Horror and supernatural fiction

December 2021 Featured Books

Conspiracy Of Cats

Conspiracy Of Cats

Author: B. C. Harris Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/08/2021

A life changing journey into a family’s past takes a peter-natural turn. Set against the safari backdrop of Tanzania, ‘Conspiracy of Cats’ by B C Harris follows Jos Ferguson as she leaves her home with her reclusive Aunt in Edinburgh to visit Africa and the white house her Uncle had built before he died. A journey of discovery but perhaps not in the way you’d expect, Jos must face the horrors of her own past as well as uncover the secrets buried abroad in order to secure her future. This book gently reveals itself as a murder mystery, lulling you in to the a theme of self-discovery as Jos steps out of her very small comfort zone to head to Tanzania. There’s lots of detail and imagery added to make the reader feel like they have travelled to Africa with Jos, and the characters we meet along the way are just as vibrant and interesting. The introduction of the supernatural through the Massai traditions and magic was seamless, and the interactions between Peter and Jos were entertaining, humorous in places and put me in mind of the Goldberg/Swayze interactions in ‘Ghost’ at times. ‘Conspiracy of Cats’ builds to a tense, sometimes frantic but satisfying conclusion, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a supernatural mystery to sink their teeth into.

Indie Books We Love

November 2021 Featured Books

Midnight Light

Midnight Light

Author: Michael Pace, Brian Paglinco Format: Ebook Release Date: 05/08/2021

‘Midnight Light’ by Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco is a compilation of art in two forms: a mixture of photography and poetry. Each poem is paired with an atmospheric photograph of a final resting place. As the photographs and the poems alternate I would say that this book would be best enjoyed as a hard copy, so you can appreciate them as a pair. The photographs vary in subject and composition. One is black and white, with sharp contrasts, with a single flower stark against an almost black headstone. Others are more vibrant, an angel turned away in the middle of an autumn graveyard. You can spend time on each photo, contemplating the whys and whens of each shot. There are 23 poems in all, each one of varying length, from a line to a page. I did find that I personally preferred the longer poems, 'Midnight Light' and 'Paris' were a little lost on me. Focusing on the themes of love, death and redemption there is a haunted atmosphere to each one, I feel this was intensified by their photographic companion. I thought each poem was well constructed, with an image or moment shared with the reader. As with the photographs, these are pages to turn slowly, to ponder over what happened before and what will happen after. As each piece varies in length they also vary in style, with different rhythms and pace to keep the reader engaged.

HAUNTED

HAUNTED

Author: Tony Marturano Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/11/2020

The second book in the series ‘Haunted’ by Tony Marturano continues the story of Marco Battista who, after the events of the first book, heads to the small village of Porthcoe with his wife to recuperate and renovate his late father’s holiday home. It is encouraged before and as you start reading that you begin the ‘Haunted’ series with book number one: Psychosis, and it is something I would also recommend as the events of that first book are referred to a lot. This is a tense thriller filled with ghosts, secrets and questions. I liked the style of narration, for the duration of this book we the reader are a constant confidant to Marco as he tells us of the strange occurrences within the house, even seeking confirmation at times which sent me scooting back up the page to double check. I felt like this added to the creepiness and at least in a bookish sense had me double checking every corner and looking over my shoulder as I read. Also, the references to the events in the previous book, even for those that haven’t read it, suggests that Marco may be an unreliable narrator which is something I liked for adding tension and uncertainty to the story.  Tension, strange dreams, a couple that enjoy jumpscaring each other and the jumpscares built into the plot all amount to a brilliant horror story, ideal for the darker winter months. The scene with the moth still sends shivers up my spine even after I’ve finished reading, eugh! With the addition of character developments and a storyline that you can get invested in (this book is most certainly not all about the scare), I think that this is a brilliantly thrilling, page-turning horror.

Indie Books We Love

October 2021 Featured Books

The Haunting Season

The Haunting Season

A collection that’s billed as ‘Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights’ that features eight award-winning authors – all masters of the mysterious and the macabre - was always going to grab my attention! With a stunning cover and top names, this was bound to be an instant bestseller. Stand out stories for me include Laura Purcell’s, The Chillingham Chair, Lily Wilt by  Jess Kidd and Thwaites’ Tenant which I was unwise enough to read right before bedtime. Perfect bite-sized pieces of supernatural scariness. Selected by Carole Matthews, Our Winter 2021 Guest Editor. Click here to read the full Guest Editor Piece.

The Nesting

The Nesting

Author: C.J. Cooke Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/09/2021

Atmospheric, gothic, spine-chilling... The new thriller from C.J Cooke will haunt you long after you turn the last page... It was like something out of a fairytale... The grieving widower. The motherless daughters. A beautiful house in the woods. Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it's as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale. But this family has a history - and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory. Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don't make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks. With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care. But protect them from what?

Star Books
The Piano Room

The Piano Room

Author: Clio Velentza Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2021

Fabulously inventive, and laced with evocative detail and intrigue, Clio Velentza’s The Piano Room boasts bite and a beautifully crafted plot. Taking inspiration from the timeless tale of Faust, this keenly accomplished debut sees an entitled young man make a deal with the devil in order to forge his own destiny, so intense is his desire to renounce the weight of his family’s musical genius. Sandor Esterhazy comes from a long line of formidably talented pianists. His family are also immensely wealthy - his father, for example, dresses in embroidered slippers, shiny tuxedoes, and soft leather gloves; the opulence and elegance of his background are tangible. Sandor, on the other hand, seems cut from a different cloth - “There was no spirit to his music: instead of rising into the air with warmth and spice, the melody clambered out of the instrument and lay on the floor like a lifeless thing.” And so Sandor decides to summon the devil himself to escape his fate. Relieved when nothing happens (“I’m such an idiot. It was all a joke. It’s all right. It’s over”), he’s overwhelmed when the devil later appears and promises, in return for his soul, that Sandor “will be free to lead the life you choose rather than the one laid out for you.” Sandor is left with a mysterious creature, Ferdi, whom he locks in his basement piano room, for a time at least. Exploring self-determination and what it is to be human with wit, delicious gothic atmosphere and a compelling sense of ennui, The Piano Room is an immersive joy.

eBooks of the Month
Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel.  Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel. Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel.  Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel. Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love