Review: No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

cover of No One Can KnowNo One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall
Flatiron Books (January 2024)
336 pages; $25.53 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chandra Claypool (Instagram) (TikTok)

“Three sisters.  Two Murders.  Too many secrets to count.”

My third book by Marshall, with a few more on my shelves. I always get excited when I see her name pop up as she writes middle grade, YA and adult thriller and horror novels and I’m a fan of it all.  Continue Reading

Review: Hitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind The Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession by Laurence Leamer

cover of Hitchcock's BlondesHitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind The Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession by Laurence Leamer
 G.P. Putnam’s Sons (October 2023)
335 pages; $21.10 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Alfred Hitchcock’s legacy has, until recent years, mostly been portrayed through the rosy lens of Hollywood. Many consider Hitchcock one of the fathers of horror and a worthy contender amongst the greatest directors of all time. He’s remembered for his brilliance and astute demeanor, evoked throughout the evolution of cinema-from silent films to “talkies” to color to the big screen.Continue Reading

Review: This Is Where We Talk Things Out by Caitlin Marceau

cover of This Is Where We Talk Things OutThis Is Where We Talk Things Out by Caitlin Marceau
Dark Lit Press (July 2023)
114 pages; $16 paperback
Reviewed by Janelle Janson

When I first picked up Caitlin Marceaus novella This is Where We Talk Things Out, I wasnt sure what to expect. Ive never read her work before, but Ive always heard good things. But as soon as I started, I could not put it down. It immediately demands your attention.Continue Reading

Review: Among the Living by Tim Lebbon

cover of Among the LivingAmong the Living by Tim Lebbon
Titan Books (February 13, 2024)
304 pages; $16.99 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

When a novel marries the true terror inherent to humanity with the relevance of the world’s biggest issue (the death of the environment), it can resonate in a manner that most thriller and horror fans cannot escape. Imagine the The Thing crossed with The Terror — or any other high-quality isolated frozen story — and then transforming it into something even more frightening. That’s the gem that Tim Lebbon has created here with Among the Living.Continue Reading

Review: The House of Last Resort by Christopher Golden

cover of The House of Last ResortThe House of Last Resort by Christopher Golden
St. Martin’s Press (January 30, 2023)
304 pages; $24.65 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Christopher Golden knows better than many writers how to turn a setting into a brutal, living, breathing character. His new, terrifying novel might be the perfect encapsulation of that statement. When a reader takes into consideration the body of work that includes Ararat (possible resting place of Noah’s Ark), Road of Bones (forbidden frozen land in Russia), and Strangeland (what might be the most inventive setting in horror fantasy in ages), the praise for this story is not taken lightly.Continue Reading

Review: Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris

cover of Master of Rods and StringsMaster of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris
Crystal Lake Publishing (January 12, 2024)
104 pages; paperback
Reviewed by Chandra Claypool (Instagram) (TikTok)

Do you like to read things that scare you? And I don’t mean just general horror… I mean specifics. I absolutely cannot be around dolls… and by default, puppets. Puppets may almost even be worse since they actively move – even if it’s in a controlled way by the person with the rods and strings. So of course I had to read this story of Elias, who wants to be as talented as his sister as puppetry. She is recruited by their Uncle Pavan, who is well known for his successes in his puppetry school. But something seems off and Elia won’t stop until he finds his sister. No cost is too big and he finds himself spiraling into the occult. Nothing will stop him.Continue Reading

Review: Ornithologiae edited by Mark Beech

cover of OrnithologiaeOrnithologiae edited by Mark Beech
Egaeus (June 2022)
260 pages; Limited edition of 460 Copies
Reviewed by Daniel Braum

Ornithologiae is an anthology with the theme of birds edited by Mark Beech from his Egeaus Press in the United Kingdom. The subtitle of the book is “Being a collection of weird and uncategorizable stories and poems on the subject of birds.” The volume is hardcover with black and white interior illustrations and color illustrated end pages.Continue Reading

Review: This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer

cover of This Wretched ValleyThis Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer
Quirk Books (January 2024)
309 pages; $18.99 paperback; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

DO NOT TOUCH THIS GROUND

Some monsters live outside the shadows, beneath the sun, sitting beside you, watching and plotting.

