The Painted Darkness
4.4 stars over 47 reviews
"The tone and building dread reminds me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don't go in the basement!" --Stewart O'Nan, New York Times bestselling author
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The Mountain King
4.5 stars over 10 reviews
Description: Even a monster of such legendary stature as Bigfoot isn't big enough to carry Hautala's routine pursuit-and-capture scenario very far. The tale begins promisingly, with a riveting scene atop Mount Agiochook in Maine: Mark Newman watches helplessly as his friend Phil Sawyer is plucked from a ravine by a Sasquatch. Mark can't get any friends back in town to believe what he says he saw; moreover, he becomes the prime suspect in Mark's disappearance and, later, in the bestial murder of his wife's lover. In this marked departure from his usual tales of ghostly terror, Hautala (Beyond the Shroud) shows a deft hand for orchestrating action and suspense, making Mark the object of two manhunts--by the townspeople and by the monster--when he returns to the mountain to search for Phil. After a few close scrapes, though, the potential for Mark to do anything but play hide-and-seek with his pursuers is exhausted, and Hautala resorts to obvious plot stretchers: characters fainting dead away at the end of chapters, sudden nocturnal forays into town by creatures that have kept their distance from humans for centuries and the gruesome demises of victims who exist solely to prolong the story with their death throes. Although designed to deliver the sort of thrills that would make anyone squeamish about being alone in the woods, this novel ultimately settles for the guilty pleasures of its villains' tabloid infamy.
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4.5 stars over 24 reviews
Description: About the stories...
Walking With the Ghosts of Pier 13:
A grueling summer of horror is finally winding down, and Jeremy is one of the wandering survivors who can't come to grips with the acts of terror that have been ripping his nation apart. His destination today is Pier 13, the ocean front amusement park his family visited every summer when he was a child, and his purpose for coming here is simple: he wants to understand why so many people have been dying in such violent acts... but that might not be the only answer he finds at the old docks.
In the year since their son was the first victim of a serial killer known as the The Riverside Strangler, a devastated husband and wife have tried to pretend life can somehow be normal again... but the secrets they're keeping from each other are pushing their relationship to the brink. To make matters worse, The Riverside Strangler was never caught, and now the husband is obsessed with running along the river at night, searching for the truth about why his son died: a truth he may not really want to know...
Answering the Call:
A young man's very unusual job is taking a heavy toll on him. He stays in homes during the owner's funeral. Someone needs to be there to answer the phone, receive deliveries, and deter thieves who might have seen the obituary in the newspaper and decided this would be a good time for a break-in. The young man has seen a lot of strange things over the years in the homes of the dead, and sometimes his job is truly a matter of life and death...
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