Monday 29 June 2015

REVIEW: Steven Jenkins - Rotten Bodies: A Zombie Short Story Collection

Genre: Horror / Zombies
Publisher: Different Cloud Publishing
Publication Date: 27th April 2015
Pages: 101


Author Steven Jenkins put a call out on Goodreads a while back for any reviewers who would be willing to pick up Rotten Bodies: A Zombie Short Story Collection for the purposes of giving an honest review. Being a conscientious sort of a person, Confessions of a Reviewer offered their services and thankfully got a copy. This is the review.

Guess what? I’ve never read Steven Jenkins before. I thought this would be a good way to introduce myself to his writing. I wasn’t wrong.

This is a collection made up of six short stories all about zombies. A genre I haven’t really been keen on over the years but I am slowly getting to like it even more. This is my take on the six tales in this collection.


A very short – short exploring the mind of a man who knows he is dead. He doesn’t know why or how or even who he was before. All he knows is he is getting hungry. Very hungry. For flesh. Human flesh.

He has one rather large obstacle in his way though.

This is a perfect introduction to a collection. You feel confusion, despair and……hunger with this nameless character. A good insight into what it “could” be like to be awake when you are dead.

★★★★ for general.

★★★ for horror.

Sunday 28 June 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #2 - Stephen Kozeniewski

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Stephen Kozeniewski

The Past

The year was 2001.  I was a young college student, full of piss and vinegar, and a cadet in the US Army ROTC.  The ROTC program took a field trip to Antietam, site of a major Civil War battle, and our major takeaway was that undulating ground had decided the course of the conflict, though what, precisely, constituted undulating ground remained a bit of a mystery.

The next day brought us to Harper's Ferry, another important Civil War-related site due to John Brown's famous raid.  Far up on a mountain top lay the entrance to a mine, perhaps, or some kind of door whose purpose was lost to history (at least, as far as a few tourists from Pennsylvania were concerned.)

"Doesn't that look like the entrance to a zombie emperor's lair?" asked Colin Chappell.

And with that, my interest in zombies - emperors or otherwise - was ignited.

This was in the dark days, the long long ago, before "The Walking Dead", the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, or even "28 Days Later", (a movie whose status as "zombie" horror will be left undebated here.)  Zombies were dead, so to speak, a relic of the '70s and '80s, remembered only vaguely and mostly for being hokey.

But...something was happening. Something seismic.  Perhaps at that same moment, I like to imagine, somewhere in the central Pennsylvania countryside, a young author named Brian Keene was working on the magnum opus of zombie horror, a little something which at the time he called "More Than Infinity".  I like to think maybe at that moment when Chappell, who was always ahead of the learning curve, was pointing at that strange door in West Virginia, Keene was sitting down and typing "Chapter One" in the Pennsylvania mid-state.  But no one will ever know if that was the case, I suppose. No one ever can know.

Sunday 21 June 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #1 - William Meikle

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


William Meikle

The Past

I was a voracious reader as a kid - everything I could get my hands on from DC and Marvel comics, very British ones like "The Hotspur", "The Victor" and "The Valiant", all of the children's classics, and most of our local library's genre section which included everything I could find from Verne, Wells, Rider Haggard, Conan Doyle, Tolkien, Arthur C Clarke and Edgar Rice Burroughs. At the same time I was making my way through my granddad's paperbacks - the "Pan Books of Horror", Dennis Wheatley, Alistair MacLean, Agatha Christie, Louis L'Amour, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming and Ed McBain all figuring large

I found Wyndham, Lovecraft and Moorcock round about 1970 at the age of twelve and things were getting set pretty much for the rest of my lifetime's reading preferences by the time Stephen King and James Herbert came along a few years later.