Jenny Kiefer’s debut, This Wretched Valley, will appease horror readers who crave fright outside the typical haunted house or killer’s dimly lit basement. Many hair-raising, nail-biting scenes occur in broad daylight, and exploring an uncharted rock in the valley leaves the team isolated from surrounding campers or hikers. Not that many visit that wretched valley, anyway. Not after all the disappearances over the years. Continue Reading

Review: Shimmerfish by Bethany Browning

Shimmerfish by Bethany Browning
Sonoma MediaWorks (October 2023)
126 pages; $4.99 paperback
Reviewed by Chandra Claypool (Instagram) (TikTok)
Shimmerfish is a coming-of-age horror about a young woman who flees abuse and finds a new world filled with the enchantments of mermaiding. She’s got her tail, her mer-sona and a mer-name, but something feels fishy, and she’s forced to confront her deepest fears in order to uncover the truth.

Continue Reading

Review: Creep This Way – How to Become a Horror Writer With 24 Steps to Get You Ghouling by Rebecca Cuthbert

Creep This Way: How to Become a Horror Writer With 24 Steps to Get You Ghouling by Rebecca Cuthbert
Seamus & Nunzio Productions (January 15, 2024)
92 pages; $7.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

cover of Creep This WayRebecca Cuthbert is a dark fiction and poetry writer living in Western New York. She loves ghost stories, folklore, witchy women, and anything that involves nature getting revenge. Her debut poetry collection, In Memory of Exoskeletons, is out now with Alien Buddha Press, and her hybrid poetry and story collection, Self-Made Monsters, will arrive in Fall of 2024. Her non-fiction book, Creep This Way: How to Become a Horror Writer With 24 Steps to Get You Ghouling will be out in January 2024 from Seamus & Nunzio Productions.Continue Reading

Review: On the Subject of Blackberries by Stephanie M. Wytovich

cover of On the Subject of BlackberriesOn the Subject of Blackberries by Stephanie M. Wytovich
Raw Dog Screaming Press (September 2023)
128 pages; hardcover $24.95
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous magazines and anthologies such as Weird Tales, Nightmare Magazine, Southwest Review, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others. Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing.  Her newest poetry collection is On the Subject of BlackberriesContinue Reading

HAIL….SANTA?

Hail Santa coverIn true Splatterpunk style, John McNee’s Hail Santa combines relevant social commentary with all the red mayhem and over the top violence you can shake a razor-sharp candy cane at. While the grueling gore is kept front row center this holiday season, it walks a fine line with a fully fleshed out story that’s as engaging as it is daring. Every page keeps our eyes glued to its frenzied pace even while the author leans in on gruesome details that are certain to leave even the naughtiest of elves blushing at the sheer insanity of it all. Continue Reading

Review: The Maker’s Box by David Barclay

cover of The Maker's BoxThe Maker’s Box by David Barclay 
9 Swords (March 2022)
89 pages; $6.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Stephen King’s dreamscape fantasy Rose Madder meets the precise cleverness of Richard Chizmar’s Gwendy’s series in The Maker’s Box.

I’d never read anything from Barclay before The Maker’s Box, but now I’m blood-thirsty for more. Continue Reading

Review: Double Dose by F. Paul Wilson

cover of Double DoseDouble Dose by F. Paul Wilson
Gordian Knot Books (September 2023)
382 pages; $16.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

The world of legend F. Paul Wilson continues to grow in this second installment of the Duad series. Is it the finale or just another chapter? Read on to decide but if one is familiar with Wilson’s storytelling, the mystery is always afoot. One thing is sure, however. The man seems incapable of penning a bad — or boring — book.Continue Reading

Review: Thirsty for Love by Carmen Pizarro and David Ocampo

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Thirsty for LoveThirsty for Love by Carmen Pizarro and David Ocampo
Independently Published (2022)
48 pages; $15.00 perfect bound collector’s edition of 100
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Thirsty for Love is a clever monster graphic novel written by David Ocampo and illustrated by Carmen Pizarro. When Emily goes missing, her friend Josie thinks she knows what happens. She’s aware of the new girl, Charlotte Smith, and suspects she’s responsible for Emily’s disappearance. When she confronts Charlotte, Josie discovers that her suspicions are not only wrong, but that the truth is far worse than she could ever imagine. Continue Reading