Beast: evil in the east

If you enjoy the way that the recent Dracula TV series seamlessly merged gothic horror with modern sensibilities, then Beast is just the book for you. Like the recent reinterpretations of Sherlock and Dracula, this episode of Six Stories sucks the marrow out of the original literary classic – and concocts a potent brew mixed…

A Book Of Bones: 21st century gothic

This gargantuan beast of a book concludes a story arc which began some six volumes ago in The Wolf In Winter. Far from being bare bones, A Book Of Bones is an extended, immersive and intense reading experience which delightfully disrupts commercial publishing conventions. For one thing, this is a 700 page epic – a…

More Halloween Reads

Weird visitations from beyond the grave: werewolf detectives and golden age investigators; haunted houses and the spirits of the suburbs – enter the weirder world of crime fiction, where police procedurals and murder-mysteries overlap with uncanny happenings… The Mysterious Mr Quin by Agatha Christie A collection of a dozen intertwined short stories from the grand…

The Town Built On Sorrow: brilliantly chilling

Like Goldilocks’ porridge, this is neither too brief nor too verbose; not needlessly complicated but intrinsically clever in its composition. It pulls together two dark tales, one from the pioneer days when wagon trains headed west to start new settlements, and the other in the 21st century. The town of Hawthorn has, as the title…

A Game Of Ghosts: Live, die, repeat

If you’re enjoying something immensely, why would you ever want it to stop? That’s the nub of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series of supernatural crime-thrillers. The author and his audience certainly seem to relish Charlie’s annual appearance in which he confronts the latest cult of ancient evil to come crawling out of the undergrowth. But…