“At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, is the Finch House. For years it has remained empty, overgrown, abandoned. Soon the door will be opened for the first time in decades. But something is waiting, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests…
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Kill Creek by Scott Thomas. Kill Creek was published by Inkshares on 31st October 2017 and is available in paperback and audio formats.
Regular readers of the blog may be aware that as well as being a crime fiction fan I also love horror fiction. I tend to lean towards slasher horror but to be honest, if it’s creepy and dark there’s a good chance I’ll want to read it. Which is why when Kill Creek came onto my radar I ordered a copy straight away. There was just something about the synopsis which really appealed to me.
Sam McGarver is starting to get stressed. His agent and his publisher are putting the pressure on for his latest manuscript but if truth be told, he’s got nothing. He feels his career is floundering and he’s having to supplement his income with a teaching job. That’s when he receives a mysterious message from someone calling themselves only Wainwright. Wainwright is a content creator and owner of WrightWire, an online video streaming platform. He wants to interview Sam live on air, which is nothing new. Sam is an established horror writer with a large fan base. He receives similar requests all the time. But Wainwright wants to conduct the interview at Kill Creek, a notorious abandoned – many would say haunted – house in Kansas on Halloween night. Sam reluctantly agrees to the interview only to discover that he is not alone. Joining the party are three other famous horror writers, all with very different styles. But what on the surface looks like a cheap publicity stunt turns into something much more terrifying…
The first thing to say about Kill Creek is that, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t seem to be available in digital format so I purchased and read the paperback copy. Not something I would normally pass comment on but the paperback really is quite special in its design with cover flaps and deckled edges. I think I’ve only ever been tempted once before to mention the quality production of a novel so that singled the book out immediately.
I really liked Sam from the moment I met him. I could tell that there were secrets there, he had a dark edge to his character, which the reader isn’t made party to until much later in the book. But he came across as a nice guy, struggling with writer’s block whilst watching his marriage crumble. From very early on, I wanted Sam to succeed. I really enjoyed how the author has brought together four writers of modern day horror but they’re all so completely different in approach and character. T.C. Moore, who the reader also gets to know fairly well, writes erotic, shock-filled horror. I wanted to like her as the only female writer in the group but it was tough. However, saying that, I do believe and often say that you don’t need to like the characters in a book to enjoy their story. The other two writers I found myself comparing to actual, real life writers. I couldn’t stop myself! Daniel Slaughter writes teen horror and Sebastian Cole is the grand master of modern day horror. I wonder if you came up with the same two names there as I did! 🤭
The plot is well paced with enough intrigue to keep the reader fully in the story and reading into the small hours. In the second half of the book things really ramp up and I found myself on the edge of my seat. I felt a connection with the four authors by this point so when things start to go very wrong for them, I felt it. I wanted them to make it out alive, whether they do or not is something you’ll have to find out for yourself!
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Kill Creek is an intriguing tale full of menace and suspense which I enjoyed. Fictional stories about books or writers seem to really appeal to me so I’m very glad I gave this book a go. I did find the way the author labels two of the characters a little jarring and repetitive at times (Sebastian is ‘old’, Daniel is ‘fat’) and some of the descriptions of T.C. made me feel quite uncomfortable (yes, she’s an erotic fiction writer and yes, she is not a prude by ANY stretch of the imagination but it was just a little too cringey in places). However, I did enjoy Kill Creek and would recommend it to fellow horror fans.
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas was published in the UK by Inkshares on 31st October 2017 and is available in paperback and audio formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Book Depository | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop | damppebbles amazon.co.uk shop | damppebbles amazon.com shop |
Scott Thomas is the Stoker-nominated author of Kill Creek, which was selected by the American Library Association’s reader committee as the top horror book of 2017. Originally from Coffeyville, Kansas, Scott attended the University of Kansas where he earned degrees in English and Film. He has written TV movies and teleplays for various networks including Netflix, Syfy, MTV, VH1, the CW, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and ABC family. Scott was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work on R.L. Stein’s The Haunting Hour. He lives in Sherman Oaks, California with his wife and two daughters. Violet is his second novel.