Friday 27 February 2015

REVIEW: Jeremy Thompson - The Phantom Cabinet

Genre: SciFi / Horror
Publisher: Necro Publications
Publication Date: 15th Sept 2014
Pages: 245


A copy of The Phantom Cabinet was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Jeremy Thompson, in exchange for an honest review. This is it.

Jeremy Thompson? No idea? Nor had I before he sent me a copy of this to see if I would be interested in reading it for a review. At first I was a bit “meh”. Didn’t like the cover one bit and sort of went at it half-heartedly. Until, I actually started reading it. Once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Frank Gordon is Commander on the Space Shuttle Conundrum. His crew are slowly dying in bizarre fashion, by their own hands. He has no idea where he is or what their mission was. He eventually gives in and joins his crew mates on the journey to “the other side”.

At exactly the same moment in time, in a hospital ward, a woman is in the final stages of labour. When her child is born she goes crazy and immediately tries to kill the little boy. He dies and remains dead for some time before miraculously coming back to life. The boy’s name is Douglas Stanton. Unbeknown to him, he is now the doorway to The Phantom Cabinet, a place where the dead live. As long as Douglas is alive, the doorway will remain open. There is only one way to close the door, but will Douglas be able to this before the ultimate evil can complete its plan to destroy the world?

Tuesday 24 February 2015

REVIEW: Monica J. O'Rourke - What Happens in the Darkness

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 10th Dec 2013
Pages: 361


A copy of What Happens in the Darkness was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Grin Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is it.

America is under attack. The rest of the world has united and, calling itself the Global Dominion, is destroying the US. Major cities have been devastated. Millions are dying. Janelle is twelve. She is running for her life in Manhattan, the only one of her family to survive. She has a mission to try and get to her aunt in Georgia.

In an Army base not too far away, Jeff is guarding a secret. A secret that has been buried for decades. It’s a secret that Jeff is convinced will help America fight back against the rest of the world. Only problem is, once he unleashes the secret there will be no turning back. Is he helping save the country or ultimately destroying it?

Never read Monica J. O’Rourke before. Seen the name plenty and heard very good things so I was excited to read this one when it arrived from Sinister Grin Press. I had no idea what it was about so went at it totally blind.

The opening scenes in this story are absolutely fantastic. When we meet Janelle the attack has already happened. She is wandering the streets of Manhattan totally lost and then recalls exactly what happened. Looking at this through the eyes of a twelve year old girl is bad enough but the way Ms O’Rourke has written this first sequence will make you crumble. It describes in detail how Janelle’s building gets hit during the bombing and how she has to try and escape from it totally alone. It is totally horrifying in a psychological way. It is really harrowing to read as Janelle struggles to get out of her apartment block with no help from anyone.

So I’m reading a post-apocalyptic horror book. I like this so far. When you get your breath back from that bit, we meet Jeff. He is in the army. He has had the same posting for years, as his father had before him, guarding a secret in a cave far underground a military base. Now, I wasn’t going to reveal the secret that was being kept but if I don’t then the review ends here. If you don’t want to know what the secret is then stop reading now and buy the book.

REVIEW: Geoff Brown - SNAFU: Heroes: An Anthology of Military Horror

Genre: War / Military / Horror / Anthologies
Publisher: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: 31st Oct 2014
Pages: 260


This is another sent into Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review of the book. This is an anthology of 4 military horror short stories.

I decided to grab this one because it features four different authors, two of which, Joseph Nassise and James A. Moore, I have read before and two others I have wanted to read, Jonathan Maberry and Weston Ochse. Military horror is a favourite of mine, if it’s done right. I have seen good reports about previous SNAFU anthologies so was looking forward to this one.


Knight Commander Cade and his unit made up of Olsen, Riley and Duncan are sent to the remote village of Durbandorf in the Black Forest to investigate reports of strange creatures and unusual behaviour. On arrival they discover the place has been overrun by protean demons, they must try to keep the few remaining survivors alive while hunting down, and attempting to destroy the host demon.

I absolutely love books that feature the Knights Templar. I normally find them in historical / mystery thrillers so finding them in the middle of a horror story was great.

