Book Reviews D-F

Killer Scarecrow by Scott Donnelly


Having read a couple of Scott Donnelly’s other stories, I was pleased to get the chance to read an early copy of Killer Scarecrow. This is a fast-paced adventure that I couldn’t put down. As you can tell from the title, there is a killer scarecrow, but the story involves much more than that. Following the death of his best friend one Halloween, Cash and some others who were there begin to experience some strange goings on. The creepy factor kicks in quickly and Donnelly keeps you guessing until the satisfying climax. Another fun read from Donnelly and one I’d highly recommend. Buy UK and US

Xtreme Xmas by D.J. Doyle & Lee Franklin


This was a book I was looking forward to enough to buy the paperback and what a fun ride it was! 12 short stories written by two of horror’s finest female authors, serving up a spattering of extreme horror. Not for the weak of stomach, these stories contain a hell of a lot of gore, bizarre and disturbing situations, rape, and general nastiness. Overall, it is a very enjoyable read (if you can handle it!). I particularly enjoyed 2 Hunting Knives and 7 Snowmen. Buy UK and US

The Ruined Man by Jason DeGray



The Ruined Man tells the story of Detective Wolf, who finds himself caught up in a cult’s attempt to summon a demon, and which leaves him forever changed. DeGray weaves an intriguing tale, combining police thriller with demonology and the occult, which had me desperate to keep reading. This book would appeal to lovers of both horror and detective stories. Buy UK and US

Dog Soldiers by K. A. Denver


dog soldiers

Dog Soldiers is the forst story from K. A. Denver that I have read, and I will definitely be checking out more. This is a short story, so I won’t give too much away, but it is a violent, action-packed tale which did not disappoint. Any fans of short horror stories are sure to enjoy this one. Buy UK and US

Germs of War by Ketan Desai



Germs of War is a fast-paced, interesting thriller. It provides a believable story around a terrorist plot to use biological weapons. The writing was engaging, and the story kept me gripped from the start. Definitely a recommended book. Buy UK and US

The Whool by Scott Donnelly



I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of The Whool from Scott Donnelly (author of The Scout Brooks Saga and the story Scorched which is include in Elements of Horror: Fire). The Whool is a quick read (I read it in one sitting) and it had me gripped from the start. The story opens with a mysterious discovery and continues to build a sense of dread and intrigue all the way through to the climax. Well written and atmospheric, this is a novella which any fan of creepy tales is sure to enjoy. Buy UK and US

OMFG! by D.J. Doyle



I’m quite a fan of Doyle’s work and thoroughly enjoyed the comedy-horror short Christ on a Bike! OMFG! is another winner, blending humour with some scary demons – a great short story. Buy UK and US

Twisted Tales by D.J. Doyle



I’ve been a big fan of Doyle’s work since reading her extreme horror story, Red, so I was excited to see that there was a new collection of short stories available. Twisted Tales is a superb read, blending various sub-genres of horror into a great range of tales. The quality of the writing is high, the stories keeping the reader gripped throughout. Twisted Tales is one of those rare collections where I loved every story included, but The Last Confession, Be Careful What You Wish For, and the bonus story by Lee Franklin, The Devil’s Tree, were strong favourites. Highly recommended to any horror fans. Buy here

Red by D.J. Doyle



Red was the first book I read that falls firmly into the extreme horror category and, a year on, it remains one of my favourite reads. Doyle takes the reader deep into the mind of a serial killer, seeing his actions and motivation from a believable, and pretty messed up, point of view. Red goes beyond the common story of a sexual predator kidnapping women, pushing boundaries and capturing the genuine horror of the victims, their imaginative and (very) grisly deaths as well as the excitement and pleasure felt by the killer. This is a story that will stay with you after you have finished it, for a very long time. Buy UK and US

Reddest by D.J. Doyle



As you could probably expect from my review of Red, I was extremely excited to hear that there was a sequel on its way, and even more pleased that I would have the chance to grab a copy before the Halloween issue of Indie Writers Review was completed. Reddest continues from where the previous book left off, again taking the reader into the mind of a killer. This killer has different techniques, and motivations, and Doyle captures these differences wonderfully. I don’t want to give too much away but I will simply say that Reddest is a worthwhile sequel to Red – twisted, violent, entertaining, and disturbing. Exactly what extreme horror should be! Buy UK and US

Warm, Dark Places Are Best by Mike Duke



I’ve heard a lot of praise for Mike Duke, so decided to start with his shorter work. Warm, Dark Places is a fun read, with a creepy feel throughout. The story was certainly entertaining enough to keep me reading through in one sitting, and there were a few moments which were deliciously gross. I look forward to reading more of Duke’s work, and Warm, Dark Places Are Best is guaranteed to please any horror lover. Buy UK and US

Fool in the Ring by John Evans



I’d been waiting for this sequel to The Unwilling Recruit, and it did not disappoint. Fast paced, well written, and thoroughly enjoyable, Fool in the Ring is just as good as the previous book. You can read our review of The Unwilling Recruit further down this page. Buy UK and US

