Ink by Jonathan Maberry #bookreview #horror #paranormal

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry comes a standalone supernatural thriller Ink, about a memory thief who feeds on the most precious of dreams.

Tattoo-artist Patty Cakes has her dead daughter’s face tattooed on the back of her hand. Day by day it begins to fade, taking with it all of Patty’s memories of her daughter. All she’s left with is the certain knowledge she has forgotten her lost child. The awareness of that loss is tearing her apart.

Monk Addison is a private investigator whose skin is covered with the tattooed faces of murder victims. He is a predator who hunts for killers, and the ghosts of all of those dead people haunt his life. Some of those faces have begun to fade, too, destroying the very souls of the dead.

All through the town of Pine Deep people are having their most precious memories stolen. The monster seems to target the lonely, the disenfranchised, the people who need memories to anchor them to this world.

Something is out there. Something cruel and evil is feeding on the memories, erasing them from the hearts and minds of people like Patty and Monk and others.

Ink is the story of a few lonely, damaged people hunting for a memory thief. When all you have are memories, there is no greater horror than forgetting.

Take a moment to appreciate this exquisite cover – the designer did a magnificent job.  It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jonathan Maberry book, and after Ink, I’m kicking myself and wondering why.

From what I’ve seen in other reviews, the town of Pine Deep is featured in other Maberry novels, as are Monk and Patty.  I haven’t read those, but never felt as if I was missing anything.  Newcomers won’t be confused.

Antagonist Owen Minor is compared to a “psychic vampire” – he feeds on the tattoos and memories of others.  With such a large cast of eclectic characters, he’s got a veritable buffet to choose from in “The Spookiest Town in America”.  Two of his victims are Monk and Patty, who are easily my favorites.  Their stories are tragic and profoundly moving, and the loss of their memories and tattoos is deeply personal and gut-wrenching.  I ached for both of them.  Minor is abdominable, revolting, and intensely disturbed, and I felt slimy after every scene he was in.  I’ll never look at flies in the same way again and will be quicker to swat them in the future.

And that action-packed ending!  Holy crap, I don’t think I blinked once while reading it.  While it was mostly satisfying, I did feel as if some of the characters’ stories fell to the wayside and were left unresolved.  As a warning to readers who are faint of heart, Ink contains some graphic, gory scenes so be prepared.

This novel is bizarre, freaky, horrific, and often times gut-wrenching, but it makes me want to read the Pine Deep series.  I’d also love to see Patty and Monk in future books, so I’m hoping the author has a plan.  Highly recommend for horror fans!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#BadMoonRising Cusp of Night (Hode’s Hill Series #1) by Mae Clair #suspense #supernatural #TuesdayBookBlog

Yesterday I mentioned inspiration can be triggered by a variety of things. One of my questions gave this author an idea for a book (yay me!). Having read the series featured today and many of her other books, I have no doubt whatever comes out of that idea will be just as compelling. If supernatural suspense is your drug of choice, I can’t recommend this series enough. Welcome Mae Clair!

Hi, Teri! I’m super excited to be participating in Bad Moon Rising again this year. Thank you for arranging this awesome event, one where I always discover new books and new authors.

I’m bringing along Cusp of Night, a spooky tale that includes a haunted house, a 19th century spiritualist, seances, a mysterious creature, and dual mysteries—one set in the present and one in the 19th century. The book has over 100 reviews on Amazon, so readers can do plenty of poking around to see what others are saying about my supernatural mystery.

As always, you came up with a great assortment of creepy questions and writing-related questions to answer.  I had fun with these!

Has a movie or book scared you so much you couldn’t sleep?  Which one?

When I was a teenager, there were two books that terrified me—The Shining by Stephen King, and The Amityville Horror. When people think of The Shining, most remember the creepy ghost twins or the woman in the bathtub, but the moving topiary bushes were what kept me up at night. I still get goose bumps when I think about them.

Every movie adaptation I’ve seen of The Shining has fallen short of eliciting the fear I felt while reading. Today, the book remains one of my all-time favorites by King.

And then there is <shudder> The Amityville Horror. Knowing it was supposed to be true, pushed the terror element into the stratosphere. I devoured half the book in one afternoon, but was so terrified, I threw it in the trash without finishing it. Bleeding walls, clusters of flies, and a pig with glowing red eyes staring through the window at night—no thanks! I would have nothing to do with the movie either.