Right from the first paragraph this one kicks off with creepy scenes that perfectly set the atmosphere for the rest of the story. It’s dark, very dark. You can just imagine yourself in the middle of nowhere, with no resources, in the middle of a snowy, dark scene with no idea of what might jump out on you from a side street.

The idea of modern day Knights Templars is interesting. The characters in this are great. The four members of the team complement each other perfectly with the Knight Commander Cade, a perfect leader. They all have their own stories and, as it emerges, their own special “gifts”. There is an abundance of monsters in this. All horrifically mutilated and scary in their own ways.

Sunday 22 February 2015

REVIEW: Glenn Rolfe - Abram's Bridge

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 6th Jan 2015
Pages: 85


A copy of Abram’s Bridge was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

Li’l Ron Sawyer is twelve years old. He has just moved back to his father’s home town with him after his parents have split up. He likes nothing more than riding his bike while listening to Metallica on his MP3. When his MP3 player flies from his belt over Abram’s Bridge, he fears the worst. After climbing down to the creek to search for it, he comes across Sweet Kate. He quickly realises she is a ghost and gets away even quicker. Curiosity gets the better of him and he goes back to meet her. It becomes clear to him that Kate was murdered and he sets about trying to find out by who, and why.

First thing I have read by Glenn Rolfe and from what I can gather his first book. If that’s the case then I’m impressed. It’s a supernatural mystery / thriller. A short one at that. It’s a plot that has been done before – boy meets girl ghost and sets out to uncover her killer – but it’s done well with a fair amount of tension throughout.

Friday 20 February 2015

REVIEW: Jonathan Janz - The Nightmare Girl

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 6th January 2015
Pages: 304


This review of The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz is the result of a copy sent to Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review.

So all I see on peoples feeds at the minute is Jonathan Janz this Jonathan Janz that. All I could think is who is this guy and I must check him out. I was then delighted to get a copy of The Nightmare Girl to review for Ginger Nuts of Horror. Did I like it? Read on…….. (The fact I have since bought another 5 of his books might give it away though).

Joe Crawford is returning home with his wife Michelle and daughter Lily when they stop for gas. In the station, Joe witnesses a young mother abusing her toddler son. He doesn’t stop to think and immediately does the honourable thing and confronts her. This results in a huge argument and fists are raised before the mother makes a quick exit. The police are called and the child taken from the mother into care. This is the start of a situation that spirals so quickly out of control for Joe and his family that it looks doubtful anyone will survive. Especially where the “cult” is concerned. They want the child back and they want revenge.

I can now see what all the Jonathan Janz fuss has been about. This guy can write. The concept of this story is one ordinary, hardworking guy doing the right thing. Often as not though the nice guy gets the raw end of the deal. That happens to Joe Crawford. In abundance. In the beginning you can do nothing but applaud him for his actions. He deserves a medal. But as things start to go wrong you can’t help but feel sorry for the man and his family. He is a genuinely nice guy and you can see where things are going for him and it doesn’t look pretty.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

REVIEW: Nate Southard - The Slab City Event

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 15th Aug 2014
Pages: 178


A copy of The Slab City Event was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Grin Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is it.

The Slab City Event is a weekend of fast custom cars and bikes. It is a weekend where all the people there will eat, drink and be merry. Very merry! Old friendships will reignite over booze, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. The inhabitants of nearby town Niland have a different idea though. Well they would if they could think or act like humans. They want to go to The Slab City Event as well. They don’t want booze, drugs or rock ’n’ roll. They just want to eat! Will anyone survive the coming riot?

I seem to be saying this at the start of reviews regularly, but for differing reasons but – Well now – where do I start?

Zombie books and post-apocalyptic books featuring zombies are probably not my favourite ones to read in the horror genre. I think the reason for that is because they can all be a bit more of the sameish – make sense? I feel sorry for an author writing a zombie story because they need to make them original to hold the reader’s attention if they are like me. Nate Southard certainly held my attention in this one but I’m still undecided as to how I feel about it. He undoubtedly has a talent for writing, that can’t be denied. This is the first thing I have ever read by him and to be honest I would definitely pick up something by him again.

