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review 2017-10-23 20:22
The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror by Stephen Jones
The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel (All Hallows Horror Trilogy) - John Llewellyn Probert,Stephen Jones

There has always been something wrong about All Hallows Church. Not just the building, but the very land upon it stands. Reports dating back to Roman times reveal that it has always been a bad place—blighted by strange sightings, unusual phenomena, and unexplained disappearances.


So in the 1990s, a team of para-psychiatrists is sent in to investigate the various mysteries surrounding the Church and its unsavoury legends. From the start, they begin to discover a paranormal world that defies belief. But as they dig deeper, not only do they uncover some of the secrets behind the ancient edifice designed by “Zombie King” Thomas Moreby but, hidden away beneath everything else, something so ancient and so terrifying that it is using the architect himself as a conduit to unimaginable evil.

After four days and nights, not everybody survives—and those that do will come to wish they hadn’t. Imagine The Haunting of Hill House, The Amityville Horror, The Entity and The Stone Tape rolled together into the very fabric of a single building. And then imagine if all that horror is accidentally released . . .

 
**********
 
The Lovecraft Squad is a book that promising in the beginning of the book, but unfortunately didn't manage to be interesting all the way until the end. 
 
I loved the beginning of the book. Two boys are investigating a building site and they find a skull, a bone and a pot in the place where H.G. Wells house once upon a time had stood. I found this part chilling and the story just kept on being interesting, the discovery of scrolls that tells about the end of time. It was fascinating and intriguing and the idea of 7 people entering the haunted All Hallows Church and spending four days there sounded so incredibly awesome. 
 
However, it's here the story started to drag a bit. At first, I loved the events (apparitions, etc.) at the church, but it came to a point when the story just didn't intrigue as much as it had before. The "surviving" members of the team is going beneath the church and into another world, it was pretty easy to see which world this was, but it took some time before this was addressed by one of them (hint a classic book about hell). And, they traveled from one level to another and I grew more and more bored and I had a suspicion that a certain twist would occur here and I was right. 
 
But, despite this did the book end in an interesting way, and yes I would read the next book in the series. Partly because of the cliffhanger ending, but I did find the book, for the most part interesting.
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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text 2017-10-23 19:25
Halloween Bingo 2017: Update 10 -- "Read-Out" (Reading Blackout)

OK, so all six outstanding final bingos are riding on the three squares yet to be called, with "Classic Horror" a guaranteed multiple bingo and the other two squares potential ones.  Only one of the as-yet outstanding square calls is not on my card.  "Real" blackout will thus tumble in either on Oct. 29 or Oct. 31, depending when the final square that I don't have is going to be called.

 

 

My Square Markers and "Virgin" Bingo Card:

"Virgin" card posted for ease of tracking and comparison.


Black Kitty:
Read but not called


Black Vignette:
Called but not read

Black Kitty in Black Vignette:
Read and Called

Black Kitty Center Square:

                  Read = Called

 

 

Current Status of Spreadsheet:

(Note: Physical print editions unless stated otherwise)

 

 

Books Read / Listened to:
 

 

Final Book Read:


Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills

 

 

Books Read / Listened to - Update 1:



Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites

 

 



Wilkie Collins: Mrs. Zant and the Ghost
(Gillian Anderson audio)

 

 

 

Martin Edwards / British Library:
Miraculous Mysteries - Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes

 

 



Agatha Christie: Mrs. McGinty's Dead
(Hugh Fraser audio)

 

 

Books Read / Listened to - Update 2:



 Donna Andrews: Lord of the Wings

 

 


Ruth Rendell:

The Babes in the Wood

& Not in the Flesh

 

 

Robert Louis Stevenson: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

 

 


Cornell Woolrich: The Bride Wore Black

 Raymond Chandler:

Farewell, My Lovely

  The Long Goodbye

The High Window

 

 

Books Read / Listened to - Update 3:

 
Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

 

 

 
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
(Prunella Scales & Samuel West audio)

 

 

 
Simon Brett: An Amateur Corpse

 

 

 

The Medieval Murderers: House of Shadows

 

 

 

Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

(Bernadette Dunne audio)

 

 

  


Murder Most Foul (Anthology)

Edgar Allan Poe: The Dupin Stories -- The Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Mystery of Marie Rogêt / The Purloined Letter

(Kerry Shale audio)

 Agatha Christie: Endless Night
(BBC full cast dramatization)

 Dick Francis: Knockdown (Tim Pigott-Smith audio)


 

 Ngaio Marsh:

Artists in Crime (Benedict Cumberbatch audio)

Overture to Death (Anton Lesser audio)

Death and the Dancing Footman (Anton Lesser audio)

Surfet of Lampreys (Anton Lesser audio)

Opening Night (aka Night at the Vulcan) (Anton Lesser audio)

 

 

Books Read / Listened to - Update 4:

 
James D. Doss: Grandmother Spider

 

 


Terry Pratchett: Men at Arms

 

 


Ovid: Metamorphoses
(German / Latin parallel print edition and David Horovitch audio)