But there's another constant. My granddad was also a big Bogart fan, and I'd already been introduced to "The Big Sleep" on the telly when I found the paperback in our local shop in '71. I took it home and read it on one sitting, completely lost in Raymond Chandler's California - a far cry from our wee steel working town in the west of Scotland, but somehow Chandler's voice spoke straight to me - laconic hard-edged cynicism with an underlying deep seated romanticism fuelled by snappy one liners. I was hooked.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

REVIEW: Bryce Allen - The Spartak Trigger

Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Bedlam Press
Publication Date: 16th March 2014
Pages: 150


A copy of The Spartak Trigger was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Bryce Allen in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bedlam Press.

Anyone who visits the blog regularly will know I love to discover new authors, to me, especially when it is their first book. I liked the sound of this one when it was sent in and decided to give it some reading time. I got a surprise with this book. A pleasant one.

Shane Bishop has had his day as a cop. The job was taken away from him in disgrace. He now works for a firm as a professional set up artist. Firms hire him to go undercover, set up and disgrace an employee of theirs so they can fire them. There are many reasons for these requests. Bishop doesn’t really care as long as he gets paid.

His most recent job has gone wrong. His mark was killed but not by him. He is now caught up in an international web of industrial espionage that threatens to destroy the World Wide Web and plunge today’s society into technological darkness.

He is being blackmailed to help a tech firm get their hands on a years old microfilm to assist them in their quest. His prize is simple – be cleared of a murder he didn’t commit. Or is it as simple as he thinks?

Monday 15 June 2015

REVIEW: Lisa Ballantyne - Redemption Road

Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: 8th Jan 2015
Pages: 448


I received an advance copy of Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyne from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Piatkus.

Having never read anything by Lisa Ballantyne before, I was drawn to this book on NetGalley by the blurb and the fact Lisa’s first book, The Guilty One received such rave reviews. I expected good things. I got good things but not the “wow” things I was looking for.

In 2013 Margaret Holloway is involved in a motorway pile up. She is trapped in her car and only survives after being rescued by a hideously scarred man she doesn’t know.

In 1985 George McLaughlin has come into some money. He stole it. His family is known for being gangsters but George is the black sheep. He appears to be the good one. He has only ever loved Kathleen. She left seven years ago with their daughter to start a new life away from George. He has decided he wants her back, and he wants his daughter back. In a turn of events that no one could have seen coming, George ends up on the run with his daughter but without Kathleen.

How do things turn out for George? Who is the mysterious character who has rescued Margaret? Is there a connection?

Sunday 14 June 2015


Good morning / afternoon / evening to all my Confessors!

This is a little announcement to let you know of some changes I am making to the blog. I am removing a couple of pages and adding a couple of new ones to hopefully enhance your reading pleasure.

I am removing the “Music” and “Motorbikes” pages from the blog. This is mainly because, given that the blog is mostly about books (which was always my intention) I have neglected the Music and Motorbike pages to the point where they are taking up unnecessary space and to be honest, I don’t think a lot of you would have much interest in them anyway.

Don’t panic though because I am replacing them with two brand new pages!

The first will be called “Confessions of my Past, Present and Future”. This is a new feature that will be full of guest posts from some of my (and hopefully your) favourite authors. I have set some people a task of writing a post about books that featured in their past and what they are reading now and also what they might expect to be doing in the year 2045. The page is now live and it has a full description on it of what you should expect to see.

I have had an amazing response from authors that I contacted to take part and so far every reply I have had has been a YES! (allowing for book deadlines and such). I am hoping to make this a regular feature. I was hoping to post one a month but believe it or not, after the responses I got, this may very well turn into a weekly event. I am hopefully going to publish the first entry next Sunday 21st June.

The second new page is called “Show-off and Tell”. This one is simple. It’s my way of showing off the signed books and other signed stuff I have in my collection. I will feature some pictures, a little bit of background and of course links where you can buy your own copies and get more info on the authors.

Hopefully in the near future there will be more new pages to come with more guest posts and wonderful content.

Again thank you so much for coming back regularly to read the blog and for making it such a success for me, and I hope you enjoy the new pages.

If I haven’t contacted you as yet and you would like to take part in either “Confessions of my Past, Present and Future” or indeed “Show-off and Tell” then drop me an email at

Thanks again.


