Savage Season – Joe R. Lansdale

Synopsis: A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn’t be more different. Hap is an east Texas white-boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Together, they steer up more commotion than a fire storm. But that’s just the way they like it. So when an ex-flame of Hap’s returns promising a huge score. Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that’s when things get interesting. Chockfull of action and laughs, Savage Season is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn’t been the same since. Continue reading “Savage Season – Joe R. Lansdale”

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Carter & Lovecraft – Jonathan L. Howard

SynopsisDaniel Carter used to be a homicide detective, but his last case-the hunt for a serial killer-went wrong in strange ways and soured the job for him. Now he’s a private investigator trying to live a quiet life. Strangeness, however, has not finished with him. First he inherits a bookstore in Providence from someone he’s never heard of, along with an indignant bookseller who doesn’t want a new boss. She’s Emily Lovecraft, the last known descendant of H.P. Lovecraft, the writer from Providence who told tales of the Great Old Ones and the Elder Gods, creatures and entities beyond the understanding of man. Then people start dying in impossible ways, and while Carter doesn’t want to be involved, he’s beginning to suspect that someone else wants him to be. As he reluctantly investigates, he discovers that Lovecraft’s tales were more than just fiction, and he must accept another unexpected, and far more unwanted inheritance.  Continue reading “Carter & Lovecraft – Jonathan L. Howard”

Manifest Recall – Alan Baxter

Synopsis: Following a psychotic break, Eli Carver finds himself on the run, behind the wheel of a car that’s not his own, and in the company of a terrified woman he doesn’t know. As layers of ugly truth are peeled back and dark secrets are revealed, the duo find themselves in a struggle for survival when they unravel a mystery that pits them against the most dangerous forces in their lives.

A contemporary southern gothic thriller with frightening supernatural overtones, Alan Baxter’s Manifest Recall explores the tragic life of a hitman who finds himself on the wrong side of his criminal syndicate. Baxter’s adrenaline-fueled approach to storytelling draws readers into Eli Carver’s downward spiral of psychosis and through the darkest realms of lost memories, human guilt and the insurmountable quest for personal redemption. Continue reading “Manifest Recall – Alan Baxter”

The Summer that Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel

Synopsis: Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heatwave scorched the small town of Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

When local prosecutor Autopsy Bliss publishes an invitation to the devil to come to the country town of Breathed, Ohio, nobody quite expected that he would turn up. They especially didn’t expect him to turn up a tattered and bruised thirteen-year-old boy.

Fielding, the son of Autopsy, finds the boy outside the courthouse and brings him home, and he is welcomed into the Bliss family. The Blisses believe the boy, who calls himself Sal, is a runaway from a nearby farm town. Then, as a series of strange incidents implicate Sal — and riled by the feverish heatwave baking the town from the inside out — there are some around town who start to believe that maybe Sal is exactly who he claims to be.

But whether he’s a traumatised child or the devil incarnate, Sal is certainly one strange fruit: he talks in riddles, his uncanny knowledge and understanding reaches far outside the realm of a normal child — and ultimately his eerily affecting stories of Heaven, Hell, and earth will mesmerise and enflame the entire town. Continue reading “The Summer that Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel”

Paradise Sky – Joe R. Lansdale

Synopsis: A rollicking novel about Nat Love, an African-American cowboy with a famous nickname: Deadwood Dick.

Young Willie is on the run, having fled his small Texas farm when an infamous local landowner murdered his father. A man named Loving takes him in and trains him in the fine arts of shooting, riding, reading, and gardening. When Loving dies, Willie re-christens himself Nat Love in tribute to his mentor, and heads west.

In Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, Nat becomes a Buffalo Soldier and is befriended by Wild Bill Hickok. After winning a famous shooting match, Nat’s peerless marksmanship and charm earn him the nickname Deadwood Dick, as well as a beautiful woman. But the hellhounds are still on his trail, and they brutally attack Nat Love’s love. Pursuing the men who have driven his wife mad, Nat heads south for a final, deadly showdown against those who would strip him of his home, his love, his freedom, and his life. Continue reading “Paradise Sky – Joe R. Lansdale”

The Outsider – Stephen King

Synopsis: An eleven-year-old boy is found in a town park, hideously assaulted and murdered. The fingerprints (and later DNA) are unmistakably those of the town’s most popular baseball coach, Terry Maitland, a man of impeccable reputation, with a wife and two daughters. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland coached, orders an immediate and public arrest. Maitland is taken to jail, his claim to innocence scorned. Maitland has a foolproof alibi, with footage to prove that he was in another city when the crime was committed. But that doesn’t save him either.

King constructs a propulsive plot, and a race against time to uncover the identity of a terrifying and diabolical killer who has left victims—and “perpetrators”—across the country, and who is on his way to his next horrific act.
Continue reading “The Outsider – Stephen King”

The Bottoms – Joe R. Lansdale

Synopsis: It’s 1933 in East Texas and the Depression lingers in the air like a slow moving storm. When a young Harry Collins and his little sister stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottoms of the Sabine River, their small town is instantly charged with tension. When a second body turns up, this time of a white woman, there is little Harry can do from stopping his Klan neighbors from lynching an innocent black man. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color. Continue reading “The Bottoms – Joe R. Lansdale”

The Colorado Kid – Stephen King

Synopsis: On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues.

But that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still…?

No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world’s great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself… Continue reading “The Colorado Kid – Stephen King”

The Raptor & The Wren – Chuck Wendig

Releases 1.23.18.

Synopsis: Miriam Black, in lockstep with death, continues on her quest to control her own fate in The Raptor and the Wren, the brand-new fifth book in the Miriam Black series.

Having been desperate to rid herself of her psychic powers, Miriam now finds herself armed with the solution — a seemingly impossible one. But Miriam’s past is catching up to her, just as she’s trying to leave it behind. A copy-cat killer has caught the public’s attention. An old nemesis is back from the dead. And Louis, the ex she still loves, will commit an unforgivable act if she doesn’t change the future.

Miriam knows that only a great sacrifice is enough to counter fate. Can she save Louis, stop the killer, and survive?

Hunted and haunted, Miriam is coming to a crossroads, and nothing is going to stand in her way, not even the Trespasser. Continue reading “The Raptor & The Wren – Chuck Wendig”

Pork Pie Hat – Peter Straub

“Back then, I didn’t know anything about grief, and Hat wore grief about him daily, like a cloak. Now that I am the age he was then, I see that most of what is called information is interpretation, and interpretation is always partial.”

This novella is about a jazz saxophonist, his memories about something horrible that he experienced on Halloween night when he was just 11 years old & the journalist he recounts his story to. In ways, this could be considered a coming-of-age story about childhood horror. That childhood horror then lapses into something much more. Real harrowing adult fears like addiction, aging & prejudism.

I received this in the Stephen King Nocturnal Reader’s Box. I have yet to read anything by Peter Straub (I STILL need to read The Talisman novels with King. I know. I KNOW!) so this was my first introduction to his writing (that I recall, anyway!)

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a bit of time to squeeze in a shorter read before jumping into a MASSIVE FANTASY EPIC OF STABBY EPICNESS. You know, my usual kind of read! I read it in a day, which isn’t all that impressive, considering how short the book is. But it was an entertaining enough autumn read! Straub is obviously a competent writer & I will definitely be checking out more of his work outside of his books with King.. because there isn’t a question about those. I will literally read the phone book if King wrote it!

Inside the physical book is quite lovely. Not only are the black & white illustrations fantastic & atmospheric, but the extra details on the pages are quite pleasing to my eye! Cemetery Dance did a nice job with this, for sure!

-Holly