#BlogTour WITCH by MARK BROWNLESS #BookReview @ZooloosBT @SpellBoundBk #SHOctober #ZooloosBookTours

Are you ready?! Shocktober is with us and it’s time to get scared!! Huge thanks to the team at Spellbound books and ZooLoosBookTours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐞

We are delighted to present Ty Llun – Lake House – which is, once again, available.

A beautiful 400 year old waterfront property in an idyllic Welsh village, the property has plenty of character and comes complete with the spirit of a long dead witch.

It’s the ideal place for a couple to move to, to start again, to try and forget the heartbreak of the past.

And we are sure that, this time, 𝒔𝒉𝒆 will leave you in peace…

𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗳𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗱𝗼𝘄 𝗠𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗹.

Published by  SPELLBOUND BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales, UK. He has been putting ideas on paper for some years now but only when the idea for THE HAND OF AN ANGEL came to him in the autumn of 2015 did he know he might be able to write a book. Mark likes to write about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances, is fascinated by unexplained phenomena, and enjoys merging thriller, science fiction and horror.

Mark’s new novel, The Shadow Man is a terrifying horror thriller imagining what would happen if you found out the memories of your childhood were untrue, and that something sinister was lurking behind the facade of your life. Could you face what had happened back then? Could you face The Shadow Man.

Mark is also fascinated by myths and legends such as those of Robin Hood and King Arthur. This has culminated in the release of his short story series, Locksley, a Robin Hood story.

Follow him at:

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markbrownlessauthor 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJgI_jjJAyOhCtuZTH7Vx8Q 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/markbrownless


MY REVIEW

An isolated 400 year old waterfront property in a rural Welsh village… what could possibly go wrong??!!  I am so glad I read this book with all the lights on and during the daytime!!  Even now I am still wincing at weird noises around the house….. just in case the witch has decided to come and haunt me!

Victoria and Gabe are both writers, and they find themselves moving to this new property to try and help them move on from a tragedy.  But you can really tell that this grief goes deep and it’s very hard to move on.  The locals aren’t too welcoming and soon talk turns to the witch that haunts the property!!  That would see me running for the hills! But Victoria and Gabe aren’t put off by these tales….. and then the weirdness starts up at home!!

There’s noises, strange sightings, messages left on the wall….they begin by trying to be rational about it all but it soon turns much darker and Gabe is left to find out more about the past of this home in the hope he can put an end to it all, whilst Victoria seems to become more fascinated by this ghostly presence.

It was wonderfully descriptive throughout, that really helps put you at the centre of the action and leaves you with chills as the darkness that surrounds them takes hold!  I also loved the flashbacks to the past to tell the story of Morvith and could have happily read more tales of her and the goings on of the past!

It’s a book to frighten, to shock and to entertain and I loved every single minute of being scared and chilled to the core!!

★★★★

#BlogTour ROSIE SHADOW by LOUISE WORTHINGTON #BookReview #RosieShadow @louiseworthing9 @literallypr

So excited to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for ROSIE SHADOW by LOUISE WORTHINGTON. My thanks to the author, publisher and Helen Lewis for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!!  

ABOUT THE BOOK


Whatcha crying for, sissy? Why don’t you grow a pair?’ Rosie says to her mother…‘Send me to school and I’ll rip off your arm! Beat you with the stump.’

Abandoned by her terrorised mother at the age of six, Rosie Shadow will do anything to win the affection of her father Archie, an undead cannibal in charge of Her Majesty’s Prison Shortbury, now operating as a visitor attraction.

Clare is sent reeling into Archie’s arms with the grief of losing her boyfriend in a mysterious car accident when he collides with an ancient yew tree.

The secrets in the Medieval dungeon beneath the prison are under threat when Clare becomes suspicious of Archie’s true identity and his progeny.

Rosie Shadow is Book I in The Black Tongue Series


PUBLISHED BY RED ESCAPE PUBLISHING

PURCHASE LINK



Amazon

MY REVIEW


Holy Moly!!! Where to even begin?! Other than you need to read this in the daytime, and steer clear of creepy kids FOREVER!!! My chills were chilled constantly throughout this book and I’ve still got some images in my head that I really wish weren’t in there after reading this!!  But it seems I like to be scared witless as I couldn’t put it down!!  The characters are so compelling, and weird!, that you just want to know all you can about them and see if you can work out just how the story would play out… it didn’t go as I imagined!!


