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What did you love best about Kill Creek?
Four horror-story best-selling authors are offered a proposal they'd rather refuse: meeting at an obscure 'most haunted house' - for an interview. Dangled as bait: an absurd paycheck for a few day's travel, and the possible propulsion to world fame and money...mega-millions in book sales. But there was a twist: The interview would be 'live' - streamed as it happened to millions of people world-wide, by the billionaire owner of the internet media's prime trend-maker "WriteWire".
Three men and a woman are invited to the interview, then learn this will be a 'group interview' - a vying for 'best author to be promoted'. All four write 'horror' as differently as they appear: Sam, lean and writer-blocked, whose novels twist ordinary days into terror, while his own horrific past keeps flashing back - Daniel, a Christian doughboy who scares teens with philosophic endings - T.C. Moore, a hard Gothic diva whose novel covers of sex, blood and perversity are horrifying in themselves, especially when written by a woman - and the impeccable Sebastian Cole, the most prolific of the authors, whose prolific classic British horror had engaged fans who liked to 'think'.
Thoughtfully written with partial 'reveals' of each character's secrets, nudged along with dark references that slip into your subconscious, the book twists from the expected 'Ten Little Indians" format into that of an UN-haunted house - an infuriating joke made at the four writers' expense. Then it twists once again, and the real darkness creeps back in as the real story of 'the house' is revealed.
My professor in 'creative writing' used to tell me 'how to create a plot': "See that statue out there?", he'd say. "Turn it upside down, and write about what you discover." Always practical, I'd think in terms of bronze, concrete, steel, even the earth and the grass roots beneath it. "Nope", he'd grin, as he sucked on his pipe. "Try again, and use your imagination this time."
Scott Thomas' superb writing flips that statue multiple times, and with each landing , another plausability skews the story down an increasing, frightening scenario. Narration by Bernard Clark is 'right on' as he nails accents from the Midwest to the Eastern Europe. This is one of the VERY, VERY FEW novels that I will probably read again. I urge you to read it also!
122 of 124 people found this review helpful
This book has all kinds of things going for it but my absolute favourite was the characters - they're all incredibly complex and well written. They're all flawed individuals (as real-life human beings often are) and the ways they interact with each other is so interesting to listen to.
Thomas clearly understands that true horror needs strong characters to really creep you out, which is something this book did over and over again. Not only did he deliver creepy haunted house horror, but he also delivered on personal horrors like dementia and losing a child.
When a group of horror writers is assembled for a media stunt at a haunted house, none of them knows what to expect but they're the perfect people to analyse the strange goings-on as they occur. They know their craft better than anyone, but they're also skeptical and keen to discuss ideas. Listening to a book about authors discussing writer's block and the nature of writing is always fun, you know that the author puts a lot of themselves into this part of the book and it gives you an insight into what makes them tick.
The book was thought-provoking and scary, a perfect read for fans of the horror genre - it's a breath of fresh air in the haunted house niche where everything can get a little samey.
Bernard Setaro Clark absolutely nailed the performance of this emotionally charged novel, from heartwrenching screams to Irish accents, I was impressed. He brought a bunch of very different characters to life and gave the book a whole new dimension to enjoy. Beware though, this is a helluva long audiobook and very intense so I did feel the need to split it up over a few weeks.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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30 of 31 people found this review helpful