Apollodorus: Library of Greek Mythology

Plutarch: Life of Theseus

 

 

Books Read / Listened to - Updates 5 & 6:

 
C.S. Forester: The African Queen

 

 

 
Margery Allingham: The Crime at Black Dudley
(David Thorpe audio)

 

 

 


Jo Nesbø: The Snowman

 

 

Books Read / Finished - Update 7:


Antonia Hodgson: The Devil in the Marshalsea

 

 


Gabriel García Márquez: Crónica de una muerte anunciada
(Chronicle of a Death Foretold)

 

 


Peter May: Coffin Road


 

 
Joseph Sheridan Le  Fanu: Carmilla

 

 

First Bingo (Update 3 - Sept. 23, 2017): Squares and Books Read:

  

 

 

Second Bingo (Update 5 - Oct. 7, 2017): Squares and Books Read:

   

                                                                           

                                                   

                                                   

 

 

Third Bingo (Update 7 - Oct. 16, 2017): Squares and Books Read:

   

                                                                

 

Fourth Bingo (Update 7 - Oct. 16, 2017): Squares and Books Read:


                                                                                

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                      
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     

 

 

Fifth Bingo (Update 8 - Oct. 18, 2017): Squares and Books Read:

 

 

 

Sixth Bingo (Update 9 - Oct. 19, 2017): Squares and Books Read:


             

         

Seventh Bingo (Update 9 - Oct. 19, 2017): Squares and Books Read:


 

                                        

                          

                             
                                                    
                                                    
                                                    
                                                    
                                                    

 

 

 

The Book Pool:

Most likely: Donna Andrews: Lord of the Wings

Alternatively:

* Diane Mott Davidson: Catering to Nobody
* One or more stories from Martin Greenberg's and Ed Gorman's (eds.) Cat Crimes
* ... or something by Lilian Jackson Braun




Most likely: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
(audio return visit courtesy of
either Michael Kitchen or Prunella Scales and Samuel West)

Alternatively:

* Wilkie Collins: The Woman In White
(audio version read by Nigel Anthony and Susan Jameson)

* Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
(audio return visit courtesy of Anna Massey)
* Isak Dinesen: Seven Gothic Tales
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* ... or something by Daphne du Maurier




Candace Robb: The Apothecary Rose

Change of plan:

C.S. Forester: The African Queen




Most likely: Simon Brett: A book from a four-novel omibus edition including An Amateur Corpse, Star Trap, So Much Blood, and Cast, in Order of Disappearance

Alternatively:

* Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?
* Margery Allingham: The Crime at Black Dudley
(audio version read by David Thorpe)
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Minette Walters: The Shape of Snakes




Most likely: Something from James D. Doss's Charlie Moon series (one of my great discoveries from last year's bingo)

Or one of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries

Alternatively:

Sherman Alexie: Indian Killer




Terry Pratchett: Carpe Jugulum

Change of Plan:

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Carmilla




One or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes




Most likely: Agatha Christie: Mrs. McGinty's Dead
(audio return visit courtesy of Hugh Fraser)

Or one or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Serpents in Eden: Countryside Crimes

Alternatively:

* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar, To Love and Be Wise, or The Singing Sands
* Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?
* Peter May: The Lewis Man
* S.D. Sykes: Plague Land
* Arthur Conan Doyle: The Mystery of Cloomber
* Michael Jecks: The Devil's Acolyte
* Stephen Booth: Dancing with the Virgins
* Karen Maitland: The Owl Killers
* Martha Grimes: The End of the Pier
* Minette Walters: The Breaker




One of two "Joker" Squares:

 

To be filled in as my whimsy takes me (with apologies to Dorothy L. Sayers), either with one of the other mystery squares' alternate books, or with a murder mystery that doesn't meet any of the more specific squares' requirements.  In going through my shelves, I found to my shame that I own several bingo cards' worth of books that would fill this square alone, some of them bought years ago ... clearly something needs to be done about that, even if it's one book at a time!




Isabel Allende: Cuentos de Eva Luna (The Stories of Eva Luna) or
Gabriel García Márquez: Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold)




Most likely: One or more stories from Charles Dickens: Complete Ghost Stories or
Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills

Alternatively:

* Wilkie Collins: Mrs. Zant and the Ghost
(Gillian Anderson audio)

* Stephen King: Bag of Bones




Terry Pratchett: Men at Arms




Obviously and as per definition in the rules, the second "Joker" Square.

 

Equally as per definition, the possibles for this square also include my alternate reads for the non-mystery squares.




