After the return of Westlake’s cooler crime fiction pseudonym Richard Stark with two Parker novels in almost two decades, Westlake was not quite ready to get back to the lighter fare that had made his reputation in the latter half of his career. Instead, he returned to the satiric, psychological horrors of The Ax for […]Read more "Considering Westlake: The Hook"
As seems to be the case with many of Dean Koontz’s novel releases since the 2010s, an eBook hit the marketplace right around the time when the author’s novel The City was due to see its initial hardback release in 2014. The Neighbor might have a disarming or sinister title, depending on how you relate […]Read more "Coveting Thy Neighbor’s Possessions: Dean Koontz’s The Neighbor"
Picture it: A drive through Welsh mountains, a terrible storm, flooded roads, no way to turn back no real way to proceed. But there! A house perched in the dark, a few windows ablaze with flickering electric light and at least a flutter of hope. Will the occupants provide shelter to weary travelers? Surely, they […]Read more "We Are For the Dark: J. B. Priestley’s Benighted"
The publishing imprint Hard Case Crime (which originally released its titles under the Leisure Books banner and has long since moved to Titan Books) is not known for their traditional horror stories. Oh, they have plenty of tales about desperate folks behaving badly in their extensive backlist of reprints and original novels as well as […]Read more "Sweets to the Sweet: Daniel Kraus’s Blood Sugar"
The one thing almost all fiction writers enjoy writing about is fellow writers. A close second would be artists from other mediums. Painters get a special place in the oeuvre. In his Masterclass, Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist David Mamet opines about this by suggesting that writers are envious, believing painters somehow have it made. You […]Read more "Mysteries Unfolding: Bernard Taylor’s The Reaping"
Karl Edward Wagner’s name is perhaps less known these days than during the height of his career as a novelist, editor, and publisher (his Carcosa Press brought plenty of fun, pulp horror and fantasy material back into print from the 1930s/1940s) some thirty years ago. However, his legacy survives for those who are willing to […]Read more "Touched By Horror: J. U. Nicolson’s Fingers of Fear"
Stephen Gregory’s first novel, The Cormorant, tells a chilling story about a man, his wife and toddler, and the hellish bird they inherit from a distant relative. The tale blended otherworldly and psychological terrors with a prose style reminiscent of Robert Aickman’s works. At the time of its release, that particular novel drew inevitable comparison […]Read more "Flutters and Frights: Stephen Gregory’s On Dark Wings"