Drummer Boy

Rated 4.50/5 based on 3 reviews
On the eve of a Civil War re-enactment, the Appalachian Mountain town of Titusville prepares to host a staged battle. But a ghostly troop, trapped in a cave by a long-ago avalanche, is rising from its long slumber and preparing for battle, and only one boy stands between the town and the cold mouth of hell.

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About Scott Nicholson

Scott Nicholson is author of seven novels, including THE RED CHURCH, SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD, DRUMMER BOY, and THE SKULL RING. Other books include the novellas BURIAL TO FOLLOW and TRANSPARENT LOVERS and the story collections ASHES, THE FIRST, and FLOWERS. He also writes screenplays and children's books. Nicholson lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

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Review by: Paul Laughlin on Jan. 22, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this story. It's a good old fashioned ghost tale. I liked the characters, they seemed real, and I sympathized with the troubles that the kids had, even beyond the civil war ghost soldiers. Nicholson writes well, and pulls you into the story, as well as the people's lives in the story.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: M Chambers on Jan. 09, 2011 : (no rating)
In the mood for creepy? Like mysteries with a Southern flavor especially the brooding mystery of the Appalachians? I can highly recommend Scott Nicholson. He does very well with characterization, too. The good guys are both likable and believable, and the baddies are surprisingly complex. Between "Drummer Boy" and "The Red Church" I tend to favor "Drummer Boy." Will be choosing my next Scott Nicholson book soon!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stonehenge Press on Nov. 14, 2010 :
Scott Nicholson is an author I learned about this year when I interviewed him for The Skull Ring. I’m not exactly sure why I chose Drummer Boy as my first Scott Nicholson novel – he has quite a repertoire to choose from – but it was an excellent place to start.

I haven’t read much in the horror/supernatural realm in a long time. I used to read a LOT of Stephen King when I was younger. When King lost his edge, I more or less moved on to other genres – mostly fantasy and scifi. And after that I never really returned.

That has just changed.

Drummer Boy is one of those novels that creeps back into your thoughts long after reading it – in particular, the “Jangling Hole” and the darkness that lies within it. There’s a realism to this story that’s reminiscent of some of King’s earlier work that I once loved. Not the graphic scenes of violence which I don’t have much of a stomach for, but rather supernatural elements that have just enough reality in them to make you turn the lights on at night when you’re alone. It’s the kind of horror that reaches into the deep places where nightmares lurk and make them surface. This is my kind of fright.

With Nicholson, you are in the hands of a master – a brilliant writer that portrays a gritty reality to his characters. They’re flawed in one manner or another, but you can’t help but empathize with their predicaments, especially Vernon Ray. I had quite a personal connection with this particular character – a reluctant hero who shows great resilience considering the harsh environment he’s grown up in.

I think one of the greatest strengths of this writer is the complexities so well weaved into these characters. They live a life you would want to very quickly remove yourself from, yet at the same time you can’t help but be fascinated with them.

Nicholson also references, what I suspect, are some events from The Red Church. This will likely be the next book of Nicholson’s that I pick up. I’m also very tempted by The Skull Ring. Tough call!

All in all, I have to say I’m so pleased to have rediscovered my love of horror through Nicholson. This is a name you should be adding to your TBR list. He’s on mine!!
(reviewed long after purchase)

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