Saturday, January 20, 2007

Four Books

I have read four novels since Christmas. I was reading Anansi Boys but took a break from it and went looking for a haunted house story. None of the others are classic stories of hauntings but they all have elements of that theme.

Creepers by David Morrell

"Creepers" are urban explorers that investigate abandoned buildings. In the story a group of creepers check out an old hotel and find that they are not alone. Soon after that the killing starts.

This is more of a thriller than a horror novel but it is creepy to read. Morrell creates an interesting setting and intriguing characters with individual agendas. The novel is full of plot twists and tension. The characters must contend with mutated animals, killers, and a rotting building that is almost a character itself.

I read this book in two days of marathon reading. Morrell has created a very tense readable book. David Morrell is the creator of Rambo.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Fat Charlie finds out that his recently deceased father was a god. When he meets his brother for the first time things get complicated.

I started this novel in November and found that I had trouble getting into it sometimes. The story would be appealing and then seem to drag. I left it alone for a while and finished it early this year. The last quarter of the novel is good.

Shelter by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N Sims

Laura Craig wants to start a new life after an abusive relationship. She decides to restore an old house that is full of dark secrets. Something is living in an old well and it wants revenge. Laura's crew accidentally sets it free.

The book is very readable and the pacing is good. The characters are interesting and believable. There are a number of gruesome scenes but this isn't really a scary book. It uses tension and horror to build terror rather than fright tactics. It does keep the reader on edge and interested.

Death Instinct by Bentley Little

On a street with a history of murder and old secrets something new has arrived. Hideously tortured bodies begin turning up in the neighbourhood. A young woman, a boy, and a police officer must confront their own demons and try not to become victims themselves.

This novel is a very good read. It is scary in places and funny in others. It is easy to read and the pacing is good. I bought this yesterday afternoon and finished it this afternoon. Once I started reading I was hooked.

The characters are interesting and real. Each has a history and a life we can identify with. We learn to care about them.

The horror elements are well done. The plot moves forward at a fast pace but I never feel like pieces of the story were missing. As the story reached it's climax and revealed it's secrets I didn't feel cheated. I just wanted to make it to the end and find out what happened.


I recommend all of the books based on the idea that I finished all of them. Anansi Boys is the weakest of the lot. Creepers and Death Instinct tie for being the best.

No comments: