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review 2018-03-11 02:28
Spectre - Stephen Laws

This book was dumb as dog feces, but I had a helluva time with it. It’s gory and over-the-top in that glitzy, shameless way only good bad horror fiction from the 1980s can be.


The story of seven friends (six guys, one girl) haunted by an unfortunate happening in their younger years, this is a horror thriller that should not feel original but does. Sure, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel; but it isn’t a thoughtless hack job, either. If it hadn’t come out the same year as Stephen King’s It I would assume this was a cash-in on that novel’s gargantuan success, but it did come out in 1986 and it makes for an interesting snapshot of where horror literature was in the mid-80s.


Though not particularly scary (and just so goofy), I do feel this novel is a success and I am now interested in reading other releases by Stephen Laws. It is a shame he isn’t more known amongst modern horror fans.

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review 2016-10-08 00:00
Ghost Train: A Novel
Ghost Train: A Novel - Stephen Laws Gediegener Old School Horror aus den Achtzigern, mit dem groben Keil in die Druckplatten gestanzt, erfrischend frei von unnötigem Romanzen- und Rechtfertigungsbohei. Was getan werden muß, wird getan, fertig. Und wenn man sich mit dem uralten Bösen anlegt, das sich in einer der Hauptschlagadern des britischen Schienennetzes verbirgt, dann gibt es auch reichlich Späne (und Kutteln), die dabei fliegen. Für mich als Eisenbahnfan mit Augenmerk auf Dampf und Diesel natürlich ein gefundenes Fressen ❤️
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review 2016-06-26 17:38
Good solid horror collection from Stephen Laws
The Midnight Man - Stephen Laws

Stephen Laws may not be as renowned as his contemporaries James Herbert or Graham Masterton but that is not to say his work as a horror writer is of any less importance. This is a very enjoyable collection of short horror stories; some are very good and a few are outstanding. 


I particularly enjoyed:

"Black Cab" The faceless driver of a city centre cab connected or not with the mysterious disappearance of a number of young ladies enjoying nights of fun in Newcastle city centre.

"The Fractured Man" What if you were a tortured soul and a lonely misunderstood man in your youth...would you not return at some later stage for revenge against those who had mocked you?

"The Causeway" Hugh a somewhat berated and criticized partner to the loud and raucous Pauline finally decides his own destiny. He clamps handcuffs on her right wrist attaching Pauline to the steering wheel and waits for the incoming tide to decide her fate. A unexpected ending completes a lovely little tale.

"The Crawl" A couple driving home on the motorway become involved in an incident that leads to a very scary encounter with a "scarecrow" figure " I had the most alarming and intense image that a scarecrow figure was going to step out from the hard shoulder and lay a hand scythe across the windscreen" The scarecrow provides a very powerful and memorable image in this fast flowing and intense story.


I received a copy of The Midnight Man from Samhain publishing in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written. A good solid collection of horror gems from a highly respected English horror author enjoys a 4 star recommendation from me!

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review 2014-06-25 00:25
Spectre - Stephen Laws

My rating system is really no mystery. I judge a book on my enjoyment factor. I don't delay in writing my reviews after having finished a book because I want to give my honest reaction to the completed read the moment I'm done. Will you give SPECTRE, by Stephen Laws, five stars as well. Probably not, but I had a fucking blast with this book.


Let's list the things that come after our heroes and heroine in this novel, shall we?

Snakes capable of tearing a man apart, a murderous ventriloquist dummy, a television possessed by ectoplasm, a reanimated owl and bear that had presently been stuffed and stored in a museum, a Gorgon (yes, like fucking Medusa), living manikins (mannequins, for us Americans) and some weird vampire/zombie bastards that kill an entire nightclub full of people. Come to think of it... this book is like a ultra-violent episode of Doctor Who. Coolness!


Honestly, this book has no idea what it wanted to be. You have Greek mythology, ghosty-goos, shape-shifters, all sorts of junk. Overall, it is the epitome of 80s schlock horror. It's a B-movie with a summer blockbuster's budget. The killings and gore are over the top, the ending is full-on cheese, the bad guy monologues about the whys of his evil plan for six pages (I know some people dislike that, but I'm a fan, in a campy sense), the main character breaks his rib then the author forgets the guy broke his rib and never mentions it again, and one of the good guys gives a last-breath speech as he dies. This book is a pile of stupid, but it's also bloody brilliant. Did I mention that Stephen Laws is an English writer? Well, he is, and I love English horror.


In summation: If you're a fan of horror movies like THE GATE and WITCHBOARD and SUBSPECIES, this is the book for you. Your IQ might drop a few numerals, but you'll fun yourself dumber, and that's what life's all about. Also, I was able to read the entire thing in about five hours, so it must be good, right?

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text 2014-06-24 22:54
Reading progress update: I've read 103 out of 213 pages.
Spectre - Stephen Laws

So bloody good. Big dumb fun. Should this one wrapped up in another hour or so. :)

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