Review: Of Men and Monsters by Tom Deady

cover of Of Men and Monsters by Tom DeadyOf Men and Monsters by Tom Deady
Crystal Lake Publishing (May 28th, 2021)
120 pages; $10.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Of Men and Monsters is the perfect summer read. It’s short, accessible, and capitalizes on all that wonderful coming-of-age nostalgia so many of us love and crave.Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews Billy Summers

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“A Garbage Man with a Gun”

The first time Billy Summers killed a man, he was barely twelve. By the time he’s eighteen, he’s a sniper with the Marines in Iraq, where he notches up another two dozen kills. Instead of re-upping, he tries to find work back in the States. One of his former Marine friends asks him to kill someone. Thus begins Billy’s career as an elite hitman. His only condition is that his victims have to be demonstrably bad men. He’s not a sociopath driven to kill — he’s just good with a gun. He can hit targets from an incredible distance and then vanish like Houdini without being identified or caught. Now, at the ripe old age of 44, he’s looking to retire. One last job and he’s done.Continue Reading

Review: Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan

cover of Palace of the Drowned by Christine ManganPalace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan
Flatiron Books (June 2021)
320 pages; hardcover $20.57; paperback $16.99; e-book $14.99
Reviewed by Janelle Janson

When I saw Christine Mangan had a new book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read it. I read her debut, Tangerine, three years ago and really enjoyed it. After finishing her newest novel, Palace of the Drowned, I realized Mangan has found her niche. Hollywood film-style noir, brimming with atmosphere, and mixed with slow burning tension is what Mangan does best.Continue Reading

Review: No Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils by Laura J. Campbell

cover of No Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils by Laura J. CampbellNo Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils by Laura J. Campbell
Dark Owl Publishing (May 2021)
300 pages; $11.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Laura J. Campbell’s newest collection, No Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils, is a weighty but impressive short story collection.Continue Reading

Review: Revelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. Munro

cover of Revelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. MunroeRevelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. Munro
Omnium Gatherum (January 2021}
229 pages; $14.99 Paperback; $3.99 ebook
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

In the decently distant future, most population centers of the United States of North America are domed cities where even the poorer members of society live in relative ease and comfort. Poppets, the reanimated and mechanized bodies of the deceased, have taken over most manual labor. Outside of the domed cities lies the chaos of the wilds. Ellie, the assumed heir of the company that makes and runs the Poppets, is about to learn that life within and without the domes is far uglier and more complicated than she realizes.Continue Reading

Review: Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

cover of Summer Sons by Lee MandeloSummer Sons by Lee Mandelo (July 20th, 2021)
384 pages; $22.99 paperback; $0.00 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Summer Sons takes a long, hot, minute before it reaches down to stir up all those horror vibes simmering just under the surface.

The story centers on the relationship between Andrew and Eddie. Their seemingly indestructible bond is threatened when Eddie decides to go away for school. Ultimately, Andrew feels like he needs to be with Eddie no matter the cost but before they can reunite, Eddie takes his own life.Continue Reading

Review: Silent Scream by Barry Hoffman

cover of Silent Scream by Barry HoffmanSilent Scream by Barry Hoffman
Gordian Knot Books/Crossroads Press (May 2021)
298 pages; $14.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book

Reviewed by Rick Hipson

Inspired (or most likely angered) by the real-life public murder of Kitty Genovese, Barry Hoffman delivers another character-driven novel in which we’re forced to ask tough questions about our own morality and values. Each character is dissected and examined with surgical precision, and long-time readers of Hoffman should recognize some familiar names in the crowd.Continue Reading

Review: Survive the Night by Riley Sager

cover of Survive the Night by Riley SagerSurvive the Night by Riley Sager
Dutton (June 29th, 2021)
336 pages; $20.39 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Despite the fact that she is still emotionally recovering from the violent murder of her roommate and best friend by a suspected serial killer, Charlie Jordan accepts a rideshare request from a young man she’s never seen around campus before.

