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September - How Many...?

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    September - How Many...?

    Jack Ketchum - Stranglehold (aka Only Child) (7/10) As with The Girl Next Door this is a story of abuse based on real events. It's not as well told as that seminal novel, relying too heavily on a strict retelling of events and in some parts being too detached, almost feeling like a non-fiction book. However, Ketchum's strong characterisations and unflinching approach to the harrowing details make for a rewarding, if grim, read.

    Cornell Woolrich - Black Alibi (4/10) The plot for a short story stretched to novel length, Woolrich relies heavily on trying to build suspense to fill the gaps. Endless descriptions of young women running around in the dark and 'off-screen' murders. Very disappointing after the excellent previous novel I read by the author.

    David Lagercrantz - The Girl Who Lived Twice (4/10) The latest book in the The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. Convoluted cold war espionage/mountain rescue plot shoe-horned into the world established in the previous novels but barely involving the main characters. Hopefully this will be the last book in the series, at least by this author.

    Bryan Smith - Blood & Whiskey (7/10) Fast-paced crime novel that keeps you on your toes as it jumps from one twist to the next. Entertaining fun.

    8 books in September
    Fat Camp by James Sabata 4 stars
    Remains by Andrew Cull 3 stars
    D.O.A. Volume 2 Extreme Horror Collection 4 stars
    The Late Night Horror Show by Bryan Smith 2 stars. See a Bryan Smith book I didn't care for.
    Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt 4 stars
    Haunted Are These Houses horror anthology 3 stars
    Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child by S. Craig Zahler 5 stars. This was a pleasant surprise. Part Dahl part Dickens and part Irving. A wonderful little story.
    Brother by Ania Ahlborn 5 stars.
    I had a better reading month then I him a few months. I was Surprised when I looked back that I had read so many books.


      Finished 13 reads this month.
      The Man in the Black Suit: 4 Dark Tales by Stephen King:
      Four short stories collected on audio.
      Five Stars

      Summit Lake by Charlie Donlea:
      A reporter who has been through a personal trauma is sent to write a story about a young lady’s death in a small idyllic town. She quickly learns there is much more to the story and as she begins to uncover the story, she is also forced to confront her own trauma. This is the authors debut author and is an impressive first outing.
      Four Stars

      The Androids Dream by John Scalzi:
      I actually have put this one off for two reasons. This is the last Scalzi novel that I have not read and to be honest I did not want to be out of Scalzi reads. The second reason was the title turned me off. I thought it was going to be campy. Fortunately, I was wrong. This is another example of John Scalzi taking a creative idea and wrapping it with compelling characters.
      Four Stars

      The President’s Brain is Missing by John Scalzi:
      When I wrapped up The Androids Dream I noticed that TOR had released a new novella by Mr. Scalzi. Since I thought I had just finished his fiction I immediately snapped this one up. The premise is that the president is a bit off so they take him to Walter Read to get things checked out and they discover his brain is missing. The mystery unwinds in an entertaining way and an interesting conclusion is to be had.
      Four Stars

      The Sisters by Dervla McTiernan:
      Two sisters, one a Dublin police officer and the other a local barrister. While the barrister is trying a murder case her sister reads documents from her sisters file and begins to investigate the case. Overall a good story.
      Four Stars

      So It’s Come to This: A Poetry Chapbook by Brain James Freeman:
      This was distributed to Mr. Freeman’s Patreon subscribers. It was a great read to begin the fall season. The poems had a fall/Halloween feel to them. I will never think of PETA the same.
      Four Stars

      The Institute by Stephen King:
      I loved this book! For me, this was Kings best novel since 11/22/63. The government is kidnapping gifted children and weaponizing their talents. Led by two of the children they fight back. This reads like early King in some ways and has shades of some of Kings early works but it stands alone well!
      Five Stars

      In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill:
      With the Netflix movie coming out soon I decided to re-read this one. An enjoyable story.
      Four Stars

      Run Away by Harlan Coben:
      Your daughter leaves college and runs away with her drug dealer boyfriend. You have lost her. The you encounter her in a park. Your efforts to connect result in your life being played out on the internet. Your daughter’s boyfriend is then killed and she vanishes. This was a very good read.
      Four Stars

      Body of Proof by Darrell Brown and Sophie Ellis:
      This is a 10-part podcast turned into an Audible original. This explores a case in Scotland where young woman was killed. Her ex-boyfriend, a married man, who she had a tumultuous relationship is convicted with no physical evidence. An interesting story.
      Four Stars

      Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin:
      This one has been on my ‘books to read’ for a long time. I have the Artist edition from Suntup Press ordered and figured I would read it when I get that one. Then Audible had it on sale so I jumped. I am pretty sure I have never seen the movie and new the basic premise of the story but not the details. At time I enjoyed the story and at times I was bored. Overall it was fine but I expected more.
      Three Stars

      We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson:
      After enjoying, but being somewhat underwhelmed with The Haunting of Hill House I wanted to give Shirley Jackson another attempt. I have read good things about We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Well a good Audible sale made this the month to read this one. I enjoyed the story and liked to writing style. Somehow, I still finished feeling overwhelmed.
      Three Stars.

      Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill:
      I actually spread these stories over about a two-month time frame. I wanted to complete the book just before he arrived in Portland to promote the release. Then life got in the way and I thought I would not finish until after his appearance. I arrived at Powell’s early and was actually able to complete it while waiting. Most of the stories were re-reads for me but boy was it a fun read. I am currently re-reading via Audible. I will give more thoughts next month.
      Five Stars