Would you rather use a Ouija board or participate in a séance?

This is a tough question because Ouija boards are not something I want to mess with, but going to a séance would be just as bad. Between the two, I’d opt for the séance. At least there, I wouldn’t be the one summoning the spirit. Strangely, while writing my reply for this question, I was hit by a great idea for a book. Thanks, Teri!

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

Definitely the car. Hopefully, it would come with a full tank of gas which would get me far away from the ghouls, zombies, ghosts, and assorted nasties. The gun would only have so many shots, and bullets don’t work on all creatures anyway. The short version—I would rather flee than fight a bunch of supernatural thugs.

Do you write to music?

Only instrumental. I’m one of those authors who can’t abide distractions when I write—no TV or music with lyrics. I have a flatscreen television in my office, but I only use it for listening to a spa-type music channel.

Which comes first for you – plot or characters?

Characters. They randomly pop into my head and demand I find a plot for them. As an example, Lucinda Glass, the spiritualist in Cusp of Night, hung around in one form or another for a few years before I found a story to suit. Then there is Madison Hewitt, who grew from a single line in End of Day. Suddenly, my lead character had a sister in a care facility for the emotionally disturbed. Who knew? Certainly, not the author!

Describe your writing space.

I’m fortunate to have a dedicated office in my house for writing. I have a desk with an iMac computer, two bookcases, and an electric fireplace for ambiance. The smaller of the two bookcases is for craft books and topics I’ve researched; the larger for fiction—including several signed hardbacks from my favorite authors. I had canvas prints made from a few of my book covers for hanging on the walls (Cusp of Night is one), and there are black cat silhouettes above the closet and entrance doors. My own black cat, Raven, usually hangs out with me when I’m working.

This was fun, Teri. Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

The truth hides in dark places . . .

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend. 

 Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

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#BadMoonRising Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell #paranormal #supernatural

You may have seen today’s author cruising around the blogosphere lately promoting his new book that’s featured here today, Eternal Road: The Final Stop.  Read on to learn why this author thinks a ghost would have him exorcised from the house instead of the other way around.  Welcome John W. Howell!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

 

I think I would rather spend the night in a haunted house. There are two reasons for this choice. The first is I have always been interested in the paranormal and would welcome the possibility of having a ghost interact with me. I would pump them for information on eternal life and other dimensions. It would probably end that the spirit would try to find an exorcist to get rid of me. The second reason is I have this creepy feeling every time I lay in a coffin. It’s not fear of death; it is a fear that someone would slam and lock the lid. To run out of air is not the way I want to end it all. Let me tell you I’ve laid in plenty of coffins, and that feeling never goes away


Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

First would be a bottle of bourbon. There is no way I’m going to be caught stone-cold sober face to face with a ghost. The second would be my trusty cell phone. I would want to record the appearance of anything that moved. Sure, I may catch a roach or two but would be sure of not missing an aberration should one appear. The last thing would be a fresh pair of boxers. I want to be ready for any horrifying sight that may present itself.

Would you rather use a Ouija board or participate in a séance?

 

Since I have used a Ouija board and declared with right hand raised never to touch one again, I’ll have to choose séance. I would love to have someone channel an exciting person. I know I would want to talk to Kurt Vonnegut. I would love to ask him what he considers his most important work. Who knows, he might not even mention writing? He may pull something obscure out of his hat like bagel-making or something. It would be fun to find out.

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

The hardest scene to write was the sex scene in Eternal Road – The Final stop. The reason it was so hard is the two characters have been friends since childhood. Both are dead and are in a state of grace, trying to select an eternal home. Yes, they are as near to angels as a soul can get. So why are they having sex? Now you get some of the difficulty. They have sex because their souls are under the influence of residual effects present in different Earth time periods. In short, human conditions such as hunger, pain, weariness, and lust are tainting their pure existence. The scene had to pass a semblance of scrutiny by some who might consider the book somewhat religious. My assumption in writing the scene is religious people have an enjoyable sex life but don’t necessarily want to read graphic details of others having sex.

Which comes first for you – plot or characters?

