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text 2017-09-24 18:24
For Fear of the Night - Charles L. Grant
For Fear of the Night - Charles L. Grant

The term "quiet horror" gets thrown around everytime you read any review of a Charles Grant story. What exactly is quiet horror. Simply put, its a moniker created by Charlie himself, as a way to describe his writing style. Quiet horror is a slow crescendo of dread that builds in the story. It's subtle, not in your face. Its a creepy feeling that something isn't right. It's also not for the person who has the attention span of a highly caffeinated squirrel with ADD. You're not going to find blood spattered on every page of a Grant story. Nor will you find non-stop action. This isn't a Marvel comic. Grant's stories are all about the ride and not necessarily the destination. Patience is key. If you have it, chances are you'll see what he's trying to create and you'll enjoy it. Now, is every one of his stories a hit? No. But, there is always a certain level of quality in every Grant tale. For Fear of the Night is no exception. Is it his best? No, again.

 

 

As Labor Day nears, a group of teenagers are preoccupied with the big changes that have already shaped their lives and the ones that are about to. Going off to college looms in around the corner. Couples are about to become apart and wonder whats in store for them. Career decisions have to be made. Their friend, Julie, was recently killed in a fire that happened in a building near the pier. Devin, the groups older photography friend, receives a message on his answering machine from their dead friend. Was it really her? Is it some sick prank? He doesn't know, but it sparks off the mystery of what really happened to Julie.

 

 

For Fear of the Night is not Grant's strongest story. Very little action happens for the first 100 pages. It's his typical slow burn. The storytelling and atmosphere are still there. The ending strikes me as a bit muddied and leaves more questions than answers. If I were looking to read Grant for the first time, this wouldn't be the one I'd start with. But, if you're looking for that quiet horror that he specializes in, you could do a lot worse.

 

 


3 Popped Balloons out of 5

 

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2016-08-11 05:16
Charnel House - Graham Masterton
Charnel House - Graham Masterton

John Hyatt works for the Dept of Sanitation in San Francisco. One day, an older gentleman comes in with an unusual complaint - his house is breathing. Breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Hyatt wants to write the guy off as a kook, but there's something about his demeanor that tugs at his heart making him feel sorry for him. So, he decides to stop by his house after work to check out this mysterious breathing sound with his engineer friend in tow. At first, nothing happens. Then there's the sound and yes, it does sound like breathing. John doesn't believe in any of this hocus pocus and is convinced that the sound is a practical joke. When he attempts to confront the responsible party for the breathing sound, a blast of energy hits the room like a bomb. What happens next is the beginning of mysterious events that lead John to seek the help of an old Indian medicine man that might know a thing or two about what the heck is going on.

 

Charnel House is a fun read that actually ages well (It was originally written in 1978). Yes, there a few times during the course of reading the book that you kind of roll your eyes and chuckle - doctors smoking and drinking in their hospital office, a couple borderline sexist remarks by the male characters, attempting to call someone in the days of no cell phones or voice mail, etc. But, those are very minor and Charnel House has a nice creepy atmosphere with extremely good visuals and character development. The final scenes are a tad bland and slightly formulaic, but remember that this was the late 1970s. A very solid read and worth picking up.

 

 

4 evil coyotes out of 5

 

 

This ARC was provided my NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


You can also read my other reviews and author interviews at:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

 

 

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review 2013-10-11 22:10
Burning Water (Tor Horror)
Burning Water - Mercedes Lackey This is the first novel by Mercedes Lackey involving Diana Tregarde. There are two others, Jinx High and Children of the Night. I read somewhere they didn't sell relatively well, and because of that Lackey doesn't intend to write more of them. I consider that a shame. Lackey is a favorite author and the Tregarde books are among my favorites by her. Before LK Hamilton's Anita Blake, before Buffy, Lackey was writing an appealing, strong heroine in Urban Fantasy and she was unusual back then in presenting pagan beliefs and Wicca in a positive light. I think that gives a kind of verisimilitude to Diana and her supernatural investigations. The Aztec material is interesting and it's striking and unusual to see that used in fantasy. This is an engaging and fun read.
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review 2012-05-09 00:00
Burning Water - Mercedes Lackey I am so bored by this book! They never do anything, just sit around and talk about the case or how great Di is. The only action is from a victim's perspective, usually a loser or a jerk or both so I don't even care about them. It's also ridiculous how quickly a small Texas town Sheriff accepts her. And if I see just one more word unnecessarily italicized I shall go batty!

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review 2012-04-29 00:00
Psycho House (Tor Horror) - Robert Bloch This may be Bloch's worst novel. It is the third of the Psycho "trilogy" and just feels tired and old. There little of the authors' usual wit and style. By now the Psycho phase was worn down and nothing new is added in this book. The only real mystery here is why it was even written.
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