Coven Murdersfront1025 (1)Author Brian O’Hare makes a daring move in the third book of his Inspector Sheehan Mysteries by setting the stage instantly with a ritual killing, and by gruesomely linking both crime and horror genre’s in The Coven Murders.

I’m a fan of both, and enjoyed the Inspector’s sharp insight and determination. And, since I’ve never been to Ireland where the story is set, I got a kick out of learning a bit about local customs, speech, and even the temperament of the main characters.

I came away feeling as though I’d watched a somewhat twisted episode of NCSI New Orleans, with Scott Bakula as the Inspector. And that’s not a bad thing, as Sheehan’s  investigators battle the local environment and political leanings, as well as strict religious views dependent on just who they come in contact with.

What’s left is a smart, well-honed story with a crew of inspectors doing a scary but believable job. And, the crew is manned by believable characters. They have friends, families, and a place to go after a hard day at work. They just can’t get the day’s work out of their minds.

The Inspector himself isn’t perfect, but he’s meticulous, inquiring, and well worth following along for the trip through Northern Ireland.

I enjoyed the novel and think you’ll feel the same way. And as a reward, there are other books in the series that let you follow Inspector Sheehan on similar investigations. So, give author Brian O’Hare a look!

Four Stars

Mysteries of the MacabreIn the world of Horror short stories, Stephen King rules all. His Kindle books dominate the top twenty list with six entries and 14 of his books are found in the top 40. What’s a new author to do? Dream on?

Well, there’s really nothing that can be done except offer up to the gods and the masses an exceptional collection of horror stories that capture a reader’s imagination right from the first words spilled across the pages like blood. And, it seems Jon Grimcrafter has done just that.

His book, Mysteries of the Macabre, is now available on Kindle with 176 pages of frightfully strange and eerie stories. Nine of them. Each better than the last. The book is part of Kindle Unlimited, so it’s free for those in KU, $1.99 for everyone else.

As for the author, the name is excellent. Really. Grimcrafter. So cool. As for the book, the stories remind me of Stephen King, maybe Clive Barker. Perhaps even Edgar Allan Poe, since the book starts with a poem.

Q: So, Jon, why do you write, and what do you want to say in this book of short stories?

A: Writing for me is cathartic: a method to transform my internal demons into dark plots and nightmarish characters.

Q: That sounds scary all by itself. Where did your idea’s for the stories in this book come from?

A: It is a mystery where my ideas come from for not even I can trace their origins. Perhaps they come from everything I’ve seen, heard and done all permuted and disfigured into one blob of horror, fantasy, and magic.

Q: I liked what you said about nightmares, that they can be beautiful if a master engineers them correctly. Want to give a lead-in to a couple of your book’s stories?

A: How about “Serial killer Jack has a severed human head in the freezer. That head will come back to haunt him,” and “Zendra’s own parents give her up to be sacrificed in a satanic ritual. She manages to escape, but why does everyone she sleeps with die within the hour?”

Thanks, Jon, those definitely fit the Horror genre.

You want a good scary book to read? Be careful what you wish for!