Monday 16 February 2015

REVIEW: Peter C Middleton - The Britannia Conspiracy (Britannia Chronicles Book 1)

Genre: Horror / Thriller
Publisher: Britannia Publications
Publication Date: 19th March 2014
Pages: 369


NOTE: This is an old review I did last year but just discovered book 2 in this series is out this week so thought I would give it a little bump up the list again. This is a really fun book by a really nice down to earth guy. Give it a whirl guys and spread the word. Thanks.

Another debut novel by someone I have never heard of......but I am very glad I've heard of him now. This book is so much fun!!

2000 years ago Boadicea drove the Romans from Britain, but thousands of Roman soldiers were slaughtered and buried in mass graves or simply where they fell. In the present day Liberius, who was Roman Tribune at the time and made immortal by a witches curse, has taken possession of the Amulet of Ankhef which gives him the power to raise and control the dead. He raises the bodies of every Roman soldier to fall on British soil in a bid to finally conquer Britain. It falls to a small band of everyday people to come together and trace the only ancient relic that can defeat Liberius and his hoard.

Sunday 15 February 2015

REVIEW: David Bernstein / Adam Cesare / Shane McKenzie / Kristopher Rufty - Jackpot

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 23rd Sept 2014
Pages: 142


A copy of Jackpot was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Grin Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is it.

Booker is a serial killer. He wants to win the lottery. He picks his numbers by randomly selecting victims, torturing them, and using their ages for his numbers. Tonight’s jackpot is over $200 million and he has just won it.

Enter Frank. He is a lowest of the low lawyer who wants a slice of the winnings. He intends to get his share by offering his services to Booker, or to be more exact, conning him and also expecting to play on the fact he thinks Booker is none too intelligent.

Enter Winona. This meek little old lady believes the money should be hers. She intends to get her hands on it by any means necessary, using her inbred family to help.

The hunter, Booker, has now become the hunted. Who will finally get their hands on the cash and at what cost?

Well now. Where do I start with this one? Definitely do not open this to read as you sit down to eat. What we have here is the definition of a gore fest. Torture on virtually every page. Blood on every page. Large amounts of blood I may add. Some of the subject matter in this story is probably at the very extreme of the spectrum of my tolerance levels. But do you know what? I “bloody” loved every bit of it!

REVIEW: Iain Rob Wright - The Picture Frame: A Horror Novel

Genre: Horror
Publisher: SG Horror
Publication Date: 9th Nov 2014
Pages: 231


Blake Price is a famous author, in fact he is the most celebrated mystery writer since Agatha Christie. A horrific attack on his wife drives him and his family from the city to now live in a cottage in the countryside. He needs to get his priorities straight and is trying very hard to reconnect with his wife Liz and his son Ricky. When they find an old picture frame buried in the field next to their house, their horrors are really just beginning. Unbeknown to them, anyone who has their picture in the frame is cursed and the curse does not let go until everyone in the picture is dead. They wish they knew this before Liz put a beautiful family photograph in the frame.

I have everything Iain Rob Wright has written. I still have a couple to read but heard good things about this one so picked it up to review for Ginger Nuts of Horror. I would love to be able to say that this is another example of Mr Wright’s mighty fine writing and storytelling, but I’m afraid I can’t.

This, in my opinion, goes way above and beyond anything he has written before. It is quite simply superb. This is classic. It’s a classic ghost story. It’s a classic horror story. It’s a classic example of how to paint a picture with words. It’s a classic example of how to trap a reader, grab them by the throat and shake them till their teeth fall out.

Wednesday 4 February 2015


This blog is the result of my growing passion for book reviewing and my desire/need to share all the good things (and occasionally bad) that I read in a book or discover on websites or other blogs....about books.

I aim to post a new blog every week or more frequently if I have something that's on my mind or generally just want to rant about whatever.