The book starts off fairly tamely with a young mother not coping too well with her demanding child!  Rosie is 6 and still being breastfed, and rules the roost over her poor mother Elly.  When Lennie finds out he’s Rosie’s dad, he goes for a visit… Rosie doesn’t take well to this ‘man’….


The story also adds into the mix the old prison, where Clare takes visitors for tours and works for Archie, who is one of those characters that makes your skin crawl instantly!  
Rosie is the creepiest, freakiest child you are ever likely to meet! You feel nothing but sympathy for her mum who has to endure horrific treatment and witness her outbursts.  But there are chilling characters galore throughout the book, and just when you think you’re horrified enough, there’s another twist to the tale that leaves you slightly more sickened than before!


This was a story that was utterly unique and enthralling in its’ own weird way!!  It was creepy AF and I’m eager for more from this series!!  What does that say about me?! I’m slightly concerned LOL!!


★★★★★

#BookReview THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET by CATRIONA WARD @ViperBooks


ABOUT THE BOOK


This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…

PUBLISHED BY VIPER BOOKS


PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon

blackwell’s – signed edition

hive.co.uk


MY REVIEW


If, like me, you like your books dark, twisted and unpredictable then this is the book for you! It’s billed as a gothic thriller, but I’d add psychological horror to the mix as well – it’s a real mind f*** in all the best possible ways!!

And that of course makes it very difficult to review without giving anything away! It centres around a house that is next to the woods. There’s a man, Ted, who lives there with his daughter and a talking cat Olivia – genius move adding a voice to the cat by the way!! – and very little is known about him. He keeps himself to himself – he was a suspect in a horrific crime years ago and that has left him wary of everybody. His pleasure in life is to feed the birds. And one day, these birds are poisoned in his garden…. his nightmares begin again and he feels like he is being watched.

Dee moves into the area, desperate to find news of her sister who went missing many years ago. She is convinced Ted knows something about it and will do all she can to find out the truth.

What follows is a fascinating and disturbing story that flits between now and then, as the past sets the tone for the present and the fates of characters play out in chilling fashion – a real stuff of nightmares!!

It’s one of those books that I can’t wait to go back and read all over again! Brilliant!!


★★★★★

My thanks to Viper Books for the advanced copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#AudiobookReview HINTON HOLLOW DEATH TRIP by WILL CARVER

ABOUT THE BOOK


It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

PUBLISHED BY ORENDA BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

My first Will Carver book – definitely not my last!! This was bloody brilliant!!! It was dark, twisted, thought provoking, absorbing….. it’s fair to say I loved it! And I thought the narration on the audiobook was top drawer!

This is a book narrated by Evil!! Yep, you read that right! And Evil has a lot to comment on as he watches over the goings on Hinton Hollow as darkness hits the inhabitants which sets off a chain reaction of more twisted goings on that affect everyone and leaves them all reeling, and leaves you wondering just what darkness will happen next!

Evil explains how people are! He often doesn’t need to manipulate them much, just a little gentle nudge and their own freewill surfaces and shows their true colours. And in the world we live in right now, this book hits home in more ways than one! I never thought I’d be so in agreement with Evil and his perceptions on humanity! Not sure what that says about me!!

The sequence of events are terrifying as they unfold. Someone is picking their victims carefully and it seems nobody is safe. And the perpetrator is seemingly untouchable with little clue as to their motives or identity. There are little hints and flashbacks, but the action mainly takes place over just 5 days. The darkness and the horror seems unstoppable and with Evil narrating, this just adds to the tension and the utter unpredictability of it all.

A truly unique story and I cannot wait to go back and read more of this series – and see what else Will Carver has lined up for us with his future books!! Loved Loved Loved it!!!

★★★★★

#BookReview #BlogBlast WITCH BOTTLE by TOM FLETCHER @JoFletcherBooks #WitchBottle

Hello and welcome to my post for the Blog Blast today to help share the love for this rather creepy and haunting read from Tom Fletcher.  My thanks to the author and Milly Reid for the copy of the book!
Here’s a little bit about the book before my review….

A deeply atmospheric literary horror novel about the nature of repressed guilt, grief and fear.

