I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of my latest reads, all from Silver Shamrock Publishing!
The Devil’s Mistress by David Barclay
I absolutely LOVED The Devil’s Mistress by David Barclay. The Devil’s Mistress is published by Silver Shamrock Publishing so you know it’s already going to be excellent writing.
In 1705 Virginia, Isabella is facing a dilemma, a visit with a strange woman in the woods, two events immediately transpire. With her ailing and wealthy father dead, and her arranged marriage to a cruel man falling through at the same time, the entire town believes her to be a witch. When the entire town engages in mass hysteria, and chaos arrives in the town it’s up to two men to salvage what they can; a Native American man captured in the town square, and the boy in love with Isabella.
I really enjoy stories set during the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria and the years that led up to it. This historical fiction piece has so much background knowledge woven into it, the details are rich. You feel as though you are walking through Blackfire among the villagers. Barclay’s characters are intense. Some you hate for their cruelty and racist and sadistic violence, while others you fall in love with immediately. I read this book in a day, it was that good. This story was so cool. I especially loved the character Hunter of Shadows of the Shawnee tribe. I really liked how he was incorporated into the story, and would love to see another novel from Barclay based on that character.
This story really had everything a reader like me could ask for. I think Silver Shamrock does a great job of appealing to a wide array of horror fans. Fans of historically accurate literature will enjoy this. The witch trial in this is much like the ones I have read about, although this one had a unique tool I won’t give away. Barclay did a lot of background research for this work, and it definitely pays off.
Also for readers who like some romance and adventure, you will find that here as well. If you enjoyed AHS: Coven, you will no doubt find some things in common between Delphine LaLaurie and one of the main characters in The Devil’s Mistress.
Farallon Island by Russell James
Farallon Island by Russell James, is a recent release from Silver Shamrock Publishing, that would best be described as a historical horror, mixed with some possession and action. I have always found lighthouses to be relatively creepy, thanks to The Ring, and the overall sense of isolation that goes with operating one.
The novella begins with a boy named Emilio Flores exploring a cave on Farallon Island. Emilio senses an evil presence and runs away, but not before awakening something evil that has been stirring for a long time, calling out to be born again. Nate and his pregnant wife Alice arrive on the island (which is actually a real place). Already living on the island is The Flores family, a former ship captain, another worker named Randy, and a Japanese man named George. When Nate and Alice arrive on the island, it doesn’t take long for things to go awry.
I have never read a horror novel that takes place on a lighthouse island before, so I was excited for this one. James drops us right into the story, where the action picks up right away. I really liked that about this story line. There wasn’t very much room for a lot of backstory about the characters, which I didn’t mind as this was pretty fast paced. I loved the setting of a stormy sea as well. I kept picturing myself there with the characters, surrounded by nothing but a dark and balmy ocean, truly horrifying stuff. When you throw in a character who is on a murderous rampage, and a cave radiating evil whisperings, one wonders what you could really do in that situation. This story takes place in the 1930’s, which factors into the plot line as well. James put a lot of work into making this tale historically accurate. No phones, so survival will not be easy.
I rate this book 3.5 stars but rounded up to 4 for Goodreads rating style. If I could ask for more with this book, it would be for more story surrounding the cave. Maybe a scene that showed what it was originally used for. The reader can guess using context clues and a scene in the end of the book, but I would’ve liked to have seen James go a little further in this area. Overall it didn’t ruin the story for me in any way. This was a heart wrenching tale, no one was safe. I look forward to reading more by Russell James!
I would recommend this book to fans of The Fisherman, The Lighthouse, The Perfect Storm, and Shutter Island!
The Crucifixion Experiments by Gord Rollo
The Crucifixion Experiments is a story of an alcoholic cop, and his two rookie companions on the quest to solve a series of killings in Oakland, California. Jake Mercer is a deadbeat, and pretty much an all around asshole, but he does one thing well; catching serial killers.
Jake is able to look at his crimes through the eyes of the killer. He is an expert in profiling. Much like the tormented Rust Cohle character of True Detective, though not as deep and introspective. I was very intrigued by this one the whole way through. The killer, or killers, harbor a disdain for priests and those connected to their circle. The killings This was a fast moving story, and fans of crime novels will definitely find interest with this one. The characters were pretty stereotypical, but it didn’t bother me much because I think cop novels tend to run that way. I could see this being a series of books with Jake solving various serial killer cases.
I give this one 3.5 starts rounded to 4 stars because I was able to guess most of the ending. This is probably because I have read a lot of serial killer literature, so the tell-tale signs of what was happening in the story really stuck out to me.
This is a great book for someone who wants a fast-paced read that will keep you flipping pages. For fans of anything serial killer related this is a solid read.