Most likely: Cornell Woolrich: The Bride Wore Black

Alternatively:

* Raymond Chandler: Farewell My Lovely or The Long Goodbye / The High Window

* James M. Cain: Mildred Pierce
* Horace McCoy: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
* David Goodis: Shoot the Piano Player or Dark Passage
* ... or something else by Cornell Woolrich, e.g., Phantom Lady or I Married a Dead Man




Most likely: Ruth Rendell: Not in the Flesh or The Babes in the Wood (audio versions read by Christopher Ravenscroft, aka Inspector Burden in the TV series)

Alternatively:

* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills




Most likely: Peter May: Coffin Road

Alternatively:

* Stephen King: Bag of Bones or Hearts in Atlantis
* Denise Mina: Field of Blood
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Minette Walters: The Breaker
* Jonathan Kellerman: When The Bough Breaks, Time Bomb, Blood Test, or Billy Straight

* Greg Iles: 24 Hours




Most likely: Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills

Alternatively:

* Karen Maitland: The Owl Killers
* Greg Iles: Sleep No More




Most likely: Margery Allingham: The Crime at Black Dudley
(audio version read by David Thorpe)

Alternatively:

* One or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Murder at the Manor: Country House Mysteries
* Georgette Heyer: They Found Him Dead
* Ellis Peters: Black is the Colour of My True-Love's Heart




Most likely: Something from Terry Pratchett's Discworld / Witches subseries -- either Equal Rites or Maskerade

Alternatively:

* Karen Maitland: The Owl Killers

* Shirley Jackson: The Witchcraft of Salem Village




Most likely: Antonia Hodgson: The Devil in the Marshalsea

Alternatively:

* Rory Clements: Martyr
* Philip Gooden: Sleep of Death 
* Minette Walters: The Shape of Snakes
* Ngaio Marsh: Death in Ecstasy

* One or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Capital Crimes: London Mysteries




Most likely: Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(audio return visit courtesy of Sir Christopher Lee)

Alternatively:

* H.G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau 

* ... or something by Edgar Allan Poe




Most likely: Something from Ovid's Metamorphoses

Alternatively:

* Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp
* Christina Rossetti: Goblin Market
* H.G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau




Most likely: Jo Nesbø: The Snowman

Alternatively:

* Val McDermid: The Retribution
* Denise Mina: Sanctum 
* Mo Hayder: Birdman
* Caleb Carr: The Alienist
* Jonathan Kellerman: The Butcher's Theater
* Greg Iles: Mortal Fear




Most likely: The Medieval Murderers: House of Shadows
or Hill of Bones

Alternatively:

* Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills
* Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House
* Stephen King: Bag of Bones
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Michael Jecks: The Devil's Acolyte




Ooohhh, you know -- something by Shirley Jackson ... if I don't wimp out in the end; otherwise something by Daphne du Maurier.

 

 

 

 

 

Merken

Merken

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review 2017-10-23 09:38
One Blood
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru

by Qwantu Amaru

 

Randy Lafitte blamed his father for his mother's death in a car crash and as a young man, went to a voodoo priestess to exact his revenge. He then grew up to be governor of Louisiana, but when his spoiled daughter gets kidnapped, some of the lessons of his early life in New Orleans come back to haunt him.

 

Politics and voodoo make for an interesting backdrop to this story about family, betrayal and a voodoo curse. My only issue is that there are a lot of flashbacks, which make it hard to stay connected to the story. I felt that some plot threads didn't get followed up and there was a loss of linearity through jumping around too much in time.

 

It was interesting to see certain aspects of a subculture written by someone of the race depicted. I don't know the author's history or whether he might have any real experience with Voodoo, politics or gang culture, but apart from the kidnapped girl's reactions to some things, it seemed to lend some credibility.

 

It was an interesting read despite all the jumping around in time and gave me some mental exercise trying to work out who was on what side at various points. There was plenty of action, guns, explosions, all the things that make for good action films. Believability of the more esoteric plot points waned considerably by the end, but that's always a risk with any story involving magic.

 

One technical note for the Kindle version, the contents show 54 chapters, but there are actually 83! It's all there, but all the later chapters show as part of chapter 54.

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review 2017-10-23 02:07
Blanky - Kealon Patrick Burke
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke

Steve doesn't think his life can get any worse. His nine-month-old baby girl mysteriously dies in her crib. His grief stricken wife, Lexi, can't bear to be around Steve and the house where their daughter died. So, she moves back in with her parents, leaving Steve all alone to face the misery by himself. Then the mysterious baby blanket shows up out of the blue. Where did that come from? Didn't that become lost when they were clearing their daughter's room of all the belongings? What is going on? Are we starting to see a man's frayed ends of sanity?

 

 

Blanky is a boot kick to the solar plexus as the reader sucks wind, trying to find respite from Steve's all-encompassing world of grief. The thought of losing your only child, just as their life got started, is a parent's worst nightmare. To have to go through that grief alone would be hell on earth. Burke doesn't let up. He provides what looks like an escape hatch for our protagonist and then promptly smashes his fingers with the lid when he tries to use it as an exit. Another thing that I'm impressed with is Kealon's word choice throughout the story. He flexes his wordsmith muscle without coming across as frivolous or arrogant. A dark, disturbing story that was perfect with Halloween around the corner.

 

 

 

5 Hidden Baby Teeth out of 5

 

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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text 2017-10-22 23:24
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Burnt Offerings: Valancourt 20th Century Classics - Robert Marasco,R.C. Bray
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