Daniel once had a baby brother, but he died, a long time ago now. And he had a wife and a daughter, but that didn’t work out, so now he’s alone. The easy monotony of his job as a milkman in the remote northwest of England demands nothing from him other than dealing with unreasonable customer demands and the vagaries of his enigmatic boss.

But things are changing. Daniel’s started having nightmares, seeing things that can’t possibly be there – like the naked, emaciated giant with a black bag over its head which is so real he swears he could touch it . . . if he dared.

It’s not just at night bad things are happening, either, or just to him. Shaken and unnerved, he opens up to a local witch. She can’t t discern the origins of his haunting, but she can provide him with a protective ward – a witch-bottle – if, in return, he will deliver her products on his rounds.

But not everyone’s happy to find people meddling with witch-bottles. Things are about to get very unpleasant . . .

Witch Bottle is literary horror at its finest, perfect for fans of Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney and Starve Acre. 

Published by Jo Fletcher Books


Purchase Links

Amazon
waterstones
hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW


This is a a story with an air of menace throughout – and I loved it!  It’s dark, unsettling and liable to take you on a very dark journey! It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and was really unsettling and I think that’s why I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.


It really explores the human emotion of loss, of grief, of loneliness and of self preservation.  Those times when you need to take yourself off and be by yourself, and when you push others away in your times of need as you’re in  fear of hurting those you love.  The main character, Daniel, a milkman, is just one of those people who has faced tragedy in his life, and while trying to get his life back on track he encounters a local witch who he comes to see as a ray of light in these darker times, but she’s involved in making ‘witch bottles’ which are supposed to protect people from nightmares and harm….not all those in the area are as understanding as he is of ‘witchy’ ways so more strange things begin to happen and there seems no escape from them.


This is a really different read – there’s a lot of time devoted to the milk round he is on as it becomes his life.  Out on the road by himself, spending too much time in his own head and the strange things he encounters along the way.  It’s not a scream out loud horror, but it’s one of those really unsettling reads that you never quite know just where it is going to take you.


The more you learn about Daniel and his past, the more you begin to understand his current state of mind.  I sometimes even wanted just a bit more shock from the story as it was often a bit of a slow burn.  That didn’t distract from the overall feel of the story as it was just so different from my recent reads, and nothing prepares you for the twists and turns along the way!!


I really did enjoy the contrasts of his normality – the daily milkround  – alongside the darker struggles he faced daily.  Seeing how those traumatic events from his past had taken their toll on him was the chilling aspect of the story.
A haunting, dark and twisty story!!


★★★★

#BookReview THE BUS ON THURSDAY by SHIRLEY BARRETT

ABOUT THE BOOK

That’s when I literally had thoughts of becoming a nun, because I thought, Well, I’m never going to have sex again. If I become a nun, I would at least have somewhere to live.


It wasn’t just the bad break-up that caused Eleanor’s life to unravel. It was the cancer. And the demons that came with it.


Freshly single and thoroughly traumatised from the ordeals of breast cancer, Eleanor Mellett starts a new job as a teacher in a remote mountain hamlet. It’s certainly peaceful enough, almost too peaceful. But what’s become of the previous teacher, the saintly Miss Barker, who has disappeared abruptly under mysterious circumstances? And what’s with all those locks on the door? And what the hell is that bus doing idling outside her house late, late at night?


Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in Twin Peaks. Darkly funny, deeply unsettling and surprisingly poignant, Shirley Barrett’s The Bus on Thursday is a strange and wild ride for all fans of Helen Fielding, Maria Semple, David Lynch and Stephen King.

PUBLISHED BY ALLEN & UNWIN

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK
hive.co.uk
whsmith

MY REVIEW

If you like your books full of dark humour and with a surreal, weird vibe, then I can’t recommend this highly enough! I fell in love with Eleanor right from the off as she faces life being single and being a cancer survivor and her cynical and funny approach to life was a joy to read, especially at the beginning where I found myself laughing at her thoughts and exploits on every page! Her world just turns very dark when she finds herself in a new town as a teacher, to replace Miss Barker who has disappeared without a trace!

Talbingo is the town and has a Twin Peaks kind of vibe! There’s very little going on and often very few people around. The missing teacher was just the sweetest according to those who worked with her and the children who idolized her and her stickers, so living up to that is something that is proving very difficult for Eleanor to deal with. But she has wine!! She seems to be able to cope with anything when she’s had a drink or three!