 

Since I am a died in the wool punster, the characters always have to come first. I rely on the characters to help create the story. If I tried to plan the information in advance and then fit characters into it, I think I might be in a bit of trouble. In my mind, I have clear ideas about my character’s personalities and possible reactions to situations. So, what I do first is lay out the last three lines of the story. I then go back to the beginning with this very rough idea of where the plot needs to end up and start writing the first chapter. My characters then join the ensemble (Me and them), and we develop the story together. Usually, my books start with a simple idea for a plotline. Where it becomes a little more complicated is as a result of character influences. 

 

Describe your writing space.

 

My writing space is quite simple. It is an office in our home and has a desk with nothing on it except a brass carriage clock, silver pitcher, and a globe. The carriage clock needs winding, and I have misplaced the key. The pitcher holds pens and pencils, none of which work. The pens are dried out, and the pencils are new and need sharpening. The globe is there because it looks terrific, sitting on the corner of the desk. I face the door and a wall. The door is usually shut because my French Bulldog Twiggy will come in and bark. She barks at the mail person and anyone else who may come down out street. We live on a cul-de-sac, so anyone on the street is considered an invader. The windows overlooking the street come down to about a foot off the floor, so Twiggy (the French bulldog) can easily see. When she wants in, she uses another door but has to walk around to it, which is a natural inhibiter. On the wall is a painting by Maine artist John Gable. It was one I bought from him at his home back in the early 80s. It is of a car that is waiting for a parade to start. It spoke to me of my hometown, Detroit, since the artist began his career in automotive design. Behind me is a massive bookcase and credenza. My PC is on the credenza since I use my MAC while at my desk. The PC is used only for publishing. There are copies of selected books on the shelves, along with some personal items. There is one copy of each of my books as well. The floor is tile, and the desk and chair sit on a piece of carpet. All in all, I find it very conducive to writing.

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

It is now available on Amazon in paper and Kindle. The Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th

Here is the universal link

Kindle
Paper

Author Bio

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell
Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

#BadMoonRising The Ballad of Mrs. Molony by C.S. Boyack #IndieAuthor #Paranormal

Welcome to the first day of Bad Moon Rising!  Having been a fan of horror/paranormal/supernatural books and movies from a very young age (blame my dad for letting me watch some shows at a questionable age), I look forward to hosting this event every year.  Today’s author is known for his wildly creative speculative fiction novels and is here today with his newest book that released this week!  Many of us are familiar with Lizzie and the Hat, and The Ballad of Mrs. Molony is the third in the series.  C.S. Boyack is in the house!

Thanks for having me back, Teri. I look forward to Bad Moon all year. October is kind of my month, and I enjoy learning about all the other author participants.

Seems like I’m always the one to break the rules, so I’ll try to follow them as best I can. It’s a lot of pressure being first. I’ll probably bend one or two, since my bio is a graphic.

We start off with some fun questions from Teri.

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

I choose the coffin. My bed is filled with my wife and I, along with two bulldogs. One night in a coffin might actually provide a decent night’s sleep.

Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

I suppose it depends upon the house, like are we talking a state of decay, or is there a decent couch? I’m just going to say, my iPad, my Remington side-by-side shotgun, and a six-pack of beer. (It’s still one item if the rings are attached.)

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

That’s another loaded question. Depends upon the car. Do I get something like an original baby T-Bird out of the deal? Maybe a Shelby Cobra? Before you saddle me with an AMC Pacer, I’m going to go back to the shotgun I mentioned up above. I grew up outdoors and am familiar with firearms. Put me in a dark forest, give me that, and your horror antagonist might not be the scariest thing in the forest that night.

Teri also asked some authorly questions, so we’re doing those next.

If you had to give up snacks or drinks during writing sessions, which would be more difficult?

Drinks, for sure. I don’t snack when I’m writing, but I drink coffee almost constantly during the drafting phase. I’m pretty sure a lack of coffee would impair my abilities.

Which comes first for you – plot or characters?

This is a cool question, because the answer is neither. My Muse tends to deliver fully formed vignettes. They aren’t a plot, just a scene. They have characters, but not developed characters. It’s up to me to formulate the rest into something that looks like a story. Sometimes a few vignettes go into one story, sometimes it’s only one that leads to something.

What are you working on now?

