Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke

Sour CandySour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Sour Candy, Kealan Patrick Burke weaves a dread inducing psychological horror novella that seriously wreaks mayhem with your sanity.

Phil Pendleton was more than willing to pay a visit to Wal-Mart to restock on chocolate sex rewards, the memory of Lori in pink silk undies (with leather paddle and ball gag, fun times) and hot shagging fresh in his mind. When the kid screamed like a banshee and shattered his love lust euphoria.

An unsettling scream queen style screech from a boy no less and something strange is about to take place. A mind fuck of phantasmagoric and inexplicable proportion starts in the Sour Candy section. This isn't the last time Phil will see this young boy but he'll wish it was, with every ounce of his soul.

Next up Phil is involved in a car accident and the driver of the other car, yep it's the boy’s Mother.

'Marsh studied him as one might a particularly exotic species of insect. “I’m asking you all of this, Mr. Pendleton, because when the officers went to your house, the child you just described seeing with Mrs. Bennings is the one who opened the door.”

A true Woah! WTF moment and Phil, well Phil's life is suddenly changed and me, I'm tripping. Kealan Patrick Burke never disappoints and just to reassure you, there is definitely no horror of the ball gag variety, Sour Candy is one of the best psychical horror novellas I've read and KPB is pretty fucking awesome.

A 4.5* rating and also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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Snowblind II: The Killing Grounds by Michael McBride

Snowblind II: The Killing GroundsSnowblind II: The Killing Grounds by Michael McBride
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Michael McBride takes us back to the Rockies and once more we're blind in the snow, we're in the killing grounds, the panic is mounting and the tensiometer is pinging like a metal detector in a shipping container.

Seven years ago John Avery's girlfriend went on a skiing trip with friends, none of them were ever seen again and he's searched for them, relentlessly, he was even a suspect.

Sheriff Wayne Dayton once shot a man who staggered into a diner carrying a severed head, a tortuous ending to a harrowing journey that is not easily forgotten. A conservation biologist searching for a missing bighorn sheep finds a video camera hidden in a tree and evidence of the missing party is finally discovered.

'A scream from the television cut him off. It was loud and clear and filled with so much raw terror that the hackles rose along his shoulders and neck.'

Sheriff Dayton investigates, resulting in a group setting out to ascertain exactly what happened all those years ago. Darkness and a freak blizzard put them in the killing grounds of a predator even Arnie would struggle to get away from.

There's a cabin hidden in the snow and the trees, on a wall inside is scrawled the names of those unfortunate enough to realise that there's definitely no hiding place, not here. And a warning 'They come at night'.

Snowblind 2: The Killing Grounds is another exemplary suspense filled horror from McB, in a perfect setting for terror, the pace and trepidation rise exponentially until it's just unbearable. Will there be any survivors in the most extreme of conditions and if there are, can the U.S. law department take them out (kill them that is, not for lunch). Well worth finding out and I do recommend the two Snowblind novellas, heavy on terror, light on humour and there’s a good deal of pronounced nail-biting and heart pounding tension going down.

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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The Prophet

The ProphetThe Prophet by Michael Koryta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Austin brothers haven't spoken in years, not since high school when their sister was abducted and murdered when one of them should have been driving her home. Now, Kent is a football coach and Adam is a hard-drinking bail bondsman. When Adam unwittingly sends another girl to her doom, the two brothers must work together to find her killer...

Holy. Shit. This was one hell of a book.

The Prophet, while appearing initially to be a crime book, is really about what happens to families after a tragedy. In this case, it's about how Marie Austin's death sent her brothers in opposite directions and how another girl's death eventually brought them back together.

Adam Austin can't seem to get past his sister's death and hides from it with alcohol and a simmering capacity for violence. Kent Austin threw himself into his career as a high school football coach and the church. It would have been easy for Koryta to make either of them a stereotype but they are both well-rounded characters. It's a testament to Koryta's skill that he made me care about Kent's high school football team's winning season, which takes up a large part of the book.

I can't say enough good things about this book. Koryta had me guessing up until the end. It knew it wouldn't be a happily ever after ending but it still hit me like a shotgun blast to the chest. I may have let a man tear escape before the final page was turned.

The Prophet looks like a fairly standard crime book on the surface. A psychopath is on the loose and police can't seem to catch him. A certain wise man likened The Prophet to Mystic River, which I think is very accurate. The Prophet is one of those books that transcends genre and proceeds to kick ass on several levels. Five out of five stars.

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