The blog is 95% book related however, you will notice, I have tabs for my other big loves, motorbikes and music. The motorbike tab will be full of pictures of......motorbikes....both my own and other peoples. I will also feature links to any upcoming races I would recommend and also coverage of MotoGP when the new season starts in March. The music tab will be I fancy.

In the coming weeks I will be posting interviews with some fantastic authors who have offered some of their valuable time to answer my questions. This will kick off in a few weeks with an interview with British horror and thriller writer Iain Rob Wright with a little exclusive from him as well.

Please feel free to add comments on any of my posts/pages and if you want me to host something for you on my blog or have any other questions, please email me at

If you have come across the page by accident, thank you for visiting. If you purposely brought yourself here then I hope you found what you were looking for and in each case, I hope you liked it enough to return.

Either way can I please please please ask you all to follow me here (by email is best) and my Facebook page and Twitter.

Finally, this is brand new for me. I want to get it out into the big bad world. Can you share it for me please? You can share it on any social media site you may be connected to.....and get all your friends and their friends to share as well!



REVIEW: Evans Light - Screamscapes: Tales of Terror.

Genre: Horror / Collection
Publisher: Corpus Press
Publication Date: 30th Sept 2013
Pages: 427


A collection of short stories from Evans Light.

It’s no secret. I love Evans Light’s writing. This collection of short stories cements that feeling in an immense way. Normally when I do a review of a collection I would skim over the stories highlighting one or two that I felt deserved individual praise. With Screamscapes they all deserve their own credit. So to that end, below are short individual reviews of each story in the book. It’s a long review so I don’t blame you if you don’t read it all but you will only be forgiven if you’ve bought it and are currently reading it yourself!


This is a story about a husband looking forward to his wife going away to her mother’s for a week so he can have some time alone with his mistress……as long as he completes the job tidying the crawlspace under their house first. When he climbs under to start the work, he gets some unexpected surprises.

This story is not for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia. It is beautifully written to scare the living shit out of you if you do. Can’t reveal too much without giving away the story but it portrays, perfectly, what the atmosphere would be like under a house for someone who does not like small spaces. My skin crawled quite a few times. It’s horrific but psychologically horrific instead of physically horrific.



If you are one of those people (like me) who read and read and read and have always had an idea that you could someday write a story or book yourself, then this story will scare the bejeesus outta you.

Gerard takes a sabbatical from his current job to write the novel he has always wanted to write. Straight away he gets writers block. He goes to his local bookstore for some inspiration and a stranger gives him a piece of paper and asks him to read what is printed on it out loud. From this moment on he becomes possessed by pure evil. Will his book ever get written? And at what cost?

REVIEW: Angela Marsons - Silent Scream ( D.I. Kim Stone #1 )

Genre: Mystery / Crime
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th Feb 2015
Pages: 307


I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is published by Bookouture.

Five people have gathered in a field. Burying the body of a child in a shallow grave they all took turns to dig. They are burying secrets they pray will stay buried forever. Ten years later, a school headmistress is murdered. Strangled and drowned in her own bath. DI Kim Stone and her team have been given the case. Human remains are found in a field beside a former children’s home. Are these the same bones buried ten years earlier? What’s the connection with the headmistress? Stone has her own hidden past and her own demons and her own buried secrets. She is beginning a race against time to find who knows the secrets from ten years ago, before they are all dead.

Crime novels. All over the place these days. Hard to make them original. Hard to make them so your reader wants to come back for more. Angela Marsons seems to have uncovered the secret.

REVIEW: Ronald Kelly - Fear

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Publication Date: 23rd Nov 2011
Pages: 409


My third book I have read by Ronald Kelly. By far the best so far.

The year is 1946 in Pikesville, Tennessee. Jeb Sweeny lives with his very ill Grandma and his father Sam. Sam is "simple-minded" as the locals call him because he suffers from shell shock after the war and can't remember anything. He can't even remember Jeb is his son. Livestock in the county starts to mysteriously be butchered and rumour has it that there is a half dog half snake demon on the loose. Jeb witnesses the demon himself when his prized hog is dragged away in front of his eyes.

