Saturday 8 August 2015

REVIEW: David Bernstein - Goblins

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain
Publication Date: 4th August 2015
Pages: 208


A copy of Goblins was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author David Bernstein via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain.

So David Bernstein is lucky enough to have two books coming out within a month of each other with two different publishers. I have just finished his other book Skinner and the review is written. I decided to read this one straight away after enjoying Skinner so much. I was hoping for more of the same. I think this one is better!

Marcus Hale is Chief of Police on Roanoke Island. He moved here for a quiet life after a messy divorce and a disaster on his last case as a detective. His career so far on this sleepy island has been just that, sleepy.

Children start to disappear. The pattern is always the same. Shortly after they disappear, their parents are brutally murdered. Butchered would be a better description. When Hale and some of his men stake out the house of the current victims to try and catch the murderers in the act, it all goes horribly wrong when the murderers turn up. They don’t appear to be human. Although he can’t believe it, they appear to be Goblins.

According to the town drunk, this is connected to something that happened in the 16th century and if it isn’t stopped, the lives of every single person on the island are in danger. Hale has to firstly try and believe what he is being told then secondly, try and keep his men alive as they try to defeat the ancient evil.

Whenever I pick up a horror book this is exactly what I want. A scary story with monsters running amok and killing everyone in sight and it’s all connected to an ancient evil that plans to destroy the world. That’s all I’m going to give you on the story. It’s not as straight forward as that and has a couple of nice twists in it to keep your interest up so don’t think for one minute it’s a boring old plot.

Characters wise you have all the classics. It’s a small island so everyone knows each other. It’s a small police force led by a well-respected Police Chief who seems to know what he is doing and runs a tight ship. Marcus Hale is a born leader and his officers all fit in well with him. You have the town drunk that every town has. Everyone knows his story. He doesn’t bother anyone. Just likes to drink. You have a host of other people in the background. You don’t hear a lot about them but you know they are there. The only thing that connects them all is the fact that none of them have any idea what is about to happen and worse still, how to deal with it.

This is a pretty fast paced story. There are no big gaps with character building scenes apart from with Hale. You don’t need to know anything else about anyone else because it won’t affect the story. This is something I have noticed before with Mr Bernstein and something that I really like about his writing. He doesn’t write words for the sake of writing words. He tells the story as it needs to be told with no frills.

I know I say this a lot and may even have mentioned it in my review of Skinner, but, remember the old ‘80’s horror flicks? The ones with the monsters that no one knows about but have been in the background for years, just hiding, biding their time until everything was in place to strike? This book could be a script for one of those films. It is perfect. It has every element that sort of story needs and has them to perfect proportions.

The monsters in this, the Goblins, will scare the crap out of you. Correction – the way David Bernstein writes them will scare the crap out of you. He has the ability to make your skin crawl as soon as you know they are coming because you know what they are capable of and how they act. They are brutal. They don’t just kill people. They annihilate them. You may not want to be eating while reading this book. In fact, just don’t.

David Bernstein has a writing style that I can’t help but love. You don’t have to try to get into his stories. You just slide into them from the very first page. The words flow very easily across all the pages from start to finish. He has mastered the art of writing horror that scares you very easily, keeps you gripped to the very end and leaves you begging for more when the story is finished. This one reminds me of Ronald Kelly’s Fear or The Wicked by James Newman. It has the small town horror story feel that just works so so well.

To summarise: old skool horror that keeps the adrenaline flowing from start to finish. It has monsters. It has jump out of your seat moments a plenty. It has blood, guts, gore and more blood. It has that special element that makes you want to hide behind a cushion while you read. It makes you very sad when it ends purely because you want it to go on and on and on. Straight out of the ‘80’s this is one you do not want to miss. I absolutely loved it.

General rating:

★★★★★ Perfect.

Horror rating:

★★★★★ Perfect.

You can buy Goblins here:

Book Synopsis:

They want the children!

Someone is taking children from their homes on Roanoke Island and gruesomely slaughtering their families.

After a small, hideous-looking creature is discovered at one of the murder scenes, Chief of Police Marcus Hale realizes whatever is responsible for the killings isn’t even human. Hale suspects a bizarre link to the past, to the end of the 16th Century, when the island’s first settlers disappeared, leaving only the word Croatoan carved into a tree.

But something far more sinister than he ever imagined is at work. And if it isn’t stopped soon, the entire island’s population will perish. Just like it did so many centuries ago.

I am an author of dark fiction/horror. I have published with Samhain horror, Darkfuse, Severed Press, Evil Jester Press and Bizarro Pulp Press. I write everything from gory slashers, to dark terrifying thrillers, to ghost stories, to zombie fiction. But mostly I write flat out, terrifying horror.

You can see more of David at his website.

David’s author page is here.

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