Movies popular at drive-ins in the ’70s and ’80s, Greg F. Gifune’s new novel, Savages, is every bit as good as the best of those sub-genres. Prior to the start of the book, the author quotes the 1920 film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”: 

A man cannot destroy the savage in him by denying its impulses. The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it…

The story which follows is about a group of friends and acquaintances, shipwrecked, adrift for days, and washed ashore on a seemingly uninhabited island…and that’s the good news.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Bad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror’

badapplesBad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror by Various
Corpus Press (August 2016)
242 pages; $14.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Halloween is fast approaching. Don’t believe me? Just stop by your local big box store or visit any super drug store. Candy and costumes and decorations are popping up everywhere. Good news is, it’s also time for Halloween anthologies and scary stories to appear on bookshelves and in your news feeds. One such collection is from Evans and Adam Light, co-creators of the Bad Apples anthology series.

Bad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror is a delicious concoction of tales which are much more fun than bobbing for apples. Plus, you’re much less likely to suffer accidental drowning reading this book, unless you like to read in the tub. Then you’re on your own.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Jersey Devil’ by Hunter Shea

jerseydevilThe Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea
Pinnacle (August 30, 2016)
352 pages; $7.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Hunter Shea’s latest is a romp through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey with multiple twists, layers, and additions to the mythos of The Jersey Devil.

I’ve lived in Southeastern Pennsylvania most of my life. It’s close enough to South Jersey that I’ve grown up fascinated by the tall tales of The Jersey Devil. As a result, I come to Hunter Shea’s new book with a firm grasp on all of the hearsay from over the years. While Hunter keeps the history of the legend intact, he really uses those stories as a starting point for his own tale, which makes anything you may have heard before look like a child’s bedtime story.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Sarah Killian: Serial Killer (for Hire!)’ by Mark Sheldon

sarahkillian (1)Sarah Killian: Serial Killer (for Hire!) by Mark Sheldon
Crystal Lake Publishing (July 2016)
216 pages; $13.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I want to love every book I read, I really do. Regrettably, it’s just not possible. There are times when you pick up a title that grabs your interest, but doesn’t quite live up to your expectations. Sarah Killian: Serial Killer (for Hire!) is such a tome.Continue Reading

Review: ‘I Am Providence’ by Nick Mamatas

ProvidenceI Am Providence by Nick Mamatas
Night Shade Books (August 2016)
256 pages; $10.66 paperback; $15.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I can’t say I read a lot of Nick Mamatas, but what I have read, I’ve certainly enjoyed.  

Nick’s most recent work is dissimilar from anything I’ve read before. Set at the fictional, annual Summer Tentacular—“Providence’s premiere literary conference about pulp-writer, racist, and weirdo Howard Philips Lovecraft”—the book is an inside look at the craziness such an event would give rise to.

The attendees at said conference seem to be based on a combination of real writers and an amalgamation of the writers and fans who frequent such a happening.

The story is told from two separate points of view: that of first-time attendee and recently published Lovecraftian writer, Colleen Danzig; and the other, her roommate, a writer know as Panossian who spends most of the book in the morgue, lying on a slab.Continue Reading