I’ve been in promotional mode for months. I haven’t drafted a darned thing since early summer. That doesn’t mean I’ve been fallow by any means. I’m a storyboarder, and that’s my version of plotting. I’ve been working on about seven boards during this time. The main focus will be concluding the Lanternfish trilogy once I start drafting again this winter. I also want to have another story about Lizzie and the hat for Halloween next year. I have three boards for their stories and counting, so they aren’t going away any time soon.

That clunky segue, leads me into the next part of this post. The cover and blurb for one book to be featured.

I’m writing this in early September, but if all goes well, this is my announcement post. The Ballad of Mrs. Molony should be live on Amazon today. (This might be where I’m bending the rules a bit.) I’m writing this blurb for the first time here, so it might change before the post goes live.

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use as a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exist? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

The Hat series consists of short novels designed for a long afternoon. They are paranormal themed, and full of dark humor.

Book One, The Hat. (Might do a free day to kick this off. Stay tuned.)

Book Two, Viral Blues.

Book Three, The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. 99¢ for a short time.

Eventide by Sarah Goodman #bookreview #YA #historicalfiction #supernatural #TuesdayBookBlog

MADNESS, SECRETS, AND LIES

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907

When their father descends into madness after the death of their mother, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves on an orphan train to rural Arkansas.

In Wheeler, eleven-year-old Lilah is quickly adopted, but seventeen-year-old Verity is not. Desperate to stay close to her sister, Verity indentures herself as a farmhand. But even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can’t completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold…and sometimes visions of things that aren’t there.

But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it—secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect….

A haunting tale of long-buried secrets, small-town scandal, and single-minded vengeance by talented debut novelist Sarah Goodman.”

After reading some heavy fantasy books, I was in the mood for something different, and the atmospheric cover and intriguing description of Eventide immediately caught my attention.

With Verity and her sister arriving on an orphan train in Wheeler and then sent to different families, you immediately sympathize with them.  Small towns always seem to hold the biggest secrets, and this one is no exception.  With the locals warning Verity not to venture into the woods, it reminded me of the movie The Village, which excited my supernatural-loving soul.  From the first page, the author does a wonderful job establishing an atmospheric setting, and fans of this genre will be thrilled with several spine-tingling scenes.

The characters are all well-written, and Verity finds some very likeable, supportive friends, but I especially adored Big Tom and Hettie, the couple who take her in to work on their farm.  The found family dynamic between them is so heart-warming, and one of my favorite parts of the story.

All of the long-buried secrets and scandals are revealed by the end, but the author holds back just enough to keep the reader guessing until almost the last page.  With this book releasing in early October, it would be a perfect one to curl up with on a chilly autumn evening.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu #bookreview #YA #contemporaryfantasy

From debut author Cole Nagamatsu comes an atmospheric contemporary fantasy about three teens coming of age in the wake of a mysterious death.

Last summer, Link Miller drowned on dry land in the woods, miles away from the nearest body of water. His death was ruled a strange accident, and in the months since, his friends and family have struggled to make sense of it. But Link’s close friend Noemi Amato knows the truth: Link drowned in an impossible lake that only she can find. And what’s more, someone claiming to be Link has been contacting her, warning Noemi to stay out of the forest.

As these secrets become too heavy for Noemi to shoulder on her own, she turns to Jonas, her new housemate, and Amberlyn, Link’s younger sister. All three are trying to find their place—and together, they start to unravel the truth: about themselves, about the world, and about what happened to Link.

Unfolding over a year and told through multiple POVs and a dream journal, We Were Restless Things explores the ways society shapes our reality, how we can learn to love ourselves and others, and the incredible power of our own desires.

The beautiful cover, mention of a drowning on dry land, and the victim contacting his friend from beyond the grave were what drew me to this book.  I’m always intrigued by the supernatural.

It’s not exactly what I expected.  The writing is incredibly lyrical and flows with some beautiful passages and vivid descriptions.  Noemi is quirky, creative, and loyal – all qualities I admire about her – and handles a conversation about asexuality brilliantly.  I’d expected the storyline to lean more heavily on the mystery of Link’s death, the strange texts Noemi receives from someone claiming to be him, and the disappearing lake.  All of that was part of the plot, but another very large portion is made up of the three (four, really) characters in love with Noemi (which seemed a bit excessive) and her feelings about them.  At times, it seemed as if I was reading two different stories.  The POVs primarily rotate between Noemi and Jonah, but the inclusion of Amberlyn’s POV in a few chapters puzzled me since they didn’t add anything to the plot.

