Tag Archives: Horror

Shadowblood

2 Jun

“Shadowblood” written by Tracy Revels ad published by MX Publishing, is the sequel to “Shadowfall” in which we learned that Holmes is half fae, Watson loses his soul, and then his memories.

In the opening to “Shadowblood” we learn that the events of “Shadowfall” have made Watson extremely ill. The story starts with his convalesence in the country with an old army buddy. But things don’t stay sane for long. The arrival of a nasty neighbour demanding that Holmes be sent for sets of a trail of events that lead Holmes and Watson across Europe and to America in search of a horrific murderer, and also a legend.

Tracy Revels has given as a book just as exciting as her first one. I quite literally read this one in one sitting. Ms Revels writes with warmth and humour, but there is no denying the chills her story generates as well.

As well as her superb Holmes and Watson, Ms Revels sprinkles the book with interesting characters, many of them historical.

If you like your Sherlock Holmes spiced with the supernatural and seasoned with chills, you will love this book.

Highly recommended.

“Shadowblood” is available directly from MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/shadowblood-a-novel-of-sherlock-holmes?_pos=5&_sid=8362b7cd4&_ss=r

The Holmes-Dracula File

8 May

Criminals are threatening to set loose thousands of plague carrying rats and a there is a killer who leaves a trail of bloodless corpses in his wake. Who is the killer and what, if any, is the connection?

In “The Holmes-Dracula File” by Fred Saberhagen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meets Bram Stoker in a truly delightful mash-up.

Holmes and Watson are kept as much in traditional character as possible, given the subject matter.

The story is fast paced and exciting, keeping the reader breathless from page to page. A truly ripping yarn and one in which Holmes and Dracula have much more in common than you would think.

The book was first published in 1978 so physical copies may be hard to obtain. Though the book is still available on Kindle format.

Recommended.

The Ghost Club

4 Apr

Welcome to the Ghost Club – where Arthur Conan Doyle, along with Bram Stoker, Henry James and their guests, invite you to a feast of Victorian tales of the uncanny and macabre.

“The Ghost Club” is written by noted horror writer William Meikle. Each story purports to be written by a prominent Victorian writer. All fourteen stories are seriously weird, always creepy, and, at times downright terrifying. Each one is a great read, but, of course, I have my favourites.

“The High Bungalow” (Rudyard Kipling) – a terrifying tale of ghosts and Freemasonry in the hills of the Punjab.

“The Immortal Memory” (Leo Tolstoy) – death and poetry at the court of Catherine the Great.

“The House of the Dead” (Bram Stoker) – this tale of death and spirits seriously made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

“Farside” (Herbert George Wells) – a tale of spirits and technology that left me more than a little unsettled.

“The Angry Ghost” (Oscar Wilde) – not a particularly frightening tale, but notable because William Meikle caught the flavour of Wilde’s style perfectly. It put me in mind of Wilde’s classic story “The Canterville Ghost”.

“The Scrimshaw Set” (Henry James) – this tale of the sea and death is chilling a macabre in equal measures.

“The Curious Affair on the Embankment” (Arthur Conan Doyle) – Inspector Lestrade deals with a missing persons case with a horrifying twist.

I cannot recommend this volume of stories highly enough. If you enjoy classic ghost stories you will love this book.

The Hackney Horror

11 Feb

Someone, or something, is stealing the best brains in Britain. Not the bodies. Just the brains. Holmes and Watson investigate and come face to face with appalling horror.

“The Hackney Horror” by William Meikle is a delicious horror story. I can’t give much detail without giving away the plot, but the story fairly rips along from one thrill to the next.

The friendship between Holmes and Watson is solid. And William Meikle gives us a great Lestrade; all sarcasm and snark.

If you like your Holmes a little strange, you will love “The Hackney Horror”.

Highly recommended.

The Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder

21 Dec

Originally published in 1913, this edition by Wordsworth was published in 2006 with an introduction by David Stuart Davies.

“The Casebook of Carnaki the Ghost Finder” comprises stories written by W. H. Hodgson and originally published in magazines including the Idler, where at least one story came with a warning to readers!

This edition comprises nine stories of greater and lesser appeal. Several, including ‘The Gateway of the Monster’ and ‘The Horse of the Invisible’ are downright terrifying.

The longest story in the book is ‘The Hog’. It is also quite possibly the weirdest story I have ever read. It possibly also holds the record for the most time the words ‘grunting’ and ‘squealing’ have been used in a single story.

If you haven’t ventured into the world of Carnack the Ghost Finder, I highly recommend doing so. The stories are most definitely worth a read.

Shadowfall

5 Oct

Tracy Revels’ Sherlock Holmes novel, “Shadowfall”, published in 2011 by MX Publishing, is a book that has been sitting on my ‘To Be Read’ shelf for a while. I did not know what a delicious treasure was waiting for me.

When the sacred relics and mystical objects of London begin disappearing, Holmes is reluctant to take the case. But this isn’t an ordinary case and Holmes is far from an ordinary man.

Welcome to the world of Shadows.

