MY TOP 15 READS OF THE YEAR
IT KNOWS WHERE YOU LIVE… Imagine a place where all your nightmares become real. Dark urban streets where crime, debt and violence are not the only things to fear. Picture a housing project that is a gateway to somewhere else; a realm where ghosts and monsters stir hungrily in the shadows. Welcome to the Concrete Grove. This deprived area is Hailey’s new home, but when an ancient entity notices her, it becomes something much more threatening. She is the only one who can help her mother as she joins in a dangerous dance with loan-shark Monty Bright. Only Hailey can see the truth of Tom’s darkest desires as he tries to become part of their family. And only Hailey can lead them all to the heart of the estate where something older than this land stirs and begins to wake…
As a Cambridge College celebrates a midwinter feast, four uninvited strangers uncover a devastating secret. A secret that must never be revealed…for the love of humanity.
Andy Hughes – a man with a dark past and an even darker future. His search for a missing student will lead him to a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining…
Rob Benson – a van driver who discovers a dead wild boar in the back of his Transit. A boar that just won’t stay dead…
Jennifer Callaby – Andy’s estranged girlfriend, who discovers the shocking truth of The Caretakers – and the sacred task that they perform…
Jason Franklin – a prisoner who holds the key to the fates of them all, and may well be their only salvation – if he doesn’t destroy them first…
A disturbing thriller that questions the nature of evil and the price to be paid for the continued survival of the human race – a price that for some is too great to pay…
A chambermaid’s seemingly innocent request is granted, an act of kindness that has dire consequences for a guest… An unearthly light in an abandoned bungalow resolves the mystery of a missing child… An invitation to a clifftop graveyard leads to a harrowing chase by things that remain unseen… In an abandoned hotel, work is underway to upgrade the building but something is stalking the workers…
When John Simpson hears of a bizarre animal attack in his old home town of High Moor, it stirs memories of a long forgotten horror. John knows the truth. A werewolf stalks town once more, and on the night of the next full moon, the killing will begin again. He should know. He survived a werewolf attack in 1986, during the worst year of his life.
It’s 1986 and the town is gripped in terror after the mutilated corpse of a young boy is found in the woods. When Sergeant Steven Wilkinson begins an investigation, with the help of a specialist hunter, he soon realises that this is no ordinary animal attack. Werewolves are real, and the trail of bodies is just beginning, with young John and his friends smack in the middle of it.
Twenty years later, John returns to High Moor. The latest attack involved one of his childhood enemies, but there’s more going on than meets the eye. The consequences of his past actions, the reappearance of an old flame and a dying man who will either save or damn him, are the least of his problems. The night of the full moon is approaching and time is running out.
But how can he hope to stop a werewolf, when every full moon he transforms into a bloodthirsty monster himself?
Michael struggles to come to terms with the death of his wife. He has visions of her calling to him, inviting him to the beyond.
At the Bereaved Partners’ Group, he learns that he is not the only one left behind who can hear the departed beckon them… to the Mill.
This Greyhart Press eBook is a novelette: longer than a short story but brief enough to read in one sitting. At 16,000 words, The Mill would be about 64 pages in paperback.
‘The Mill’ was previously published by Pendragon Press as part of the anthology ‘We Fade to Grey’, edited by Gary McMahon. This Greyhart Press eBook edition has been revised but remains substantially the same. Paperbacks, and signed limited-edition hardbacks, of ‘We Fade to Grey’ may still be available.
If your looking for a gut wrenching emotional tale, with a slight supernatural twist, then look no further than this novelette from Mark West. If you fail to be moved by this story then you must have a heart of stone.
Gathering together most of his tales from the past few years,The Butterfly Man and Other Stories is a stunning collection of imaginative fiction from one of the most critically acclaimed authors of recent times. A very strange quartet of drinkers gathers in an out of the way inn to discuss the end of the world, while a young boy receives a unique Christmas present. A phone call has chilling consequences, and one father’s loss is written on the wind. A family find themselves trapped inside a bizarre consumer-land, and at the same time a man who has nothing to live for considers the many ways to die. Then a burglar gets more than he bargained for while a reporter also finds his luck running out . . . There are eighteen stories here (five of them brand new), including the Sherlock Holmes adventure ‘The Greatest Mystery’, sequels to Poe’s The Masque of the Red Deathand Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, plus the moving title story and a special bonus tale in the form of Paul’s first accepted short story, never reprinted since its first appearance in 1998: ‘The Cave of Lost Souls.’