The Unwilling Recruit by John Evans


unwilling recruit cover

The Unwilling Recruit is a really enjoyable, well written, supernatural thriller. It was very hard to put down as the reader follows journalist John Hunt’s adventures following a traumatic incident whilst reporting from a war zone. The whole story was packed with mystery and intrigue, with a great pace, and interesting characters, as Hunt finds himself part of a supernatural plan in which he has no choice but to be involved. A great read. Buy UK and US

Flash of Darkness by Toneye Eyenot


Flash of Darkness

Flash of Darkness is a great selection of short stories. Each tale is beautifully written, taking the reader on a number of terrifying journeys. This is the first of Toneye’s work that I have read, and will certainly be checking out more. Toneye Eyenot is an author that every horror fan should become familiar with. Buy UK and US

Psychotic Interlude by Toneye Eyenot



The more I read from Toneye Eyenot, the more I want to read. This is the second collection of stories I have read from the author, and I have started on a third already. His style of writing is superb, and each of the stories stay with you after you have finished reading them. This collection is more on the extreme side of horror, with detailed gore, but balanced well with a storyline that makes the reader think, and feel, everything that is going on. A must for any extreme horror fan. Buy UK and US

Of Nightmare Realities by Toneye Eyenot



Another fantastic collection of shorts from Toneye Eyenot. I read this straight after Psychotic Interlude, and the author shows his talent for writing in a variety of horror sub – genres. While Psychotic Interlude was far more brutal, this collection contained the deep, unsettling kind of horror. Beautifully written, but perhaps don’t read just before bed. Scary stuff! Buy UK and US

Blood Moon Big Top by Toneye Eyenot


blood moon

I have now read a number of books from Toneye Eyenot, and they never disappoint. Blood Moon Big Top is a novella, and a brutal one at that. It tells the story of a drifter who joins a circus as Marbles the clown. After an encounter in the woods, Marbles becomes unwell, and suffers a horrific transformation. Blood Moon Big Top is a story that any horror lover will enjoy; gripping, gruesome, and wholly entertaining. Buy UK and US.

Wolvz: Whispers of War by Toneye Eyenot



I’ve now read a number of books by Toneye Eyenot, and I have not been disappointed yet. Wolvz is a fairly short read, but completely absorbing and fast-paced. It tells the story of a large and powerful pack of werewolves as they embark on a brutal plan to to destroy human kind. Bloody and vicious, thoroughly gripping, and a must-read for any fans of werewolf stories, or horror in general. Buy UK and US

Abysmal Feast by Toneye Eyenot



Abysmal Feast is a collection of short stories which centre around the often taboo subject of cannibalism. As I had grown to expect from Eyenot, the stories were very well written and, of course, brutal. The Sadistic Nurse Emilie was my favourite, but each story was still very good. If you have the stomach for it, then this is a great collection of gruesome tales. Buy UK and US

Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery by Toneye Eyenot



Anyone familiar with Eyenot’s other works will know that he has a fondness for werewolves, and this collection of works provides a fantastic example of his talents as a writer. Comprised of a number of short tales, Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery is a brutally good read. Buy UK and US

Gilded Cage by Lee Franklin


gilded cage

Having read a couple of Lee Franklin’s short stories in some anthologies, I was excited to see that a standalone short story was being released. Gilded Cage is a clever little tale, mixing a sense of dread with political satire, and is unlike anything I have read before. Short stories are difficult to review without giving too much away so I’ll just say Gilded Cage is highly recommended and a lot of fun. Buy UK and US

Nang Tani by Lee Franklin



This is the second story I have read from Lee Franklin (after The Gilded Cage) and I was not disappointed. Nang Tani is a blood-soaked and gruesome tale about two rather unpleasant guys who take a break in Thailand. When one gets a tattoo of local deity Nang Tani, things take a turn and the blood begins to flow. Fast-paced and entertaining, this is a great story for horror lovers who enjoy the more brutal tales. Buy here

Berserker: Green Hell by Lee Franklin



Berserker: Green Hell is the third story of Franklin’s that I’ve read, after The Gilded Cage, and the bloody Nang Tani. Berserker is also the only novel I’ve read in one sitting. From the outset, the story takes the reader on a wild, bloody ride through the jungle of Vietnam in which something inhuman lurks. Our team of Australian soldiers find themselves in a secret US-owned facility and things get even worse for them there. The action is relentless, the gore coming by the bucket-load, and the story well-crafted. Berserker is one of my favourites for this year so far. Buy here.

Delivery at Zombie Lane by Titan Frey


Zombie Lane

Delivery at Zombie Lane is the first book in The Campfire Kids series. It is a book aimed at youngsters, aged 6-12, and is a great introduction to horror fiction for this age range. The book tells the story of five young boys who meet regularly to tell scary stories around a fire. Their gang, ‘The Ghoulish Five’, gain an extra person on this evening – a girl! Molly is given the chance to tell a story and will only be permitted to join the gang if it is scary enough. Delivery at Zombie Lane is a fun read, with just the right amount of creepiness for the age range, and one I’m sure most children would enjoy.  Buy UK and US

White Trash and Southern: Collected Poems, Vol. 1 by C.S. Fuqua



This is a big book, covering a vast range of subjects. C.S. Fuqua packs a lot of emotion into the short poems, each one beautifully conjuring up and image or feeling relating to that subject or moment in his life, giving a real insight into his past. A must for poetry fans. Buy UK and US