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THE HALL OF PROFESSIONAL AUTHORS: THE NO FUN LEAGUE

Glenn sums this up perfectly. Thanks for keeping things into persepective!

Glenn Rolfe

THE HALL OF PROFESSIONAL AUTHORS: THE NO FUN LEAGUE

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I recently read an article by a professional fiction writer in my genre. This article pointed out a list of things this particular author didn’t want to see any more of in 2017.  While there were a couple of things I agreed with, the majority of the piece told me one thing: this person doesn’t get it.

Most of us writers do this because we like it. We love it. This is what brings us joy. Writing, and all that goes along with it, makes us happy. Yes, there are mean people out there. Yes, there are idiot with nothing better to do than shit on something someone else has done. Yes, there are bullshit artists who want people to admire them at all cost. I don’t hate on these people. I feel bad for them. They’re obviously unhappy with themselves…

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The Lost – Jack Ketchum

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Right off the bat, The Lost starts with a bang (pardon the pun). Ray was a nutcase when he was a teenager and blew two girls away that were camping. His two friends, Tim and Jennifer, were sheep when they watched him do it and just stood there with their mouths open. They didn’t turn him in. They didn’t try to stop him. Nothing. Why did he do it? Just to see how it felt. Four years later, Ray is still just as big of a nutcase. The only difference is that he hasn’t killed anyone in those four years since. Tim and Jennifer are still the loyal sheep that follow Ray’s every move without question. The police were unable to pin the murders on Ray, but the officers on duty, Charlie and Ed, knew damn well that Ray did it. However, they didn’t have the proof the bust him. So, for 4 years, he walked a free man. But four years is a long time and Ray has never had anyone push his buttons to see what he would really do if his temper reached critical mass…until now.

The Lost is a fantastic tale told in Ketchum’s patented straight-forward way. He captures small town America. The characters are amazingly realistic and feel like you know someone exactly like them. When I say Ray is a nutcase, I mean it. On the surface, to the people that don’t really know him, he only seems like a harmless hood. But his evil is constantly simmering under a lid that is barely on and just waiting to go flying off. Those are the scariest kind of monsters. Realistic and unassuming until one day…BLAM! Ketchum does an amazing job ratcheting up the dread until the final act. If you haven’t read Ketchum yet, this one isn’t a bad one to start off with. Pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.

 

4 1/2 Bullets through the Eye 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

Salvage – Duncan Ralston

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When Owen Saddler’s younger sister, Lori, drowns in mysterious fashion while scuba diving in a lake in remote Ontario, unusual things begin to happen to Owen. A strange man at his job site utters something to Owen that he couldn’t have possibly known. Or did he? Owen is attacked in his bathtub and almost drowns by a man that seems oddly familiar. Or didn’t he? Confused and unable to determine how much is real and how much might be hallucination, Owen is drawn to Chapel Lake, where his sister drowned and 30 years ago the lake was created by the construction of a hydroelectric dam that floods the valley and the town of Peace Falls. What was his sister looking for while diving into the flooded underwater town? He must find answers to his haunted questions, even if those answers are that he’s losing his mind.

Salvage is an interesting read by Duncan Ralston that uses a unique location for his ghost story. It mixes corrupted religion with mental illness to weave a hazy read that keeps the reader turning the pages. Owen is an odd duck in that always seems to be one step behind the reader at guessing what’s going on. It can be frustrating, at times, because he doesn’t ask the questions to people that you want him to ask. He seems to be ok with only knowing part of the story from a conversation and having to put himself in harms way to fill in the holes, instead of simply asking more questions. The atmosphere is unique and eerie and Ralston does a nice job painting a realistic setting that you can see vividly in your mind. The ending loosely ties things together that I couldn’t quite buy into and the fact that Owen could have all of these supernatural things happen to him and he simply shrugs it off as business as usual was hard for me to buy into. But, all in all, it was a fun read that kept me turning the pages to see what happens next.

4 underwater churches out of 5

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

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2YT

The Maniacal Leer: Guest post by Jonathan Janz

Shotgun Logic

To anyone who’s followed this blog with any regularity, it will come as no surprise that I’m a Jonathan Janz fan. Some of my favorite reads of the last two or three years have born his name on the cover. The reason for this, to state the obvious, is that he’s an outstanding wordsmith. His stories are always highly polished, with rock solid characterization and attention to detail that can stand with the best authors in modern horror. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have him here today to talk about his newest novel, WOLF LAND. I’ll be reviewing the book later this month, so watch for that. In the meantime, enjoy this entertaining and insightful article by Jonathan Janz.

The Maniacal Leer:
Transformations That Transformed WOLF LAND – by Jonathan Janz

First of all, a big thank you to Shane for hosting me today. Few…

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