Tag Archives: thriller

Hands From Hell

Disregard That Bump in the Night

Lita takes Gentle Reader on a visit to fantasy’s scary cousins: Paranormal, Horror, Suspense, and Thriller.

Authors Cave March 2015 Paranormal eZine

Authors’ Cave presents its scary side in the March 2015 Horror/Paranormal/Mystery eZine.

For these stories, it is always ten past midnight on Halloween. Meet disturbing children, live next door to that nice neighbor that somehow makes you feel uneasy, and dress up for a party where everyone wears black.

So Gentle Reader does not frighten easily? Lita suggests you turn on all the lights, and lock the door anyway. Then read these tingling stories from: Demelza Carlton, Jackie Mae, Graham ‘Grolly’ Bright, Jada Ryker, Kim Murphy, Laura DeBruce, Joe DeRouen, and Joss Landry.

These stories are best read when darkness rules outside. Disregard that bump in the night. Snuggle deeper under the covers, and immerse yourself in these lovely chills.

Mysterious Island Dock

Review: Mateguas Island

Mateguas Island: A Novel of Terror and Suspense by Linda Watkins is a supernatural thriller about a family down on their luck who inherit a magic-filled malevolent house on an island off the coast of Maine.

The Twins Discover a Mysterious Box

The Twins Discover a Mysterious Box

Bill Andersen, his eight-year-old twin daughters, and his wife Karen move across the country after Bill loses his job in the California high-tech industry.

Bill’s aunt left them her house on Maine’s Mateguas Island. To Karen’s privileged eyes, the place is a run-down dump in a boring backwater.

For the girls, their great aunt’s house is creepy and holds secrets. The twins discover a mysterious box in their room that they keep hidden from their parents. Even when Bill finds a promising job on the nearby mainland, and Karen makes friends with the locals, things are not quite right with their new home. An odd-acting owl makes working in the yard unsettling. The worst part is that something unhealthy lurks in the swamp behind their house, and it is hungry for revenge—and worse.

Native American lore, mixed with an unusual haunting that possesses Bill and Karen to take uncharacteristic risks, makes Mateguas Island a dandy supernatural tale. Linda Watkins uses a deft hand in creating characters so real that they all but sit alongside and read aloud their scary story to you.

An Odd-Acting Owl Makes Working in the Yard Unsettling

An Odd-Acting Owl Makes Working in the Yard Unsettling

The descriptions of island life create a perfect sense of the place. Lita heard the fishing boats rubbing against the docks and shivered from the chilly contempt of the yearlong residents’ regard of those ‘from away.’ Lita wanted to scold the twins for keeping secrets, tell Karen to stop being so selfish, and shake some sense into Bill. In other words, the story drew Lita into their scary little world.

Gentle Readers that enjoy a bit of adult misbehavior from characters caught by a force that eats the weak-willed, would love a visit to Mateguas Island. Just be sure to catch the last mainland ferry before dark. And stay away from the swamp.

Mateguas Island on Amazon US

Mateguas Island on Amazon UK

Mateguas Island on Goodreads

Linda Watkins on Goodreads

Mateguas Island website

A Storm is Coming

Review: The Deadliest Game

The Deadliest Game by H. E. Joyce is a thriller about the recently remarried therapist Laura Mitchell and her deadly entanglement with a revengeful person from her past.

Laura and Her Son Jody Settle in Brooksville

Laura and Her Son Jody Settle in Brooksville

Laura has moved to the small seaside town of Brooksville with her eight-year-old son Jody after recovering from the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. She meets the handsome attorney Michael Peterson at a party, and ten months later, they marry. They settle in at Laura’s secluded and lovely property on the cliffs overlooking the sea. Laura resumes her therapy practice and Jody starts school with a teacher he likes. However, Michael has a secret that threatens to ruin everything.

A Desperate Chase and Elude for Laura

A Desperate Chase and Elude for Laura

The Deadliest Game teases with an idyllic restart to Laura’s life, but the early hints about something much darker from her past kept Lita reading. Disappointment with the newlywed Michael’s behavior soon changed into an unsettled awe of the despicable person who had entangled him. The connection between Michael’s problem and Laura’s past was one of many twists. The desperate chase and elude scene during a savage rainstorm tied a dandy bow on this thriller package. A tip of the hat goes to H. E. Joyce for constructing a deliciously dangerous plot with likable characters. The bad guy’s actions were deplorable, but he was also multifaceted.