A brilliant mix of light hearted fun stories mixed in with some tense, emotional and thought provoking tales, shows the broad pallet of writing styles. This is an excellent collection chock full of first class writing.
Murder makes monsters of people. Prosper Snow knows that better than most. Now he’s back on the trail of another serial killer, only this time there’s far more to the case than meets the eye. Thwarted at every turn, Prosper unwittingly uncovers a human experiment more monstrous than anything he could ever imagine. Now the only way to crack the case is to work from the inside and join a shadowy government agency that operates outside the law. Only he might be too late as the experiment has spiralled out of control.
I loved Shaun’s The Kult, which introduced us to the world of Prosper Snow, The Killers is a direct follow up to The Kult. This great action filled detective novel, full of brillaint twist and turns, with a brilliant supporting cast of characters, who said sequels never live up to the original?
Felix Renn is a private investigator in a world that co-exists alongside The Black Lands, a dark dimension filled with terrifying creatures.
After the woman he’s hired to follow turns up dead, Felix discovers he has drawn the attention of the Black-Eyed Kids – supernatural entities so dark and mysterious that even the government’s elite Paranormal Intelligence Agency knows little about them.
As the bodies continue to pile up, Felix quickly discovers he has no one to turn to, and that it’s only a matter of time before the Black-Eyed Kids come calling on him.
This was my punt of the year, I had never heard of Ian before picking up these three chapbooks. It was the cover to Black Eyed Kids that caught my eye. These three chapbooks introduce us to a world where the supernatural Black Lands have broken through. These three chapbooks each have a distinct style that shows the range of writing that Ian is capable of, highly enjoyable.
The first in series of short stories brought to you from some of the edgiest dark fiction writers around
When a full moon fills the night sky, P I Roman Dalton becomes a werewolf and prowls the dark streets of the city battling creatures of evil.
Paul D Brazill’s Drunk On The Moon is an intense and hard-boiled noir / horror short story series, brought to you by some of the finest dark fiction writers around.
Meet Eddie Kane: ex-cokehead and current, clueless sidekick to the enigmatic Calif Cryste, badass vampire hunter extraordinaire-and unforthcoming warrior of God. In the midst of a two-man crusade to put a kibosh on the vampire populations currently besieging the tribal lands of the Midwest, Eddie can’t help but notice that the string of death and destruction in their wake has begun to draw a certain, uncomfortable amount of attention from the local media. Enter obsessed FBI Special Agent Doug Degulchi, suspended from the bureau over his proofless conviction that these two are “the guys,” and Eddie finds himself an unwilling player in an over-arching drama as Calif’s own misguided sort of apostles begin to fall into place. Meanwhile, the vampire hordes race to multiply their ranks in anticipation of a coming battle even Calif cannot (or will not) predict, and Eddie hasn’t even had a chance to face his own demons yet. Whether or not Eddie’s prepared to accept the truth, though, the second-born is here to wage war… on his own, if he has to.
Dark Continents Press has published some truly great books this year. The Left Hand, keeps the tradition up. This is a unique twist on a vampire tale. Moving, original, and well written, this is the perfect cure for those of you sick of sparkly emo vampires.
On Leo’s sixteenth birthday, something bad happened. Something so traumatic his mind fractured, and darkness filled the crack. Twenty years on and the crack is a canyon. The schizophrenic hallucination that once offered sympathy has taken to mocking him, and the memory of that long-ago birthday claws at his darkest fears, overshadowing even the murder of his younger brother Davey. But just when life can’t get any worse… Leo dies.
A demon returns after twenty years.
An angel follows close behind.
Leo is caught in an age-old conflict, his past lying at the dark heart of it all.
I had to think long and hard about this one, I even considered making this a top twenty list when I came to the crunch. There were so many other books fighting it out. In the end this book won out. One of the main reasons is the book still sticks with me six months after reading it. For a début novel this is a killer read, dark, complex and compelling. I’m looking forward to the next novel from Mr Guest.
So there it is folks, this has been a great year for reading. You may not all agree with the fifteen books up there, but hey that’s your problem, not mine. I’ll never apologise for my taste in books.