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Search tags: Southern-Gothic
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review 2017-05-17 22:30
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Mark Bramhall
Those Across the River - Christopher Buehlman


Those Across the River is my first Buehlman, but will not be my last. In fact, I downloaded another of his books just now.


I recently got a new phone that came with some fancy earbuds, so I decided to head over to Overdrive and check out an audio from my library, so I could try them out. I saw this book available and remembered that my friend Tressa has just recommended to me a book by this author just a few days previous. I downloaded Those Across the River knowing nothing about it, and I think that was the best way to go in to this story.


Set mostly in GA in the early 1930's, a damaged WWI veteran moves down from Chicago to a house he has recently inherited. In the letter he received about the inheritance he was warned not to actually live in the house, but of course, he does so anyway-along with his fiance Eudora. What follows is a well told, atmospheric and creepy story that went in a totally different direction than what I expected. There's nothing new or extraordinary here, but a well told and atmospheric story is always welcome on my Kindle, (and now on my phone!), and I enjoyed this immensely.


The narrator, Mark Bramhall, was absolutely phenomenal-I loved his Southern accents and voicing-they brought the story alive for me. I will be keeping an eye out for more of his work in the future. As for right now? I'm on to my next Christopher Buehlman book!


I highly recommend the audio of this novel!

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review 2016-09-19 23:32
Kiss of the Sun
Kiss of the Sun: A Thriller - R.K. Jackson
Series: Martha Covington #2
ISBN: 9781101886427  
Publisher: Random House/Alibi
Publication Date: 9/20/2016
Format: e-book  
My Rating: 3.5 Stars 


A special thank you to Random House/ Alibi and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Following R. K. Jackson's debut, THE GIRL IN THE MAZE,(Martha Covington #1) a psycho-thriller of dark secrets in the small historic Georgian coastal town—with a mix of southern Gothic, evil, paranormal, intrigue, history, culture, and suspense . . . with the second installment in the series,KISS OF THE SUN.

Martha Covington returns and this time around, she is approached by an elderly couple for help finding their missing grandson which may be alive. She has no clue what she is stepping into.

From the first book, Martha has been diagnosed and institutionalized for schizophrenia. She hears voices—she is damaged goods. However, she wants to move on and try and get back to some sense of normal. Is she ready to join society?

She is enjoying her quiet life on the small Georgia coast with her Geechee neighbors, the direct descendants of slaves who had settled the island and formed an isolated community after the Civil War.

She had a deadline. However, she sees an elderly African American couple behind the screen door. They looked like characters from a 1940 vintage photograph in their Sunday best. A hallucination? She is always second guessing herself.

The couple turned out to be real and they were not from the island. Clarence and Martha, a nice couple who came from Palmetto—south of Atlanta and took the ferry over. They had heard about her practice. Of course, Martha was far removed from technology and did not advertise her services.

She explained she only does this sort of the as a hobby and a research project, after receiving a grant from the Georgia Council for Cultural Studies to write a book about the folk traditions of the Geechees. She was not a real root worker. Of course they had heard differently. She stressed she did not find missing people.

They have already been to the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Their grandson Peavy –had been missing for a number of years. A cold case. They had previously lived on St. Helena Island and had a root doctor, but he had passed. The police were of no help and she was the last resort. They even brought photos and other mementos from the boy, in a shoebox.

They had raised the boy. They had not seen him in six years. Someone was supposed to be watching him and he went out back to play baseball at a nearby park with a friend.. The only witness to what happened that evening was Peavy’s friend Jerome.

He had said the sun was going down and they were about to walk home when a car came through. The boy said it was a Buick sedan across from the park. They knew him by name. Peavy handed Jerome the baseball (which they have with them—making Martha shudder), and told him to wait. A white couple, maybe European with a funny accent. It was getting dark and Jerome decided to walk home and catch up with him later. A foreign couple. Peavy was not one to keep secrets. His mother was wild, but Peavy was different. He did well in school and wanted to become a professional baseball player.

Martha looked through the papers, and felt a chill—something familiar. The detective’s reaction to the case was odd they said. They seemed to not be trying very hard. The couple said they had heard she sees shadows of the past and they want to pay her. She is their last resort. She picked up the items and has a strange feeling.

Could she go to Atlanta? She will tell her therapist, Goodwin. She of course did not tell the couple about her illness. Her therapist does not like it. She already says that studying the mystical practices of an ancient, superstitious people is already a risk for her. She has to maintain firm boundaries between what’s read and what isn’t. She does not want her thinking she is some sort of psychic detective.

However, she knows she is compassionate. She feels she has to do it. Her therapist reiterates many people in her condition end up homeless or institutionalized. The island and its residents, the community support she currently receives have enabled her to do creative work.

Of course Martha dreams that the boy is closer than she thinks. She decides she will go to Atlanta, ignoring the warning from her therapist. A small act of rebellion. She will seek the help from Jarrell Humphries- they guy she met on Shell Heap Island. . . the now law student.

A trail of cryptic clues lead the two deep into a dangerous conspiracy whose members will stop at nothing—including murder—to protect their secrets. From investigations, bloodshed, the Organization, and the UNICOM murders.

A character-driven series of a young woman’s struggle to develop her journalism career while fighting the demons of mental illness—at the same time the setting on the Georgia coast also adds to the mystery.

The author definitely places his protagonist in compromising situations. Dr. Goodwin has to come through again to keep her out of trouble. I believe I liked the first book more than the second; enjoying the people, culture, and history- on the island. I found the first part of the book quite intriguing; however, the last half gets a little heavy; however, still filled with suspense.

For those fans who enjoy Southern Gothic and psychological suspense mixed with madness, research, history, and Southern culture.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/Kiss-of-the-Sun
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review 2016-09-06 00:47
Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror
Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror - Eden Royce

I, um, I only intended to read just a couple of the stories this evening. Obviously that didn't happen.


I am so glad I chose this one for the 'Diverse Authors' square. I was really hoping I'd like it, and was pretty sure I would what with the phrase 'Southern Gothic Horror' in the title. It didn't let me down. The stories were all wonderfully creepy, while not outright scary.


I look forward to reading more by this author.

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text 2016-09-05 21:35
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror - Eden Royce

Now that I've got my first bingo out of the way, I'm going to start one of the books I was most eager to get to.


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review 2016-07-20 00:29
Wise Blood
Wise Blood - Flannery O'Connor

The main character, Hazel, is a highly unlikeable young man who suffers from a sort of religious mania, but he doesn't want there to be a Jesus, so, working against his own conscience and destroying himself in the process, he starts a church without a church and spends his incredibly miserable life trying to convince himself and others that Jesus Christ doesn't exist. He encounters some of the saddest, most disagreeable characters along the way, including a con artist/preacher of sorts and his damaged daughter, as well as a depressive young lunatic named Enoch, whose sole purpose and highest honor in life, apparently, is to own his own gorilla suit (I think). 


Everybody in this novel sucks: the waitresses, the cops, the landlady, the security guard at the zoo, you name it. There's not a single redeeming character in the mix. Nevertheless, this novel is interesting--like a train wreck or a house fire or a pile up on I-10.


Perhaps the following quote from chapter 10 about sums things up: "Where you come from is gone, and where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it."


I'm sure literary critics have had a field day with this one, and rightfully so. It's an interesting novel about deeply flawed human beings, and the first thing I wanted to do when I turned the final page is take a shower. 


SIDEBAR: Apparently John Huston made a film version, which may well the greatest movie ever made, but not much could persuade me to watch it. 


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