Category: Reviews

Epeolatry Book Review: Still Waters by Matt Goldman

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Title: Still Waters
Author: Matt Goldman
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Forge Books
Release Date: 1st May, 2024

Synopsis: If you’re reading this email, I am dead. I know this will sound strange, but someone has been trying to kill me.

 

Liv and Gabe Ahlstrom are estranged siblings who haven’t seen each other in years, but that’s about to change when they receive a rare call from their older brother’s wife. “Mack is dead,” she says. “He died of a seizure.” Five minutes after they hang up, Liv and Gabe each receive a scheduled email from their dead brother, claiming that he was murdered.

 

The siblings return to their family-run resort in the Northwoods of Minnesota to investigate Mack’s claims, but Leech Lake has more in store for them than either could imagine. Drawn into a tangled web of lies and betrayal that spans decades, they put their lives on the line to unravel the truth about their brother, their parents, themselves, and the small town in which they grew up. After all, no one can keep a secret in a small town, but someone in Leech Lake is willing to kill for the truth to stay buried.

 

New York Times bestselling and Emmy award-winning author Matt Goldman returns with a gripping, emotional thrill ride in this compelling story on grief and uncovering the past before it’s too late.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations by Carina Bissett

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Title: Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations​
Author: Carina Bissett
Genre:  horror
Publisher: Trepidatio Publishing
Release Date: 9th March, 2024

Synopsis: In this powerful debut, Carina Bissett explores the liminal spaces between the magical and the mundane, horror and humor, fairy tales and fabulism. A young woman discovers apotheosis at the intersection of her cross-cultural heritage. A simulacrum rebels against her coding to create a new universe of her own making. A poison assassin tears the world apart in the relentless pursuit of her true love-the one person alive who can destroy her. Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations erases expectations, forging new trails on the map of contemporary fiction.


Includes an introduction by Julie C. Day, author of Uncommon Miracles and The Rampant.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Trees Grew because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca

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Title: The Trees Grew because I Bled There
Writer: Eric LaRocca
Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Horror; Short Stories
Publication Date: March 7th, 2023

Synopsis: “The stories collected here are by turns confident, brutal, and breathtaking… must-read horror” The New York Times
A beautifully crafted, devastating short fiction collection from the Bram Stoker Awards® finalist and author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. Includes an introduction from acclaimed bestselling author Chuck Wendig.

Eight stories of literary dark fiction from a master storyteller. Exploring the shadow side of love, these are tales of grief, obsession, control. Intricate examinations of trauma and tragedy in raw, poetic prose. In these narratives, a woman imagines horrific scenarios whilst caring for her infant niece; on-line posts chronicle a cancer diagnosis; a couple in the park with their small child encounter a stranger with horrific consequences; a toxic relationship reaches a terrifying resolution…

Originally published under the title The Strange Thing We Become and Other Dark Tales, this is a much-praised collection of deeply unsettling, painfully dark tales.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Ink Vine by Elizabeth Broadbent

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Title: Ink Vine
Author: Elizabeth Broadbent
Genre: LGBTQ + Horror Fiction
Publisher: Undertaker Books
Release Date: 12th April, 2024

Synopsis: Bisexual stripper Emmy has lived her whole life in a small Southern town with a few rules: Listen to your mama; don’t kiss girls; and stay the hell out of the swamp. Sick of all three, she sneaks under the dark tree-canopy behind her family trailer, where she meets Zara—mysterious, elusive, tattooed Zara, the first girl she dares to kiss.