Friday 12 June 2015

REVIEW: Christine Hayton - Scarecrows

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: 5th May 2015
Pages: 100


I received an advance copy of Scarecrows by Christine Hayton from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain Publishing.

Never read Christine Hayton before. Saw this on NetGalley and liked the description so picked it up. So many good points and so many bad but a really good read into the bargain.

In 1964, Robert gets wakened by his wife Clare. She can’t find their daughter Cathy. Robert goes searching and finds her asleep in a corn field close by. She is covered in blood, not her own, and she is holding his axe. Close by is the very dead body of her classmate Emily.

Cathy gets put into an asylum for kids while doctors try and fathom why she did what she did. She tells everyone it was the scarecrows that murdered Emily. No one believes her. They should have.

This is one that is in that grey area between a short story and a novella. Not quite short enough for a short but not quite long enough for a novella. It’s what I like to call a “shovella”. At about one hundred pages you can read this in a short few hours.

Wednesday 10 June 2015


A very short and very heartfelt post from me,

If you have visited the blog today you have helped me hit another milestone. The blog has been live for exactly 18 weeks today and has hit the impressive figure of 8000 visits in that short time.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for showing me some love and having the faith to visit and read my ramblings on the reviews and support the authors who have been gracious enough to give their time for interviews.

I am in the middle of developing some ideas for more content, more reviews, more interviews and a couple of new features that will give you more insight into the lives and loves of some of your favourite authors.

Thank you for visiting in the past and I really hope you will all continue to come back to read more Confessions of a Reviewer.

Thanks again.


Tuesday 9 June 2015

REVIEW: Angela Marsons - Evil Games ( D.I. Kim Stone #2 )

Genre: Crime / Thriller
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 29th May 2015
Pages: 352


I received an advance copy of Evil Games (D.I. Kim Stone Book Two) from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bookouture.

This is book two in a series. I strongly urge you to buy book one, Silent Scream, which I reviewed here before reading Evil Games. It’s not a necessity as both books stand up very well as individual stories but it certainly helps to build your relationship with the main characters.

Kim Stone and her team have a body. No witness’s, no clues. When it comes to light he is not long out of jail, things take a different turn.

Alex Thorne is a psychiatrist. She is also a sociopath. Her patient is responsible for the body, tricked into killing him by Alex herself. It’s part of an experiment. Alex has no remorse, in fact no feeling at all. She intends to keep going with her experiments. Will Stone and her team be able to stop her before the bodies mount up? Will Stone’s own traumatic past make her susceptible to Alex’s experiment?

Add to this the fact they are also trying to figure out who the “other” person was involved in a harrowing case for all, Stone’s job is made doubly difficult in dealing with double the evil.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

REVIEW: Keith Deininger - Within

Genre: Horror
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: 5th May 2015
Pages: 240


I received an advance copy of Within by Keith Deininger from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by DarkFuse.

I have only ever read Ghosts of Eden by Keith Deininger before. Although I enjoyed it, I struggled with it a bit. Felt like I had been on a weird “trip” when I had read it. Due to this experience I went at Within a little bit on the cautious side. I knew I liked his writing. I was just a bit freaked out with the previous one. I needn’t have worried.

Mesa Rapids is a weird town. The rich live on the top of the mountain. The poor live in the valley. The horror doesn’t care where it lives.

Wealthy, reclusive art collector, Harold Klimt moves into the dilapidated Upshaw Mansion. He likes to throw lavish parties for the Mesa Rapids elite. Colin Thorne, a young artist, and his friends sneak into a party one night and he inadvertently gets offered a job by Mr Klimt to paint a mural in his basement. He has no idea what he is going to paint and neither has Mr Klimt. Or has he? Being paid huge amounts of money convinces Colin to take the job.

Colin becomes obsessed with his mural. He doesn’t know about the town’s horrific history. He doesn’t know that what he’s doing has the potential to unleash unknown horrors. He will soon find out.