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review 2017-09-19 10:04
Helltown - Jeremy Bates

by Jeremy Bates

This is the third book in the World's Scariest Places series, which is a series of stand alone books all set in real places that have some sort of creepy folklore about them. I've read two others and they were really good, so I had high hopes for this one.


Helltown is about a place in Ohio that has effectively disappeared now, but had a reputation for meetings of Satanic groups, ghostly sightings and strange occurrences. It seemed like a great set-up for me as I love a good occult story, but unfortunately it let me down. This was mainly a problem with the characters. There wasn't anyone I could feel sympathetic for and the Satanists just weren't believable. It was like someone tried to do Dennis Wheatley and failed.


I can't fault the writing, except for a few passages that make me wonder if Bates might have written this one when he was less experienced. A run-on sentence that gave an info dump on a new character to open chapter 16 made me actually check to see it was the same author!


It's otherwise error-free and very effective writing. Admittedly using the most unlikely group of people possible for the Satanists put me off and effectively made the story lose all credibility, but I might have overlooked that if I could have cared about even one character and whether they would live through the experience.


There is some pretty nasty violence and a shocker at the end, so as a Horror book it ticks all the boxes, except for the occult aspect that might have made me enjoy it more. Slasher readers might love it.

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text 2017-09-04 15:13
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Helltown - Jeremy Bates

Jeremy Bates write a series of stand alone Horror novels set in real places with spooky history. I've read two of them and they were really good, The Catacombs (set in the Paris catacombs) and Suicide Forest (set in Aokigahara forest in Japan).


Helltown is in Ohio, though the author's note says most of the landmarks for it have been removed and signs renamed. Apparently it had a reputation for Satanic cults and ghostly sightings.


I love a good occult Horror or ghost story. :D




As it happens, I picked this one up when it was going free and it's one of those I've been wanting to get to. So, now I'm getting to it,


I don't have an ambition to read all the books in the series. Some have plots I just don't want to go there. But this one looks promising. I've read the Prologue and Dennis Wheatley would be proud.

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review 2011-09-01 00:00
Modern Masters of Horror - Frank Coffey Most of these were, at the very least, creepy. It seems I've read all of these before but it was still worth the reread.
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