Tuesday 11 September 2018

The Doll House by Ashley Lister - Blog Tour

 Welcome to Day 2 of the Blog Tour for Ashley Lister's Doll House (Caffeine Nights Publishing)

Well, this one starts as it means to go on. The first chapter features a woman, Tina, taking a break in a house owned by her friend. In the bedroom is a doll, a creepy doll. And when she decides to get rid of it... "Don't kick me mama, please don't kick me"

Yeah, the doll speaks!!

Cut to now and author Ben Haversham stays at his agents house in the village of Sandalwood to try and get over his writer's block. Yup, it's the same house Tina was in. And if you thought the first chapter was creepy, believe me, it really kicks up a gear from here. The house is creepy, the village and it's residents - creepy. You get the idea.

This is what I want from Horror Fiction. I want to be unsettled from the get-go. I want to be wary of turning the page even though I need to know what happens next. And Doll House delivers every time.

If you liked James Herbert then this is for you. A cracking nerve shredder with an ending that is... yeah, you guessed it, creepy as all hell.     

Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and supplying me with a copy of the book for review. And please, if you get the chance, try and visit the other spots on the tour

Monday 10 September 2018

Distortion by Gautam Malkani Blog Tour

 Welcome to Day 6 of the Blog Tour for Gautam Malkani's new novel Distortion.

I must start, I guess, with full disclosure - I haven't quite got to the end of this book yet. But don't think of that as a bad thing, it's more that it is just taking me longer than I expected. It is a very good read so far (with about 60 pages left)

The premise is a good one, and very apt for the modern day. Our protagonist is a young man with 3 different identities - Dillon, Dhilan and Dylan. All 3 cover different aspects of his life, student, carer, business developer and each has a different online persona, different devices to keep them separate and, I gurss, to keep things from other people. It often seems as if 3 three entities are on the verge of unravelling and becoming wrapped up in each other, especially when all the different targeted advertising on his separate online lives (the bane of the online world) leaves him feeling less in control.

Where this book works especially well is when Dhilan and his dying mother (cancer) take centre stage, giving the reader some kind of understanding on just what a hard time it can be for carers (the unsung heroes of our generation imo). It is understandable, I guess, that because of this he developed the other 'selves'.

This is not a book to read quickly (no, I'm not making excuses) as there is a lot to take in and the different voices (as well as the 'modern speak') sometimes need you to concentrate but it is a book worth the effort.
 Thanks to Anne Cater and Unbound for supplying the copy and, as always, if you get the time please look at the other posts on this tour

Thursday 6 September 2018

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campbell

 Welcome to Day 1 of the Blog Tour for Ramsey Campbell's Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach (Flame Tree Press).

I guess I'll start with a touch of honesty - I read a lot of Ramsey Campbell's novels when I was younger but of late, not so much. I remember that I enjoyed them so when the chance to review this new one came up I was curious as to whether he was as good as I remembered.

The story revolves around three generations of a family on a summer holiday to a Greek Island that has just opened up to tourism. The elder generation, Ray and Sandra have a secret, Sandra is ill and this may well be the last family holiday, although they don't plan on telling the others.

As soon as they land in the resort it is clear something is 'off'. The buses won't stop at Sunset Beach after dark, there are no mirrors on the walls and some people are bitten in the night and seem to develop an aversion to sunlight.

Yes, what we have here is a version of the Vampire Myth but, more than that it is a story of family, of growing old. As Horror novels go it is very much a slow burner and that really benefits the story. Campbell leads the reader, dropping clues as breadcrumbs along the way, picks up the pace at the 'reveal', then you realise it's all over and you might have just read the nicest horror story ever.

There was plenty of suspense etc but what stood out was the interaction between Ray and Sandra. As I said earlier she is ill and the possibility of impending loss looms large between them, but they are determined to play a brave face to the others.

Ah yes, the rest of the family. All came across as quite likable characters apart from one, their Son-in-Law Julian. For some reason (and it was probably intended) I really disliked him. To the point I was glad he was in a horror novel and hoped he would meet a really grizzly end (Spoiler Alert - it's not a horror novel of that ilk so I was disappointed).

All in all this was a very enjoyable read, highly recommended.

Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this Blog Tour and for providing the copy for me to read.

As always, please try and visit the other stops on the tour if you get the chance