Each of these characters experience grief in different ways, and some of their conversations are emotionally heavy and brutally honest.  They’ll make you think.  One character has an especially difficult life that tugs at the heartstrings, and I just wanted to hug him.

With an unusual storyline, poetic writing, and slower pace, there’s much to enjoy about this book, but I wouldn’t recommend it to readers looking for an action-packed thriller as it sways more toward contemporary fantasy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Calling #Horror, #Thriller, and #Paranormal #IndieAuthors for #BadMoonRising

It’s that time again – Bad Moon Rising is coming!  Thirty-one authors for thirty-one days in October.  If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal/supernatural books and would like to be featured, send me an email.  FREE publicity, book sales (hopefully!), new authors to follow, and more books added to the TBR – what’s not to like?

Each post will feature one of your releases, a blurb, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview.  If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m always open to suggestions.

This is the sixth year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

I’ll be traveling today, so I probably won’t be able to get to emails until tomorrow.

A Boy Named Rabbit (Wake-Robin Ridge #2) by Marcia Meara #bookreview #suspense #supernatural

“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”

The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with The Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.

The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power to change the world for everyone he meets, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.

Is it possible to join a fictional family?  I’d love to join this one and live in the mountains of NC.

Several other readers’ reviews have mentioned how Rabbit stole their heart – I’m no exception.  He’s such a wonderful character – wise beyond his years despite his limited education, empathetic, loving, appreciative, and an excellent judge of character.  He’s an old soul in the body of a 10-year-old boy, and I just wanted to hug him and protect him from the world.

I was so excited to be back with Mac and Sarah, who I got to know in the first book, as well as Rosheen and Handsome.  They’re two of my favorite furry characters, and I adored how quickly Rosheen took to Rabbit and felt so protective of him.

Parts of Rabbit’s story are tragic, but overall, this is a heart-warming, feel-good read with some pretty suspenseful moments and magnificent character development.  I can’t wait to continue the series.

Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter #YA #historicalmystery

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

I’ve had this in my TBR for a while and listened to the audiobook during a road trip last fall.

While the narrator’s voice for Abigail is perfect, it didn’t work for me with Jackaby’s voice, but that’s a personal issue.  I appreciated Jackaby’s straightforward manner and the way he approaches the case.  His interactions with some characters are prickly at best, but also amusing.  Abigail is an adventurous soul and determined to live her own life and not abide by the expectations of others.

This was an entertaining enough read while driving, but I identified the killer very early in the book.   I hoped for red herrings to steer me in the wrong direction or an unexpected twist – but neither happened.

With several books in the series, it’s popular with readers, so I’m probably in the minority on my opinions.  I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, supernatural suspense read.

 

Eventide (Hode’s Hill #3) by Mae Clair #bookreview #supernatural #suspense

The darkness is coming . . . 

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
 
Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

I’ve been riveted by every book in this series, but this one is probably my favorite.  Probably my favorite cover, too.

Mention a book featuring a haunted house, and I’ll snatch it up every time.  Madison’s house is most definitely haunted, and it’s pretty clear she’s not welcome.  Most people would tell her to leave, but after using nearly all her resources purchasing the new home, her options are limited and she chooses to find a way to exorcise the ghosts.  I was thrilled to see my favorite character from book two make another appearance.  With his extensive experience in dealing with spirits as a medium, Dante is brought into the house to determine exactly what Madison is dealing with and learns some frightening things.

As with the other books in this series, Eventide alternates between past and present, allowing the reader to learn the history of the house and the heartbreaking reason it’s haunted.  The jumps between timelines are seamless, and that story is just as compelling as Madison’s.  Be prepared for some spine-tingling, chill-your-bones scenes – this author is an expert at making you feel unnerved.

I’m sad to see this series end, and I’ll miss these characters who feel like friends.  Each of these books can be read as a standalone, so starting at the beginning isn’t required.  If you’re a fan of small town suspense with a supernatural twist, Hode’s Hill certainly delivers.  Highly recommended!