horror

Latest Review: The Tooth Fairy – by Graham Joyce

Short Summary:

Sam and his friends are like any normal gang of young boys. Roaming wild around the outskirts of their car-factory town. Daring adults to challenge their freedom.

Until the day Sam wakes to find the Tooth Fairy sitting on the edge of his bed. Not the benign figure of childhood myth, but an enigmatic presence that both torments and seduces him, changing his life forever. (more…)

Re-reading James Herbert – #1 The Rats

James Herbert was arguably one of Britain’s most recognised and popular authors of our time, having written 23 novels and selling over 54 million copies worldwide (translated into 34 different languages).  His work defined the Chiller genre, adding  horror and fantasy elements to the present day in a way that was never approached before.  Sadly on the 20th March 2013, Herbert died at his home in Sussex at the age of 69.

Much like James Smythe’s brilliant ‘Re-reading Stephen King’ series (view here), I have decided to re-visit James Herbert’s novels that I have grown to admire over the years.  Having been born later than half of his novels were first written, I was amazed on my first discovery to find how many of these stories were still fresh and seemingly undated, having stood strong against the test of time.

These series of posts will look at all 23 of his novels (excluding his short stories, non-fiction titles and graphic novel) in chronological order, starting with his first novel, The Rats (1974),  and ending with his last novel, Ash (2012).

#1 The Rats (1975)

Ratsnovel.jpg (more…)

Top 5 Haunted House novels

What makes novels about haunted houses so popular?  Is it because they make us feel vulnerable in our homes; a place which we should feel sheltered and safe from the outside world?  Or is due to the haunting presence of the horrors that had occurred in the past?  Whatever the reason is, one thing is for certain; we love them!

Here are our top 5 haunted house novels, which are all great reads and recommended for anyone who likes a good scare: (more…)

The Ritual – Adam Nevill

The Ritual

Short Summary:

Four old friends reunite together for a hike in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle.  But as they take a short-cut to ease their journey, the four friends stumble across an old ancient habitation.  They soon find themselves lost, hungry, surrounded by forest that has been untouched, and stalked by something that still exists deep within the trees… (more…)

Top 5 Short Story Collections

5) The Pan Book of Horror Stories – selected by Herbert Van Thal

The Pan Book of Horror Stories

The original selection of spine chilling tales of this much loved series, and has some of the best terrifying tales included, such as Hazel Heald, ‘The Horror in the Museum’, Joan Aiken, ‘Jugged Hare’, George Fielding Eliot, ‘The Copper Bowl’, Joan Aiken, ‘Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket’, CS Forester, ‘The Physiology of Fear’ and Seabury Quinn, ‘The House of Horror’. (more…)

Review – Grim by Rupert Smith

Grim

Short Summary:

As unexplained suicides begin to pile up in the panic-stricken town of Besselham, visiting archaeologist John Russell makes a strange and sinister discovery on the beach at low tide.  An ancient monument, perhaps – or evidence of a hideous blood cult rising from the distant past to engulf Besselham? John must risk everything to save his disturbed, lonely son Isaac before insatiable powers of evil claim and consume him. (more…)

Review – The Forbidden – by F.R. Tallis

The Forbidden

Short Summary:

Doctor Paul Clément witnesses a ritualistic murder while working for a mission hospital in Saint Sébastien, and is sworn to not speak of what he has seen.  After returning to Pairs, the ambitious doctor grows intrigued of the study patients who have apparently died, been brought back to life, and whilst suspended between life and death, experience what they believe to be heaven.  Clément attempts a daring experiment in order to confirm these extraordinary reports, but the outcome is wholly unexpected.  When he is resuscitated, he brings something back with him…

Review: 

The Fordibben is a well written story that captures the city of Paris and the culture perfectly set in the 19th Century.  All the characters are well thought out, and the protagonist of the piece, Doctor Paul Clément, is someone who you will feel sympathy for throughout the whole novel.  The elements of dark magic and demonic possession are equally balanced between the story telling, and not too in your face like some books can be.

F.R. Tallis has a certain style of Gothic class about his writing, which really stands out, especially with the explanation of the gargoyles at Notre-Dame.  The mood is creepy yet sophisticated.  There are true elements of horror included, and some horrific scenes of imagery without being too over the top.

Overall:

An enjoyable read that somehow feels refreshing being set in the 19th Century, when superstitions were at a high as well as people not being afraid to question religious views.  The exorcisms may appear too familiar to some, but I put this down to popularity of the subject, and I believe that Tallis handles this well without treading on previous material.

Recommended to those who are looking for a fresh take on Gothic Horror.

Other similar stories by this Author:

The Sleep Room

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The Devil Rides Out – Dennis Wheatley

Latest review – The Year of the Ladybird, By Graham Joyce

The Year of the Ladybird

Short Summary:

It is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. But with political and racial tensions simmering under the cloudless summer skies there is not much fun to be had.

And soon there is a terrible price to be paid for his new-found freedom and independence. A price that will come back to haunt him, even in the bright sunlight of summer. (more…)