“Shadowfall” isn’t traditional Holmes & Watson. This is a horror story as well as a mystery. Watson is completely human, but Holmes proves to be so much more than human.

Tracy Revels has written a darkly delicious story with much to delight people like myself, who are partial to their Holmes served with a side order of strange.

The book is well written; the writing tight and sharp, with a few light touches to ease the tension. Holmes and Watson in this book are very much in step with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations.

I didn’t so much read it as devour it. Highly recommended.

“Shadowfall” and its sequels (which have now gone onto my Book Depository wishlist) are still available::

Sherlock Holmes: The Long Sleep

25 Aug

Those that know me know that I am quite fond of Sherlock Holmes with a side order of weird.

“Sherlock Holmes: The Long Sleep”, by William Meikle serves up an excellent portion of both.

John Watson meets up with an old army comrade at a funeral. The man, Jock Travers, a shadow of himself, tells Watson a tale of terror on the high seas. When Watson relates the story to Holmes, Holmes is keen to investigate and the scene is set for a horror-tinged tale of tomb robbing and its dire results.

William Meikle’s Holmes and Watson are well drawn and the friendship is strong and balanced. Lestrade makes a couple of appearances and is a good, solid character. The original characters, even the minor ones, are well-rounded and feel very real.

An excellent novella that I highly recommend to all lovers of both Sherlock Holmes and weird fiction.

The Opposite of Life

17 Jun

“The Opposite of Life” is a fantastic dark urban fantasy/horror novel from talented author Narrelle M. Harris.

Lissa Martin is an intelligent, sassy librarian living in Melbourne, Australia.  After a break up with her boyfriend, her friend Evie takes her out clubbing.  Lissa finds two dead women in the toilets, the room awash with their blood.  Her nightmare is only just beginning, as it become apparent that there are vampires in Melbourne, and the body count is rising.

The main character of Lissa is sharp tongued, quirky, and genuinely likeable.  The other characters are well rounded and believable.  Lissa’s sister Kate is definitely worth a mention.  She’s the opposite of Lissa in so many ways, but it’s also easy to spot that they are sisters.

The vampires Narrelle has created are not sparkly Twilightesque annoyances.  These guys mean business and it’s a distinctly unpleasant business at that.

“The Opposite of Life” is loaded with dark humour, but, has moments of genuine horror that leave you wavering between deeply unsettled and totally creeped out.

No longer available new in paperback, “The Opposite of Life” is still available for Kindle via Amazon.

I can’t recommend the book highly enough.

Mayhem

16 Nov

“Mayhem” by Sarah Pinborough is a novel that  looks at a little known series of crimes that were being committed in London at the same time as the Ripper murders.  The Thames Torso Murders.

The book starts with the remains of a woman being discovered where Scotland Yard is being built (this really did happen).

At first, the book appears to be a normal crime novel…then things take a twist into the dark and paranormal.

The main character is Dr Thomas Bond, who was a real person.  Considered by many to be the first criminal profiler.  He created the first profile of Jack the Ripper.  He was Police Surgeon for A Division (Westminster) under whose purvey the Thames Torso Killings fell.

Much of what happens in the book, with the exception of the horror elements of the story, did actually occur.  Dr Bond’s autopsy of Mary Jane Kelly is quoted, and his profile of the Ripper is quoted in full in the novel.

Several other characters will be recognizable to those interested in the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

This is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a ripper of a novel.  Fast paced, exciting, with an escalating sense of horror that has you on the edge of your seat.

Ms Pinborough has a dark sense of humour which helps take the edge off the fear factor:

“Found dead.  A verdict as useful as a fucking bible in a Bluegate brothel.”

“Of course she was bloody found dead.” Moore grumbled.  “Some bastard cut off her head and her limbs.  If she’d been found alive I would have been more than bloody surprised.”

I am eagerly awaiting her second book in the series “Murder” which is due for release next year.

Note: Apparently the back of the book was incorrect.  “Murder” was released earlier this year.  Am now awaiting my copy from the library.

The Severed Streets

16 Oct

Quill, Costain, Sefton and Ross are back for their second outing in Paul Cornell’s “The Severed Streets”.

In this, the second book of the Shadow Police series, the team have to deal with the return of Jack the Ripper.  Yes, the Ripper is back, but this time he’s targeting white men.  When one particular man is killed, it stops being police work and becomes very personal.  They’ll kick down the doors of Hell itself to get the answers… and vengeance.

In this book we learn a lot more about the Sight and how this occult world that Cornell has created works.

We also meet two fantastic new characters in the shape of The Rat King… and Neil Gaiman.  The wonderful Mr Gaiman has allowed himself to be turned into a character, and I think we’ll be seeing more of him in future books.  What he does you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out.  Let’s just say it is NOT a cameo appearance by any means.

“The Severed Streets” has all the bounce and verve of “London Falling” as well as massive character development, and some seriously wicked repartee.

If you loved “London Falling” then you won’t be disappointed by its sequel.

Highly recommended to all lovers of police procedurals, urban fantasy, and horror.

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