The more she finds out about some of the children and the old teacher then the darker the story becomes! The weird stuff just keeps getting weirder and this does detract from the story a little but still makes for very entertaining but unsettling reading! In Eleanor you have a character who isn’t in the most stable of places mentally or physically and is very prone to making rash decisions, and the stuff she finds herself involved with isn’t helping keeping her from looking back on things that happened to her or helping her move on emotionally! And the characters around her aren’t what you consider normal anyway!! Wherever you think the story might go, then you’d probably be wrong!! It was one of those books that is difficult to forget once you’ve finished as you can’t believe some of the things that went on within the pages of this book!!


★★★★

Readers Imbibing Peril XIV – I’m signing up! #readingchallenge #ripxiv #bookblogger

With 20 Books of Summer just finished I’ve been looking for another little reading challenge to see me through – and the lovely Nikki of The Secret Library Site reminded me that this reading challenge is back so here I am to sign myself up!

It’s the 14th year of the challenge, wonderfully hosted by https://readersimbibingperil.com/ and here’s a little bit more about it – maybe you’ll sign up too!

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery.Suspense.Thriller.Dark Fantasy.Gothic.Horror.Supernatural.


The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

The goals are simple. 

1. Have fun reading.

2. Share that fun with others.

I like a flexible and fun reading challenge so have been having a rummage through my bookshelves, and took a trip to the local library and have picked out a few possibilities that I’m hoping to get to over the next 2 months! And we all know what I’m like with lists so I’m sure different books may/will be chosen as and when! Will see how the mood grabs me!!

MEMENTO MORI by PAUL HOLBROOK

Whitechapel, London 1877
Sibelius Darke is a man rising to the top of his profession. He is a photographer by trade, but the subjects of his pictures are quite unusual, for they are dead. Darke offers a unique service; family portraits taken with the recently deceased.
The rich and the powerful wish to acquire his services and he is only too willing to do what he must to attain his dreams.
However after hearing a warning from the mouth of a dead child, a monster begins to stalk the streets, killing children. A beast from Darke’s own childhood nightmares.
Seen as a suspect in the eyes of the police, can he stop the killer himself? Or will it take and destroy everything that he holds dear?

Memento Mori is a Supernatural Murder Mystery Novel set in Late Victorian London. Mixing Finnish mythology with 19th century degradation and depravity, Memento Mori tells a story of murder, madness and corruption at the heart of Victorian high society.

WE by YEVGENY ZAMYATIN

We takes place in a distant future, where humans are forced to submit their wills to the requirements of the state, under the rule of the all-powerful Benefactor, and dreams are regarded as a sign of mental illness. In a city of straight lines, protected by green walls and a glass dome, a spaceship is being built in order to spearhead the conquest of new planets. Its chief engineer, a man called D-503, keeps a journal of his life and activities: to his mathematical mind everything seems to make sense and proceed as it should, until a chance encounter with a woman threatens to shatter the very foundations of the world he lives in.

Written in a highly charged, direct and concise style, Zamyatin’s 1921 seminal novel – here presented in Hugh Aplin’s crisp translation – is not only an indictment of the Soviet Russia of his time and a precursor of the works of Orwell and the dystopian genre, but also a prefiguration of much of twentieth-century history and a harbinger of the ominous future that may still lay ahead of us.
 

THE SHINING by STEPHEN KING

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

THIS CENSUS TAKER by CHINA MIEVILLE

For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell, This Census Taker is the poignant and uncanny new novella from award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville. After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?

MR GODLEY’S PHANTOM by MAL PEET

A haunting masterpiece from storyteller Mal Peet. Part ghost story, part detective novel and part something else entirely, Mr Godley’s Phantom is something of an enigma, with its own distinctive fifties flavour of cigarettes, petrol and mystery.

THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND by JACKSON FORD

For Teagan Frost, sh*t just got real.

Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers—a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.

But then a body turns up at the site of her last job—murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name—and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding…

Full of imagination, wit and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.

👻👻👻👻👻

So I may to get all of these, or may just read 1!  I’m just looking forward to a few different reads over the next 8 weeks  Just hope they don’t scare me too much……..