Readers will need to suspend copious amounts of disbelief in order to enjoy this ride, but it’s possible; for curiosity’s sake.Continue Reading

Review: Tears on the Glass Desert by Wesley D. Gray

cover of Tears on the Glass Desert by Wesley GrayTears on the Glass Desert: Speculative Poetry of Holocaust, Fallout, and Decay by Wesley D. Gray
Marrowroot Press (June 2021)
47 pages; $5.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Wesley D. Gray is a writer of things mostly strange.  His newest collection of poetry is Tears on the Glass Desert, which is a post-apocalyptic nightmare that will certainly capture the attention of horror poetry readers.Continue Reading

Review: Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale

cover of Moon Lake by Joe R. LansdaleMoon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale
Mulholland Books (June 2021)
352 pages; $23.49 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chad Lutzke

After a man attempts a murder/suicide with his 13-year-old son, the boy survives, is orphaned, and goes through a heartbreaking journey into adulthood, where the meat of the book begins. 

As an adult, Daniel Russel returns to his hometown, where he’s met with more puzzles than he has clues regarding his father and the town’s history, which ultimately leads to a DIY investigation with the help of one-time crush, Ronnie Candles, and a few unlikely locals. Continue Reading

Review: Hallowed Days by Daniel Hale

Hallowed Days by Daniel Hale
JournalStone Publishing (November 2020)
156 pages; $15.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Hallowed Days is a dark fantasy- and horror-themed anthology focusing primarily on Christmas and Halloween. What makes Hale’s fiction so potent is the way he builds up to the ominous dread at the end of his stories. Rarely do we see any actual blood and guts, and most of the stories depend on tiny details that are magnified at the end of the tale. Continue Reading

Review: Double Threat by F. Paul Wilson

cover of Double Threat by F. Paul WilsonDouble Threat by F. Paul Wilson
Forge Books (June 29, 2021)
384 pages; hardcover $22.99; e-book $13.99
Reviewed by Dave Simms

The Secret History of The World is alive and well in F. Paul Wilson’s Double Threat, an unusual thriller that brings together different puzzle pieces of the author’s diverse career into one novel. For the diehard Repairman Jack fans, this story is a bit out in left field, but in the best possible manner, meaning that while the overarching plotline and universe connects with Wilson’s other works, it utilizes more humor and science fiction than what Jack fans might be accustomed to.Continue Reading

Review: Deathtripping by Andersen Prunty

cover of Deathtripping: Collected horror stories by Andersen PruntyDeathtripping by Andersen Prunty
Grindhouse Press (July 2020)
424 pages; $16.95 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film. -Lorrie Moore

I discovered Andersen Prunty during the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 when he kindly offered a few of his titles for free to quarantined/housebound readers. I read Creep House and We Don’t Talk About Her, becoming an instant fan. Prunty has an extremely unique voice and writing style, unlike anything I’ve ever read before.Continue Reading

Review: Collectibles edited by Lawrence Block

cover of Collectibles edited by Lawrence BlockCollectibles edited by Lawrence Block
Subterranean Press (May 2021)
320 pages; $50 limited edition hardcover; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I’ve been a collector as long as I can remember. From Star Wars figures to comics to trading cards to wrestling magazines to movie posters to….well, you get the picture. This continues today as I peer anxiously at my encroaching dotage, indulging in an old(er) man’s passion for vinyl records and vintage books.

I’ve got my grails, for sure, and a few pieces in my collection(s) that I’d vigorously defend, but damn….I’d never kill anybody over them.Continue Reading

Review: Goddess of Filth by V. Castro

cover of Goddess of Filth by V. CastroGoddess of Filth by V. Castro
Creature Publishing (March 2021)
156 pages; $14.64paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

This is a possession story with a twist. A few friends gather together to channel their inner witch vibes and unintentionally conjure up an ancient goddess. This sudden presence in the friend group causes some concern among the girls and their parents. A priest is summoned which only manages to make the situation worse and more dangerous.Continue Reading