Shadows Of The Woods by Duncan Thompson – Book Review

Firstly let me start by thanking the great folks at Panther Publishing for the advance copy to review! Horror is not my usual jaunt but having heard about this book and some of the early opinions, I jumped at the chance of being able to review Duncan Thompson’s Shadows of the Woods.
Ok, so let’s start with a general idea of the plot. Four guys go in to the woods for a stag do. Simple right? Wrong! The book starts you with a nice introduction to the story, giving you a sense of what you can expect throughout the remaining pages, and what you can expect is a no holds barred, gore filled, cold blooded horror fest! I mean this book starts right where it means to go on. Within the first few pages you are left as breathless as the characters and just as scared and shocked. From there, with the introduction of the main cast of characters, it just gets colder, more brutal and more awesome!
This book has everything a true horror fan might want. Creepy setting, plenty of spine curling gore, helpless characters being picked off one after the other, truly horrifying imagery brought beautifully to life by the author, dark supernatural and ritualistic undertones and a pace that requires the reader to be in peak physical condition or risk a horrible end for themselves as well as the tormented souls on the page.
The setting is brought to life wonderfully as are the ‘shadows’, of all things. More and more detail is dribbled to us through each chapter with each little bit more disturbing than the last. Im not usually one to be creeped out by a book but the descriptions and tone in Shadows Of The Woods definitely gave me the willies at times!
I must also add that this is not a huge doorstep of a book, which I like. The chapters are on the shorter side which is no bad thing and, as someone with a busy life and a brain that won’t let me stop between chapter headings, this is a win for me. Not only that but mostly the chapters fling you from one character to the next each time. Each chapter leaving you with goosebumps and hairs standing on end before throwing you headfirst in to the next bloodbath. It didn’t take me too long to get through at all and if you’re the type of person who likes to steam through a book in a weekend, this could just be for you. Just don’t read it in the dark, or at the very least, make sure you’ve got a good torch and plenty of batteries to keep the shadows at bay!
If you are looking for something fast paced, with great imagery, plenty of chills, thrills and scares and will keep you flipping the pages either until they run out or your heart gives out, then Duncan Thompson’s Shadows Of The Woods is probably for you.

From inside the House – A review

From inside the House – WD Jackson-Smart

A dark and gripping ride!

Rating – 4/5

Firstly I must admit that Crime fiction is not normally my thing. I’m a lover of dark stories, gruesome stories, the supernatural and anything that makes the skin crawl. When I read the synopsis for ‘from inside the house’ though, I thought hey, this sounds pretty good.
So was I right? Short answer, yes!
Now ‘From inside the house’ is the second book in the D.I. Graves series of novels and at the point of writing this review, I have not read the first book. A big thanks to Panther Publishing for sending me an advance copy of this to review and I can definitely say I will be going back and reading the first instalment right away.
This being the second book, there are obviously some events from the previous book that carry over. Fortunately it does not bog down the story in this book and revelations from Daniel Graves last adventure are given to us steadily and in an easily understandable way that relates easily to the story being told. If like me, you are reading out of sequence, it does spoil the previous book but it does do a good job of making this book much easier to read from a stand alone point. Kudos to the author for that.
The story itself is well told and well paced, nothing feels like it slows down the narrative. All the characters, now well developed from a previous novel transfer over greatly and they all have distinct personalities. Being British myself it’s good to see the author capture the Britishness in the way people speak and act. I’m not normally one for British Fiction or Television as it all just feels too cheesy for me but there is none of that here. All the characters feel real and London feels alive (or not so much, depending on how you look at it).
In conclusion then I can definitively say I thoroughly enjoyed my time with ‘From inside the house’. It’s faced paced, dark and it’s definitely gruesome. All the things that keep me turning the page, or in this case, pressing the screen. Events from the previous novel are woven in seamlessly and the story winds naturally down to a point that leads right in to Daniel’s next adventure as well as tying up enough loose ends for it to feel like a satisfying conclusion. If you like a good crime thriller with a dose of horror and proverbial skin chill. This series is the one for you!

‘The Black Cat Sanctuary’ has begun!

The Black cat Sanctuary, my new serial novel has just begun over on my Patreon. Patrons can enjoy the first five scenes of the story right now!

Head over to patreon.com/benjaminlocke to read now!

The Black Cat Sanctuary tells the story of a boy and his black cat living a new world where life is strictly controlled. People must live within the walls of their city for their own safety and work to provide rations for their family. The world is a very different place now and people who remember the world before must come to terms with their new lives. William Edward chambers though is a very intelligent and quiet boy who keeps to mostly himself. People often wonder why the boy stays so calm in such a tumultuous world but theres one thing the boy cannot shake. Black cats are everywhere and nobody else seems to see them.

The Black Cat Sanctuary

Coming June 2nd 2019 to patreon.com/benjaminlocke

Click here to view the trailer

The Black Cat Sanctuary is a brand new novel set in a not too distant future where towns and cities are completely cut off from a world of death and destruction. People live happy lives inside their walls and life goes on seemingly as normal but for William Chambers, a young boy living life in these new confines…there’s something nobody else can see.

 

Support me on Patreon – Plus all new short story!

I’ve done it, I’ve taken the plunge. I’m on Patreon.

I’ve been a patron of other creators on there for some time now and after seeing the benefits to both creator and consumer, I thought it was time I give it a go!

Now live at Patreon.com/benjaminlocke you can find a selection of my stories available to read for free! yes free, though all new content going forward will be available as early access to all patrons before becoming available to the public.

Right now you can read a BRAND NEW short story called ‘Dark Heart’. A thriller following the new beginnings of a man after the brutal murder of his wife.

Over the coming days I will release other stories on my Patreon page including another never before seen short, so stay tuned!

After that, new content as mentioned, will be exclusive for patrons for a short time (length of time as yet undetermined). This content will be new short stories, flash fiction, novella’s and even a super secret serial story I have been working on for some time. shh don’t tell anyone, more info soon!

I will give regular updates about what I am working on and what you can expect, at least once a week as well as regular new content uploads! More details about content schedules in the coming days.

If you have read my work and would like to support me as well as get exclusive access and awesome extras, please head over to my Patreon page by following the link below. I hope to see you there!

Patreon.com/benjaminlocke

Patreon_Wordmark_Black

SCRATCH – The first look

There’s an odd feeling about that place…

Welcome everybody, to Pine Rivers.

I’m really excited to be sharing with you, the first look at my upcoming novel, SCRATCH. Coming later this year to Wattpad and right here at benjaminlocke.wordpress.com

This sequence is fairly short, but it was the first scene I ever wrote when I started this story and immediately it took me to Pine Rivers. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks.

Click HERE to read the exclusive first scene.

SCRATCH

In case you missed it on Twitter a couple of weeks back, I announced my new project, ‘SCRATCH’ which is to be a two part novel, each part novella sized in length and will be published on Wattpad in the coming months. I don’t currently have a release date, the story is still being drafted, but I’m super excited to bring it to you all!