Suspense fans who love woman-in-jeopardy thrillers will enjoy The Deadliest Game. But Gentle Reader might want to wear a raincoat to keep from getting soaked during Laura’s frantic battle at the end.

The Deadliest Game on Amazon US

The Deadliest Game on Amazon UK

The Deadliest Game on Goodreads

H. E. Joyce on Goodreads

H. E. Joyce website

Winter Vineyard Thriller

Review: The Field of Blackbirds

The Field of Blackbirds by Thomas Ryan is a thriller about Jeff Bradley, a former New Zealand military man, and his dangerous quest to find a missing friend.

A Dispute Over a Family’s Vineyard

A Dispute Over a Family’s Vineyard

Jeff’s business associate Arben has travelled to Kosovo to see into a dispute over his family’s vineyard. Jeff gets a message from his panicked friend, and then suspects the worst when Arben disappears.

In a swirl of corrupt officials and honest friends who are almost impossible to tell apart, Jeff looks for Arben in the post-war city. Double crosses and shadowy events turn Jeff’s search into a dangerous plunge into the Kosovo bitter weather to find the truth.

The Field of Blackbirds is a well-written journey of desperate people struggling to regain their humanity in the soup of crooked local politics. Mixed in was a ghost intelligence agency on a relentless pursuit of an international terrorist.

A Swirl of Corrupt Officials and Honest Friends

A Swirl of Corrupt Officials and Honest Friends

The taut plot had twists to the end. Thomas Ryan’s well-drawn characters made Lita cheer their successes and also doubt their motives. The story’s sense of place was so well-defined that at times Lita felt the numbness of Jeff’s gloveless hands, and she wrinkled her nose at the sour odor of fear.

The Gentle Readers who love thrillers that make them stay up all night would enjoy The Field of Blackbirds. Be sure to wear gloves while reading this book to keep Kosovo’s frigid winter from nipping your fingers as you turn the pages.

The Field of Blackbirds on Amazon US

The Field of Blackbirds on Amazon UK

The Field of Blackbirds on Goodreads

Thomas Ryan on Goodreads

Thomas Ryan website and blog

Review: Tea Time

Tea Time a short story by Darnell “Saki” Dickerson

Ms. May and Ms. Joyce are elderly residents at Crossroads Nursing Home, and we visit them during an afternoon tea served by their caretaker Rob.

The women chat, listen to the radio, and tsk-tsk about the sad state of affairs in the world:

  • Silly woman’s lib protesters wanting more than their proper place? Scandalous.
  • Sports clothing in woman’s sizes? Outrageous.
  • A local high school teacher having sex with her students? Harlot.

Something about their tea makes them so forgetful. Why, it puts them right to sleep. What happens to May and Joyce when Rob comes back to collect their tea-things during their drugged afternoon nap? Unspeakable.

Lita’s Cup of Tea

Warning: This is a horror short story with an adult topic.

My favorite type of horror story should make me squirm without showing the splatter and blow-by-blow of the monster’s savagery. This story is it. Tea Time delivers a charming façade over the disturbing evil of elderly abuse. I read it, cringed, and was enraged at the monster lurking beneath.

This story is an excellent effort from new indie author Darnell “Saki” Dickerson. I enjoy stories that take me to another place, if only for a short while. I imagined the women smelled of lavender soap. A wall clock ticked away their lives. I could also smell the ladies’ Oolong Tea. Rob’s drug made the tea taste too sweet.

The things to improve were nits–a couple of trivial punctuation and formatting clean-ups is all the story needs. Oh, and it needs a way for me to punch out that “caretaker” Rob.

Warning: Tea Time has an adult topic. Don’t complain that I didn’t tell you twice.

Tea Time on Amazon

Tea Time on Lulu

Tea Time on GoodReads

Darnell “Saki” Dickerson’s website