But the small-town South hates a woman who dares to dance instead of plucking chickens for minimum wage, and as Emmy’s life falls apart, her relationship with Zara grows more tangled and bizarre. Zara’s offering something beautiful. But while Emmy’s slowly strangling, its price may be more than she’s willing to pay.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Body Harvest by Michael J. Seidlinger

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Title: The Body Harvest
Author:Michael J. Seidlinger
Genre:  horror
Publisher: CLASH Books
Release Date: 23rd July, 2024

Synopsis: Will is a fraud. Olivia is a wreck. They meet at a grief share group and quickly bond over their brokenness. They also have a peculiar hobby; they seek out sickness. Will hunts for the latest strain of flu. Olivia doesn’t feel comfortable in her body if she isn’t suffering from a fever. They become virus chasers, finding confidence in their ability to conquer every affliction they come across.
They soon discover an online community of chasers called The Source and realize that their hobby isn’t all that odd when seen from the right distance. And then the mysterious Zaff literally walks into their life, claiming that he has the goods, knows where the latest outbreak will drop. Intrigued, Will and Olivia decide to take their hobby to the point of obsession, believing that if they can conquer the newest strain, nobody can hurt them.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Dead Spot by Angela Sylvaine

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Title: The Dead Spot
Author: Angela Sylvaine
Genre:  horror, short story collections
Publisher: Dark Matter Ink
Release Date: 21st May, 2024

Synopsis: The dead spot: a corner drenched in shadow; an earthquake’s epicenter; the part of a roller coaster ride where the car rounds the final curve and all force dissipates, leaving those trapped beneath the safety bar feeling sick and hollow.
From the beloved author of Frost Bite and Chopping Spree comes this heartbreaking horror collection about girls and women trapped by circumstance, manipulation, and obsession. The book includes a moving introduction by J. A. W. McCarthy (Shirley Jackson Award finalist for Sometimes We’re Cruel) and seventeen stories by Sylvaine.
The stories include: Astronaut Dreams, The Bride, New Hue, Playing Tricks, Sorry, We’re Open, Antifreeze and Sweet Peas, If Heard, Please Call, Starved, Return of The Wilderness Girls, Night Maere, The Dead Spot, Burnt Embers and Bluebirds, Mr. Chew, Crimson Clover, Unrestful Dogs, Clutching Air, Edge of Decay.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Thing in the Wind by Bill Mullen

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Title: The Thing in the Wind
By: Bill Mullen
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Release Date: April 5th, 2024

Synopsis: A search party stumbles upon an unspeakable horror that threatens both their lives and sanity.

In the heart of the Canadian wilderness, a harrowing tale of survival and psychological horror unfolds in this gripping novel. Amidst the vast, unforgiving landscape, a woman’s world is shattered by the mysterious disappearance of her mother in the remote reaches of northern Saskatchewan. Along with her father and a small, determined search party, she embarks on a desperate quest for answers, only to encounter an unspeakable terror lurking in the shadows of the ancient forests.

As the group navigates the treacherous wilderness, their journey becomes a chilling fight for survival against not only the harsh elements but also a malevolent force that defies explanation. Haunted by eerie premonitions and the feeling of being stalked by an unseen entity, they begin to realize that they are facing a horror far beyond their wildest imaginations.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Wrong Girl & Other Warnings by Angela Slatter

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Title: The Wrong Girl & Other Warnings
By: Angela Slatter
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Brain Jar Press
Release Date: October 17th, 2023

Synopsis: From the award-winning Angela Slatter, author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, All The Murmuring Bones, and The Path of Thorns, comes a collection of twelve short stories showcasing the scope of her extraordinary talent.

In The Wrong Girl and Other Warnings, Slatter shows us that ‘innocent’ should never be mistaken for ‘safe’, while spinning tales of witches, Victorian-era detectives, bad parents, unrepentant killers, and ancient wisdom.

In A Matter Of Light, detective Kit Casswell is called upon to lend her experience with the supernatural to a very unwilling consulting detective. In Widows’ Walk, a quartet of witches band together in a single house, secretly working to protect young women. In the titular tale, The Wrong Girl, a frustrated artist turns the romance of her fickle friend and tiresome sister into a deadly masterpiece.

Wry, savage, and written with the precision of a writer at the top of her game, The Wrong Girl and Other Warnings is a gift to those who already love Slatter’s fiction and those discovering her exquisite stories for the first time.

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