#BookReview Haverscroft by S.A.Harris #bookblogger #Haverscroft

ABOUT THE BOOK

‘An atmospherically creepy ghost story that keeps you guessing till the end! Sally Harris is one to watch.’ —Angela Clarke, Sunday Times Bestselling Author.

Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?

Haverscroft is a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night.

PUBLISHED BY SALT

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

hive.co.uk

WHSmith

MY REVIEW

A classic ghost story with a modern twist – and I loved every single scary, creepy moment of it all!!! Every noise I now hear in the house has me worried…..

Kate is married to Mark, and with their 2 children they move to Haverscroft in what seems to be a bid to save their marriage and start afresh in a new village. But Kate is increasingly spending more time alone with the children in their new home, as Mark is busy living away during the week with work, and her state of mind appears to be unravelling as she’s starting to see things, hear things, smell things… it is a figment of her imagination or is their new home genuinely haunted and trying to force them out.

The relationship between Kate and Mark is at the centre of this story and brilliantly looks into suspicions, mental health and how parents can play off against one another to look the good guy in the eyes of their children. With Mark away, Kate is troubled by him not answering the phone when she tries to call so that is setting off her doubts on his actual whereabouts. Their new home has always had a strange and unsettling feeling to her and the children and the more time they spend in there, the more that feeling intensifies – and the question of what is in the locked attic doesn’t help matters! The previous owner, Mrs Havers, had to move out because of her health but is keen to talk to Kate about the house and the longer the story goes on, the more you understand why she is so keen to share her thoughts to the new owners and as Kate delves more into the past of the house and local area the more she becomes driven and obsessed with finding out the truth about so many things.

The contributions from the children were some of the most chilling aspects for me! The things they talk about and that they see really add that edge to the ghost story and I think if I was living there I would have run out after a couple of days!! With history repeating itself you really just lose yourself in wondering what terrifying moments await them all.

I loved the setting and the pace of this story. The fear didn’t let up and the questions and doubts about Kate and her frame of mind played so well along the children and their perception of what was happening. This house full of dark secrets really had me petrified and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us with her next book!!

👻👻👻👻👻

#BookReview The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell #bookblogger #TheDevilAspect

About the book

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum 

In 1935, Viktor Kosrek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The state-of-the-art facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle outside of Prague, though the site is infamous for concealing dark secrets going back many generations. The asylum houses the country’s six most treacherous killers–known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer, and The Demon–and Viktor hopes to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon known as The Devil Aspect. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth. 


Meanwhile, in Prague, fear grips the city as a phantom serial killer emerges in the dark alleys. Police investigator Lukas Smolak, desperate to locate the culprit (dubbed Leather Apron in the newspapers), realizes that the killer is imitating the most notorious serial killer from a century earlier–London’s Jack the Ripper. Smolak turns to the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind, though he worries that Leather Apron might have some connection to the six inmates in the asylum. 


Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this stylishly written, tightly coiled, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

Published by  Constable

PURCHASE LINKS

hive.co.uk

WHSmith

waterstones

MY REVIEW

Madness and Murder – what a belter of a combination!! And this book has it in bucket loads and kept me terrified and looking over my shoulder at every opportunity!

I loved the setting in a creepy old castle which is now home to the criminally insane – The Devil’s Six – and Dr Viktor Kosarek is a young psychiatrist is brought in to use new techniques to try and uncover just what made these people commit such horrific crimes. i loved how we got to hear the backstory of each of the Six while the Dr interviews them and the author pulls no punches in describing some of the gruesome crimes they committed! This is not a book to be read before bedtime!!

Meanwhile, there is a murderer on the loose, known as ‘Leather Apron’ who butchers his victims, and Kaptain Lukas is in charge of trying to get to the bottom of who this vile creature is and if there is any link to those inside the Asylum. There are links also to murders committed in London by Jack the ripper with the brutality used so this is another connection that needs to be looked into and the story allows for different avenues to be explored both from the police point, the psychiatrist view and that of the criminals themselves.

As Dr Viktor delves further into the past of the Six, he hears how each of them are convinced it wasn’t them committing their crimes but the devil himself. I really enjoyed his time spent with these six characters – they all could have had their own books written about them with the lives they’d led, and the lives they’d taken, but it was so interesting to see them up alongside one another so that Dr Viktor could see what links he could find between them all.

