I think this book takes place in London but I'm not 100% certain so I'll put this in the "Free" space.
Behind Her Eyes by this same author was a five star read for me (and yep, I LOVED that ending) but this one was not. I’m giving it a three and that makes me sad because I was so looking forward to another amazingly nasty little read.
CROSS HER HEART started out great. It’s a story of dark secrets and lies and murder. That kind of thing screams my name but I can’t give it a high rating because I saw most everything coming before it was revealed. I am NOT good at the sleuthing and I am not afraid to admit it. I never figure out the murderer or the twisty twists on any of those mystery shows and I’m even worse with books. So, either my brain is getting better at detection, or this book was a little too heavy handed with the clues. I’m guessing it is the latter but it also could be because the characterization was so well done that many little clues stuck in my forgetful brain.
The story is about a woman named Lisa. Lisa has a dark past she’s desperately trying to keep hidden now that she’s built a respectable new life and is the mother of a 16 year old daughter named Ava. But someone is haunting her and taunting her with tidbits that remind her that this someone knows all of her secrets and may expose her past misdeeds and ruin her life at any moment. The story is told from the point of view of Lisa, her best friend Marilyn and daughter Ava. I loved the three different point of views because we soon realize that all of these ladies have a little darkness in their lives and are very good at secret keeping.
And that’s all I’m giving you. To say more defeats the purpose of reading the book. Lies are eventually revealed, characterization stays intense and there was plenty of crazy to keep my attention but the fact that the plot reveals, the twists, and the murderer were all so obvious and the stalkers motive so weak, I found myself a very disappointed reader by the end of it all.
This one is going into the Free Category.
9/1 Classic Horror
9/5 Cozy Mystery (not on my card)
9/7 New Release
9/9 Southern Gothic
9/11 Terrifying Women
9/13 A Grimm Tale
9/15 Modern Masters of Horror
9/17 Creepy Carnivals
9/19 Relics and Curiosities
9/21 Diverse Voices
9/23 Murder Most Foul
9/25 Amateur Sleuth
9/27 Genre: Suspense
10/1 Ghost Stories
10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)
10/11 Darkest London
I've Read These (none called):
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH
Read & Called!
Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES
Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc
Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry
Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough
New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS
Mushrooms: I'll probably never eat one again! THE FUNGUS is a fast paced, funny and disgusting 80's horror story that contains everything you'd ever want from a fungi-based creature feature.
I recently read another book by this author, (two authors, really, using the pseudonym of Harry Adam Knight. Get it? HAK?), called SLIMER. I liked that one slightly more than this because there was no real science, just a fun, slimy, creature. In this narrative, we do have an attempt to be science-y, but not overly so, which I appreciated.
We follow several characters from the beginning, including the scientist who accidentally created this rapidly mutating fungi. Before we know what hit us, all of London is infected and not just people either. There are several types of fungi attacking concrete and other building materials eventually resulting in the literal crumbling of the city. Will any of the plucky characters survive? What about the doctor who created this mess? Will London itself make it through? You'll have to read THE FUNGUS to find out!
These two authors, John Brosnan and Leroy Kettle were actually very talented, (I say were, but one is still alive-Leroy Kettle,) and they knew how to write a creature feature without getting too bogged down in the fake science. Just enough to make it plausible to non-biologists is fine. Of course, using the old trope of science making a mistake and thereby destroying humanity is always rich with possibilities, maybe even more so these days than back in the 80's when this was written.
Being that this book was written back then, there are some sexist views, (a few racist ones too), and a few other things that don't fit in with today's culture and attitudes. There are also a few extraneous sex scenes thrown in there, because hey-in the 80's that's how the horror genre rolled. None of which bothered me much because this tale is just. that. much. fun.
Valancourt Books is dedicated to bringing back these out of print books, some of which have become nearly impossible to find. (If you are lucky enough to find one, you'd better be prepared to pay through the nose.) Over the years I've watched as they've become more and more popular and with their forthcoming PAPERBACKS FROM HELL series, I think they'll have reached the pinnacle as far as retro horror publishers are concerned. (They publish other lines as well, if you're interested, check out their website.)
THE FUNGUS isn't trying to masquerade as scientific or serious, it's just trying to provide imaginative, fast paced, creature feature fun. It has succeeded!
*Valancourt Books provided me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*