Spooky Reads

Author: Will

martuk

From the pen of screenwriter, playwright, actor, and award-winning author Jonathan Winn (The Wounded King, The Elder, Red and Gold) comes the tale of the immortal Martuk. Born one thousand years before Christ in a land of mystery and magic, of superstition and gods, Martuk tells of his boyhood as the only son of a celebrated Seer.  And of the god sculpted of glittering gold who wrapped his arms around him, a sudden kiss followed by a terrifying vision, a…

nanobite

When a cyclist goes missing on a training ride on the east coast of Scotland, a chain of sinister events begins to unfold. Whilst coming to terms with a personal tragedy, Liam Baxter joins forces with Karen Nicholls to investigate a series of seemingly unrelated events that begin to point to a government-sponsored programme of genetic research at a nearby bioweapons development facility. A rollercoaster ride follows as they try to stop the monstrous results of an experiment gone disastrously…

The Colony by F G Cottam book cover

Woe unto the super rich, who indulge their fanciful dreams with childlike ambitions. Media magnate Alexander McIntyre has long held a curious interest in a surreal, Mary Celeste-like occurrence over a century and a half ago, and it is his dedicated decadent dalliance in such that forms the basis of F.G. Cottam’s supernatural shocker The Colony. (I apologise for the alliteration but I’ve been watching the Classic Doctor Who serial The Talons of Weng-Chiang and Mr Jago’s ways of speech…

sepulchre

The late, great British Ace of horror fiction, Mr James Herbert, sadly passed away in early 2013. He left behind him an awesome legacy of shock and terror-fuelled prose, from The Rats, through to The Magic Cottage and The Fog, to date his works have graced the shelves of book stores over a period of four decades. Herbert was hugely responsible for my burgeoning love of the darker-flavoured texts from my early teens through to present day. And it is…

hiding-the-smile

I know what happens these days when genuine horror fans hear the word “vampire” bandied about. There is eye rolling, sighing, and a tendency to jump to the conclusion that this will be another addition to the slightly sad thing that the vampire genre has become; a slush-fest, with the emphasis on love triangles rather than blood. So let me try to persuade you that my book isn’t one of these oft-trod Twilight rip-offs. It is a bit different to…

grim

I’ve been going to north Norfolk all my life, for school holidays when I was little, latterly to look after my ageing parents who retired up there. It’s a uniquely strange place, cut off from the rest of England by a lack of main roads and a dismal rail service, inward looking, old fashioned. To travel to the Norfolk coast is to step back in time to the 70s. The towns are sometimes pretty, sometimes hideous, their defences constantly battered…

childrenofmanson

Would you allow an aggressive disease to spread? Would you watch with indifference as it devastated its host? I have a choice. And I, along with my Family, choose to act. Now you may choose. Join us… or die. Lloyd feels time is short. From his care home he looks out over a world he feels has lost its way. But though concerned he has a plan. Dee is a troubled university student, who finds it hard to fit in…

doctor_sleep

With Doctor Sleep Stephen King has captured one of those numerous ‘what if’ requests that cascade along the metaverse of popular fiction. What if we met Danny Torrance, that little boy who was shocked and awed by the Overlook Hotel and its minions in The Shining, as a grown-up? Would he still shine? Would there still be bad things lurking the peripheries? And it’s a hard thing to do – to address such a topic – given the mainstream popularity…

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Paula Cappa's Night Sea Journey

“Horror fiction can be—-is—-art.” Robert McCammon If you like the quality of “quiet horror” (deliciously dark narratives, atmospheric, suggestive, haunting) Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural with demons, angels, psychological twists, romance, and murder will conjure the chill and allure of supernatural phenomena that we all love to read. Dream demons. Ever have one enter your night journeys? Psychiatrist Dr. Laz Merlyn doesn’t believe in demons. He does believe in fear. His patient, artist Kip Livingston will tell…

Adam Baker's Terminus book cover

The idea of deserted and abandoned underground train and metro stations has always fascinated me. Like a cache of transport history tucked away through metro travel networks, they mark a point in humanities past, and well as that of the labyrinthine structure’s evolution, that’s out of reach for many. Mostly only urban explorers, rail engineers and the odd BBC TV documentary crews get to seek out these anthropological treasure sites. Well, those people and also most of the characters in…

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Joe Hill's NOS4R2

Despite its many allusions to an earlier age of horror novel, NOS4A2 (U.K. title NOS4R2) is a unique tale of journeys into new worlds of awful wonder. Joe Hill’s third horror tome comes close at times (some have argued too close) to paying tribute to those works of dread writers, including the authors own father, which heavily peppered the shelving of WH Smiths and other book stores in the 1980s. However, this is a classic, powerful novel of many and…

Stephen Leather's Nightfall

Jack Nightingale’s paranormally-soaked adventures subsequent to his debut in Nightfall have been charted already here on Spooky Reads. In both Midnight and Nightmare, the sequels (in order) to Nightfall, the supernaturally-inclined sleuth pounds the streets of London (and other climes) in order to resolve a variety of horrific conundrums. In all books he makes an unwittingly unique and powerful impact on the world in which he inhabits via the manner of an investigative technique that results in a trail of…

Sarah Pinborough's Mayhem

Over the years I’ve found myself naturally drawn to the menacingly foggy, twilight-basked and torpor-mist soaked pages of Victorian-era supernatural literature. That’s the stuff both penned during the period, and also that set in the timeframe but written outside of it. Like a cartoon bear to a unguarded picnic basket, there’s an atavistic pull toward such fictional climes for this horror reader. There’s good reason for this. Some of the strongest works of dread and gothic fiction came spilling out…

Richard Laymon's The Beast House

Woah! Yes, that’s right. Woah! How else can one start a review of a Richard Laymon ‘Beast House’-based book, but with an exclamation. It probably should be an expletive, given Laymon’s predilection for all things excessive, but I’m feeling a little reserved at present, so a simple woah will suffice. So, where to proceed to next, expletives aside, with this review of The Beast House, sequel to the bloody, over-the-top murder and shock-fest cult pulp-horror book The Cellar? I guess…

James Herbert's Ash

As a huge fan of James Herbert in my youth, I’ve eagerly ploughed through many of that leading British horror author’s works. From The Rats, through The Fog and The Magic Cottage, Creed and of course Haunted, the book that launched the career of paranormal sceptic investigator David Ash, I always found his works terrifically entertaining, mixing a balance of genuine scares with highly approachable prose and healthy injections of splatterpunk. So it was with a great deal of excitement…

Stephen King's The Stand

There are books, and there are books. That is, there are phone directories and there are epic tomes stuffed full of exquisitely crafted text and dutiful tales. And to be clear from the off, The Stand is no phone directory, although the sheer dominance of space it occupies on the bookshelf might make you think otherwise. So what it is about Stephen King’s 1978 horror novel that makes it places it head and shoulders above so many horror books across…

Tom Fletcher’s 2010 debut horror novel The Leaping thrust the author into the spotlight with its unique style and riveting ability to capture the reader’s attention. His followup novel, The Thing on the Shore likewise gave the supernatural literary circle some food-for-thought with its strong thematic tones and skilled penmanship. Last month saw the release of his third horror novel, the chilling The Ravenglass Eye, and this spooky reader wasn’t disappointed. And lucky for myself, and readers of Spooky Reads…