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review 2018-05-03 05:08
Bone White by Ronald Malfi
Bone White - Ronald Malfi

Bone White has done something that few thrillers have done to me in years....left me white knuckled. With a chilling atmosphere that has one Hell of a lot more going for it than just the temperature in the aptly named town of Dread's Hand, Alaska.

With a deft hand, Malfi weaves a contemporary thriller with primal fear, paying homage, in my humble opinion, to Algernon Blackwood and his classic The Wendigo. And raising the bar, not to mention the hairs on the back of my neck in the process.

 

Highly recommended.

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review 2018-04-12 00:00
Bone White
Bone White - Ronald Malfi Bone White - Ronald Malfi Review to come.
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text 2017-12-29 18:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Books of 2017
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman
The Changeling - Victor LaValle
Hell Hound - Ken Greenhall,Grady Hendrix
Bone White - Ronald Malfi
The Wilderness Within - John Claude Smith
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl

 

Please note that these are not necessarily books published in 2017, only books I've read during this year. I also had to change the title from novels to books, because of the awesome PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, which is more of a reference book. I've read a lot of great books this year, and making up this list was so difficult, that I've added a few "Honorable Mentions" at the end of the list. 

 

Without further ado, (please click the cover to see my original review):

 

1.Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden  by Christopher Golden. I haven't read very many books by Mr. Golden, but I own quite a few of them. I have had the pleasure of meeting him numerous times at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival, where he is always friendly and humble. This story about the discovery of Noah's Arc was fun and frightening all at once and I loved it!

 

2. The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman  by Christopher Buehlman. This author is my favorite discovery of the year. Over the past 12 months I've read or listened to every novel he's written and I'm eagerly awaiting the next. The Suicide Motor Club features a road trip with vampires in American muscle cars. It couldn't have been more perfect or fun for me!

 

3.The Changeling - Victor LaValle  by Victor LaValle. This novel was just AMAZING. It's starts out in one direction and ends up in a totally different direction: none of which could be predicted and I love that! 

 

4. Hell Hound - Ken Greenhall,Grady Hendrix  by Ken Greenhall. This novel was originally published in the late 1970's. Brought back by Valancourt Books with a new cover and an introduction from Grady Hendrix, this book about an evil dog is spellbinding fun!

 

5. Bone White - Ronald Malfi  by Ronald Malfi. I find myself thinking about this book a lot lately, since the frigid cold weather began here. This novel was a cold and creepy read and I just loved it. 

 

6. The Wilderness Within - John Claude Smith  by John Claude Smith. A surreal, unique and intense read that I think about anytime I look out into the woods behind my house. 

 

7.A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly  by the AWESOME John Connolly. I've read a lot of series books over the years and very few of them have kept up the quality continuously throughout like this series about fictional detective Charlie Parker. I feel in my bones that the series is coming to an end and I will be so sad when that happens. 

 

8. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix  by Grady Hendrix. I don't even know what else to say about this GORGEOUS volume. It's a reference book, really, but no reference book EVER in history was as much fun or as pretty as this one. With colorful commentary about the times in which these books were originally written, no other book has had such a powerful impact on my TBR list as this one. 

 

9.Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton  by Ken Greenhall. This is his second entry on my list. Originally published in the 70's, (like Hell Hound above) and brought back by Valancourt Books, this novel is CHILLING in its depiction of a nasty, calculating witch of a girl. (Also, please note both of these are referenced in Hendrix's PAPERBACKS FROM HELL.)

 

10.The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl  by Eric Scott Fischl. This book isn't classified as horror, but I put it solidly in the land of dark fiction and as such, it belongs on this list. I know it's not a popular or well known book, but it sure was a unique, fun and interesting ride. This one slid under most everyone's radar, but I thought it was great and I humbly hope its mention on this list helps it to get more attention. 

 

As mentioned above, I have three honorable mentions, (click title to see my review):

 

THE LISTENER by Robert McCammon. Much as I loved ARARAT, this was my favorite book of the year. Except that it isn't even out yet. Publishing in 2018, I didn't feel it was fair to add it to this list. (And even though I read it in 2017, be assured that it will be on my BEST BOOKS OF 2018 post.) An amazing novel of magic, friendship, crime and love, I cannot wait until more people read it, so I can discuss it with them!

 

SPINAL TAP: THE BIG BLACK BOOK by Wallace Fairfax was a total blast. This book features fun facts about the fictional band as well as a discography and other interesting tidbits. I haven't seen this book mentioned or talked about anywhere, and that's a damn shame. Any fans of the film This is Spinal Tap would love this book. 

 

ASH WEDNESDAY  by Chet Williamson was a fantastic book of quiet horror. It was slow burning and horrific, but not in a bloody or gory way. I took away from it a sense of the value of life and time-we have to make the most of the time we have. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-26 02:19
BONE WHITE Review
Bone White - Ronald Malfi

Paul Gallo is a man looking for answers. The year before the events of this novel begin, his twin brother, Danny, went missing in the tiny town of Dread’s Hand, Alaska. Paul — a teacher in Maryland — is too far away to investigate . . . until, after news that a mass murderer in Dread’s Hand has led the police to his victims’ graves. Is one of the victims Danny? He must find out — as it turns out, the only way he can do so is go to the Alaska town himself. But answers will not come easy.

 

I loved this novel much more than I was expecting to, and the hype for it was already through the roof. This one deserves all the praise it gets, and more. It is a rare thing to find a horror novel (and, yes, this is very much a horror read) that hits all the right notes: Ronald Malfi‘ prose is on point; bleak horror is wrought from the mystery at the center of this tale. As my friend Edward said in his review, dread drips from this book’s pages. From the first chapter to the last, this will hold you spellbound. Promise.

 

I really can’t think of a more perfect read for this time of year — when the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. Malfi is great at setting; I truly felt like I was in this desolate Alaska town while reading. The atmospherics are just spot-on. Alaska is such a mysterious place, really, and ripe for scares; why is more horror not set there?

 

My highest recommendation. Now I must check out everything else Ronald Malfi has written.

 

Read for ‘Murder Most Foul’ in Halloween Bingo.

 

 

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text 2017-10-23 03:08
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 384 pages.
Bone White - Ronald Malfi

Reading this one for Murder Most Foul. 

 

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