There is a great mix of a very strong plot line with this book alongside those of flawed characters throughout who had suffered in their pasts, and setting it in a dark period of history allowed there to be many twists that lead the reader up the garden path, so to speak, and I found it to be one of those books that you lose yourself in and one of those stories that stay with you for some time after you finish reading the last page! Beware the devil!!!

My thanks to the Author and Publisher for the book in return for a fair and honest review.

★★★★

#BlogTour The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett #BookReview #ThePaleOnes

Extremely excited to be the latest stop on this Blog Tour for THE PALE ONES by BARTHOLOMEW BENNETT. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!

About the book

Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier… 

Few books are treasured. Most linger in the dusty purgatory of the bookshelf, the attic, the charity shop, their sallow pages filled with superfluous knowledge. And with stories. Darker than ink, paler than paper, something is rustling through their pages. 

Harris delights in collecting the unloved. And in helping people. Or so he says. He wonders if you have anything to donate. To his ‘children’. Used books are his game. Neat is sweet; battered is better. Tears, stains, broken spines – ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number — that’s just perfect. He might call back. 

Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) via Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip. 


“To a soundtrack of wasps, The Pale Ones unsettles in the way of a parable by some contemporary, edgeland Lovecraft, or another of the authors the used-book dealers in this story no doubt seek out, Arthur Machen. The unnerving images which flicker in a sagging English landscape of charity shops, seaside bed and breakfasts and amusement arcades, washed with stale beer, linger in my imagination ages after reading.” ANTHONY CARTWRIGHT, author of Heartland, BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime 

“THE PALE ONES reads as if Samuel Beckett decided to write a horror story after reading a bit of Aickman and Lovecraft. Its shifting landscape of English B&Bs, tawdry seaside hotels, and tatty pubs is haunted by glimpses of outlandish beings, half-forgotten wishes, and the forlorn ghosts of unfulfilled desires. It’s an outstanding debut.” Gary McMahon

Published by Inkanddescent

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bartholomew Richard Emenike Bennett was born in Leicester, the middle son of an American father and English mother. He has studied and worked in the US and New Zealand at various jobs: primarily software developer, but also tutor, nanny, data-entry clerk and call-centre rep, project manager and J-Badger (ask your dad), painter and decorator, and (very slightly) handy-man. Before that, and some now unimaginable time ago, he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Literature from the University of East Anglia. He has also been known to dabble in online bookselling.

He loves the Goodreads site, and is especially grateful to the Never-Ending Book Quiz for introducing him to The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis.

The Pale Ones is his first published work, although he has been writing fiction continuously, long-form and short, since 2002. Currently he is at work on a novel about three children who experience a long, wintry December filled with gifts. Of the unusual variety. And trials. Of the trying variety.

Currently he lives in southeast London, with his wife and two young children. He is a longstanding member of Leather Lane Writers Group, and since childhood, a dedicated reader of all manner of books, but especially tales of the “horror”. And in fact, some of the paper-packed rooms that feature in The Pale Ones bear a remarkable resemblance to locales in his own abode…

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a short novel that is compelling and will leave you feeling strangely unsettled, then look no further! It’s here! It doesn’t scare you though shock and gore, but creeps under your skin and messes with your mind and will leave you a little concerned everytime you may find yourself browsing through the books in a charity shop! If someone points you towards a certain book on the shelves while you’re there…. run!!

It’s a story of an old bookseller, Harris, seemingly passing on knowledge and tips to the young used book dealer he sees in a charity shop.  Harris is a very odd character – he has his mysterious ways and seems to strike up dodgy deals in dodgy places and persuades the young man to travel with him up North  to pick up some new stock, and in return he’ll get first pick!

It’s while they’re travelling and stopping off that the madness and descent into darkness begins!  It’s all written very subtlety in an almost ‘blink and you miss it’ style, but I loved that you were looking out for clues as to what Harris was really up to, enjoying the weird twists foisted upon you and just had that general sinister feeling throughout of what Harris really was involved in and where it would all lead to!

Such a fascinating, disturbing and quirky little book – it’s definitely one to get you out of your comfort zone and gets you to enjoy (if that’s the right way to describe a horror story!_ a different kind of storytelling!

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