Welcome to Eddie’s Tavern, the only functioning waterhole in a near-dead town. Among the people you’ll meet tonight are: Tom, Milestone’s haunted lawman, who walks in the shadow of death; Gracie, the barmaid, a wannabe actress, doomed to spend her hours tending bar in a purgatory of her father’s making; Flo, the town seductress, who may or may not have murdered her husband; Cobb, a nudist awaiting an apology from the commune who cast him out; Wintry, the mute giant, whose story is told only in cryptic messages scribbled beneath newspaper headlines; Kyle, the kid, who keeps a loaded gun beneath the table; and Cadaver, who looks like a corpse, but smells real nice, and occupies his time counting stacks of pennies.
And then there’s Reverend Hill, who will be in at eleven, regular as clockwork, to tell them who’s going to die, and who’s going to drive.
Welcome to Eddie’s, where tonight, for the first time in three years, nothing will go according to plan.
Not for the faint of heart. This book is out there and it was fun to escape to a place where you have no idea what will happen next. The dead don't stay dead and living wish they weren't and deer speak and cigar store Indians are a pretty good shot with a bow and arrow.
Midnight Theatre is a treat for horror lovers everywhere.
This collection of 5 shorts begins with Precious Blood. Father Duncan Malloy is a priest at a small Catholic Church in Ireland and just before closing the doors for the night, he is coerced into the confessional by someone who's been around for a very, very long time.
From a vampire tale in Ireland to a story of the undead in New Orleans, next up is Relish, which starts with Jerry Thornton "naked, tied up in the the dark, in the middle of nowhere and he didn't know why."
I thoroughly enjoyed Hell-O-Ween. There's something about demon children "Trick or Treating" in Hell that just makes me smile.
There's also Patrick Oswald Edwards, a piece which reminded me of Edgar Allen Poe, might've been the reference to The Pit and the Pendulum, but I was actually thinking of Poe before I even got to that part.
Chapman finishes strong with a story about time in The Breadth of An Instance. My favorite or as Greg would say, "favourite", he's Australian after all.
All 5 stories are imbued with strong prose, something he has in common with Canadian Horror writer Rio Youers. That's pretty good company.
Going into this collection, I knew that Greg Chapman excelled at the Novella, having given 5 stars to both Torment and The Noctuary. After reading Midnight Theatre, I am convinced he can write short fiction as well. I just wish he's get around to writing a full-length novel. Something I could really get lost in for a few days.
As of the writing of this review, Midnight Theatre, is available for free from Smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/41734
Creighton "Crate" Northgate has been seeing ghosts for some time. He moves around a lot, helping folks with their ghost problems, although Crate hints that there's more to it than that.
As Crate says, "...a lot of spirits seemed to want something, or need a little help moving on to the next plane, and he had...talents in that department."
The Girl is Amy, daughter of Tom Lee and his wife Margie and sister of Angie. She's been gone for two years and Tom see's his daughter frequently. Mostly out by the woods. Margie has never seen her and Angie isn't saying anything on the subject.
The premise for these stories is rather simple and yet Hall is skilled at moving his characters through each step in the discovery process. Much like a good police procedural, there are false leads and the reader is kept guessing to the end.
The scene with the big discovery is rich with description, leaving just enough to our imagination, but the discovery just leads to more questions. In addition to helping his clients get answers and hopefully helping the occasional ghost move on, Crate remains haunted by his own brother, Martin, who had died 15 years ago.
Given the subject matter, I still find it easy to suspend my disbelief. These tales in The Southern Hauntings Saga have a ring of truth to them, making them that much more enjoyable.
The Girl is a beautiful, self-contained, ghost story, but is just a part of Southern Hauntings Saga which started with The Vagrant. Each story works well on it's own and both are available now from Angelic Knight Press through Amazon.com. For more on Bryan Hall you can visit his website at www.bryanhallfiction.com.
The Lurker is the third installment in the popular Southern Hauntings Saga from writer Bryan Hall.
It all started in May of 2012 with the publication of The Vagrant, a story which introduced us to Creighton Northgate, a man shrouded in mystery and on the run from a past he doesn't even fully understand. In August of 2012 he released The Girl. In both books, Crate, (after three books, I think I've earned the right to call him Crate). Anyway, in both of those stories Crate uses his ability to communicate with the dead to resolve problems for the people who have hired him to help. It's his gift and his curse.
In the third installment, I expected more of the same and that would have been OK, but instead, the author brings his protagonist to Sutton's Mill, North Carolina to help with their rather unique situation.
I found myself sliding into the world of Crate Northgate to be like putting on comfortable slippers after a hard day on my feet. I like Hall's way with words, he brings conversations to life with colorful language like, " I live in a little single-wide trailer. You can hear a squirrel farting in the trees outside through them walls they're so thin."
The writing gets getter with each new story, as well. In my opinion, The Lurker is the best so far and I loved the way the writer kept the series from becoming too predictable.
Although The Lurker can be read as a stand alone work I recommend reading The Vagrant and The Girl and I have no doubt there will be more books in the Southern Hauntings Saga, including a trip back home in Crate's future, where I have a feeling all Hell could break loose.
This book is highly recommended and keep 'em coming Bryan Hall.