Souls Disturbed: supernatural stirrings in the suburbs

Although the cover art for this collection of three novellas appears quite creepy, the stand-alone stories themselves are far from horrific. Instead they’re set in the ‘soft edges’ of ordinary, everyday English life, where the boundaries between ‘unremarkable’ and ‘unexplained’ can become blurred. Author Kath Middleton uses familiar situations from normal life to explore some…

The Ice Lands: literary weirdness

  Any attempt to categorise The Ice Lands is pretty much doomed. It’s a skilfully written exercise in edgy ambiguity, tantalisingly open to interpretation. It’s not ‘horror’ of the stereotypical rip / rend / spatter style, yet there’s plenty of blood spilled using most unpleasant methods. It draws on the melancholic mystery and the stark…

The Devil’s Lieutenant: hell’s hitman

I love a good murder, me. And there’s plenty of death, despair and destruction in this supernatural noir – suicide, murder, incest, betrayal and a bullet through the brainpan all come barrelling off the page within the opening chapters. ‘The Devil’s Lieutenant’ combines the hardboiled grit of a bare-knuckle brawl with an intriguing twist into…

A Time Of Torment:

The Cut is both a place and its insular inhabitants. It’s an isolated rural community, feared and avoided by the normal folk who live on its borders. People go missing near The Cut. People get hurt by The Cut. It’s the very essence of backwoods noir; the nasty place deep in the hills where strong…

Competition: win an exclusive ebook

  ‘Fables & Fabrications’ by Jan Edwards launches this week. To celebrate its publication, we have an exclusive prize-draw competition to win an ebook edition of Midnight Twilight – one of the 14 tales of mystery, mirth and the macabre included in this anthology. Who is the distant figure who drives his sled across the…

Conquest: fools rush in…

The underlying premise of this urban fantasy series is that there are apocalyptic things afoot which angels alone can’t stand against. So they turn to humans – well, mostly humans – for help. Which is where Sam comes in. In common with other protagonists who star in spookynatural series, Sam’s a gifted misfit who’s been…

Jordskott: weirdness in the woods

Jordskott is not the typical Scandi crime series, although during the first episode you could be forgiven for thinking it conforms to the pattern established by The Killing / The Bridge. The lead character is a determined female police investigator with a significant trauma in her past, and her return to the Swedish hinterland coincides…

Hellblazer: The Family Man

John Constantine. Hellblazer. Hellraiser. Misanthrope, mage and meddler; arch manipulator and much more besides. This trade paperback compiles one of his earlier adventures, a story arc which first spluttered its sleazy self onto the shelves in comic book form back when the 1980s finally expired and a brash new decade strode onto the scene. ‘The Family…

Short stabs: quick thrillers and scary stories

There are moments when a full-length novel is just too much to get to grips with. So here are a few rapid reads which we’ve enjoyed recently, from contract killers to urban assassins, serial psychos to sibling rivalry, and a couple of stories with a subtle hint of the supernatural. Compact and carefully crafted, each…

Second Grave: sassy paranormal investigations

This is the second in the ‘grave’ series, featuring PI and not-so-grim reaper Charley and her sizeable sidekick, Cookie. It’s a far-from-serious, occasionally spicy (but nothing X-rated) gumshoe story with a side dish of supernatural sprinkles. Set in the USA roundabout now, the story revolves around an ongoing plot with Charley’s lifetime protector and would-be…