Noone, including the sheriff believes Jeb and when kids his own age, including his sweatheart Mandy start to disappear, Jeb knows he is the only one that is going to be able to stop it. With the help of Roscoe Ledbetter, a blues playing vagrant, Jeb and Sam set off on a journey to Fear County to track down the Granny Woman and seek her help in defeating the demon. Roscoe knows the way and the dangers they will come across. Jeb knows he is going to ask the Granny Woman for help with his own Grandma and his father. Sam knows nothing other than they are going on a journey. And what a journey.

REVIEW: James Newman - People Are Strange

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Publication Date: 30th June 2015
Pages: 94


A collection of short stories from James Newman.

I really didn’t want to read this just yet as the only copy I have is my personally signed one from James and I didn’t want to scuff or damage it. It has just been released on ebook though so now all you lucky people can get to read it too! The temptation got too much though and I just had to don my white gloves and sit in the specially controlled room to read it.

The foreword in this book is written by Jeff Strand. It’s quite possibly the best, funniest thing I have read in ages. Anyway, on with the stories.


Earl wakes up when a fly buzzes in his ear. He shoos it away. He can’t believe what he is seeing or hearing when the fly starts to talk to him. The fly asks him to do a favour for him. It involves murder and Earl doesn’t seem to have a choice.

This is mad. You would think a story with a talking fly would have you thinking WTF? It works though. It’s punchy and funny. It’s very very creepy and it has a twist at the end that makes Earl cry, and you just stare at the page in disbelief.



John Henry Mason never lost a fight. When he gets jumped at a creek by an “Injun”, he aims to keep that record going.

Tuesday 3 February 2015

REVIEW: Andrew Van Wey - A Hollow Dream: Eternal Autumn ( A Hollow Dream - Season Two )

Genre: Fantasy / Horror
Publisher: Greywood Bay
Publication Date: 5th Dec 2014
Pages: 426


Please note this book is the second in the A Hollow Dream series, the first being A Hollow Dream Of Summer’s End. This review will have some connections to the first book which could be classed as spoilers so if you want to read it first then check this review out I can understand that. I can also highly recommend reading A Hollow Dream of Summer’s End which is a novella (and currently FREE for the Kindle edition on Amazon and has been for some months), although Eternal Autumn stands up perfectly well by itself.

Aiden Park is 12. He has just died. He knew this anyway. The monsters are coming for him. A stranger appears from nowhere and helps him to escape the monsters through underground tunnels and leads him to the Eternal Autumn and the city of Everland. Aiden’s mind is swimming with questions. Is he really dead? Who are all of the people in the city? Who are the Outlanders and the Dismemberer’s? What magic does the tree give? Does it give a second death or a second chance at life?  Aiden needs to firstly discover who is telling him truths and who should never be trusted.

This book is quite simply stunningly superb. Anything I have read before by Andrew Van Wey has totally captured me and had me totally mesmerized by his writing. Eternal Autumn goes one step further… grabs you by the squidgies and just refuses to let go until you reach the last page.

REVIEW: Glen Krisch - Arkadium Rising ( Brother's Keeper #1)

Genre: Horror
Publisher: JournalStone
Publication Date: 5th Dec 2014
Pages: 284


I have made no secret in the past of my love of the writings of Glen Krisch. I make no apologies for it and after reading his latest book, Arkadium Rising, I intend to start shouting it from the rooftops again.

Marcus and Jason Grant are brothers. Jason the sensible one holding down a steady job and doing the chores for mom and dad, Marcus the younger, rowdier one driven by a life of crime and drugs. No one has seen Marcus in a long time when his ex-girlfriend Delany comes looking for Jason. She has heard from Marcus and wants Jason’s help to go get him. When they find him, Marcus seems to be the leader of a band of religious fanatics who all seem to be members of some strange doomsday cult. Marcus and his band are to set in motion a process that will end the world as we know it. Jason has to decide whether to run from Marcus, or run with him.

And there ends what I can say about this book without giving too much away. This is the first book in a trilogy that fans of Mr Krisch like myself have been waiting for with bated breath. The end result is a story that still gets you holding your breath from cover to cover.