Tag: paranormal thriller

The Well: Book Review

My first Netgalley request! I loved this one. The blurb pitches it as possibly a murder-mystery or paranormal thriller, and it is just that. All the way through you’re left guessing whether the events that pass are caused by people or by ghostly activity.




The whole story centres around the Gustafano House, a notoriously haunted house. At the beginning, a group of teenagers meet to hold a seance here. (This was right up my street as the house I grew up in was rather large, old and had an eerie air about it. Needless to say, seance were involved over the years and instigated my love of the unusual.)

Here’s something to whet your appetite: “The Gustafon house sat in the center of a small clearing, like some kind of silent queen on her throne. The powder blue paint was cracked and peeling, but she still seemed regal. Either Mother Nature seemed subservient to the house. No birds chirped. No squirrels chattered. The trees didn’t rustle their leaves in the breeze…”


The story alternates from narrating what happened at the house in the past with the group of teenagers and the ouija board to the present day, twelve years on when they are still trying to make sense of what happened that night. There is a lot of onus from the paranormal investigator, Pierce about finding scientific proof of ghostly activity, which is balanced by his twin brother’s strong belief that it exists. The play between the two and the other characters in the book mean that you are always left guessing whether to believe or not.

The characters are well crafted, with lots of buried emotions that are teased out as the narrative unfolds. Pierce and Haven’s feelings for one another were explored wonderfully, again retaining the mystery for so long as it was unclear for a while what had passed between them on the night of the seance and then later, how they had left off when they parted ways as teenagers.


I was hooked the whole way and devoured this in one sitting, really not wanting it to end and yet keen to find out how it did.

The Creative Penn and Desecration by J.F.Penn: Book Review

Just to start off with – I am going to extol Penn’s virtues as a talented author (in particular as she’s an independent author and has self-published her books). As well as publishing fiction, thrillers mostly, and a series with a paranormal twist, she publishes books on writing and independently publishing and marketing them. This author is a true inspiration to anyone who might be thinking about making the step into independent publishing. (Okay, that’s my little writer crush over, but seriously if you want any tips on doing any of the above – check out her website TheCreativePenn because she ensures all her work is produced to a professional standard and happily shares so many tips of making a go of it in this industry).

I am currently looking at getting my Arete trilogy out independently and I know Penn’s books, videos and whatever other format she releases her tips in, are going to guide me along the way. Another recommendation of Penn’s for independent authors is to join ALLI – The Alliance of Independent Authors, which I will be doing when I get things polished up in the final manuscript and off to an editor. A very quick run down of my process over the next little while is: finish redrafting last book in series, ‘Rites of Passage’, research and employ an independent content editor, copy-editor, proofreader, making changes from these, get out to beta-readers, get cover designer, decide on marketing strategy. Easy bit – boom – PUBLISH! I’ll be coming up with a cost plan soon and will be able to share a timescale. I will be updating and sharing along the way on this journey and hopefully get some tips that may prove useful to other writers out there.

Onto Penn’s book: Desecration! Although I’ve been following Penn as the Creative Penn a while, I hadn’t read any of her fiction yet. I chose Desecration (The London Psychic Series) as it had the supernatural/fantasy slant to the thriller and thought it would likely be the series I would prefer. I wasn’t wrong! What a fantastic read!

It’s not just that it’s fast-paced, lots of mystery and conflict throughout, but that her prose and the summation of her characters is beautiful, and has a lot of depth to it.

It starts in the Huntarian Museum, in the Royal College of Surgeons. The museum has a collection of specimens on human anatomy. In the very opening chapter a woman is murdered at at the museum, the collection providing a suitably garish and disturbing backdrop. Next we meet Jamie, a detective in the Metropolitan police, who is tasked with solving the woman’s murder, which in its surgical nature seems to be connected to the setting where it was carried out.

We go with Jamie on her journey to find the killer, from the West End where we meet some of London’s wealthiest aristocrats to East London, with artisans and artists. There are more gruesome scenes with plastination as art (where the water and fats in a cadaver are replaced with plastics to create a body that can be preserved and displayed). We also get an insight into the world of extreme body modification. Both subjects provide tension and interest to the developing story and characters, but Penn also delves deeper into these subjects. She asks questions about the body as art, about the right of the dead and about the living’s relationship with them.

I won’t give anything else away! Just know that it is a thrilling and thought-provoking read.




Hunting Lila: Book Review

hunting lila

Ok…remember I was branching out a bit – this one is a little bit more in my comfort zone though. It’s down as Action and Adventure in Amazon, but has the Supernatural slant – I guess we could label it as Supernatural Thriller or Suspense.

Let me say first – I read it very quickly. It’s a good light, well-paced read. Lila, the MC is a 17 year old, withdrawn young woman with two secrets. She can move things with her mind and…she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend most of her life. No seriously, that is how it comes across in the book – her being secretly in love is much more important than her secret power.

In short I found Lila a little weak willed, immature and in my opinion, not the kind of character most young women would want to root for. The other secondary characters of Jack, the brother, and Alex, the secret love are similar – too macho, a little flat and two-dimensional. The best bit is when the other characters with supernatural powers come in – Suki, Demos and the crew have a bit more personality going on, and personally, I would want to hang around with them rather than the main crew! But, there is a twist, which keeps things interesting, plenty of action and like I say, I kept reading to the end. For a holiday read or a light-hearted evening in – it works.

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