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  1. Samhane by Daniel I Russell
    Wild Child Publishing

    There is a lot wrong in the town of Samhane. Specialist exterminator, Brian Rathbone and his son have been called in to sort out some of the special problems that have been plaguing the town for decades. Problems that only a select few understand fully. People disappearing, murders, strange noises.

    Donald Patterson, is also heading to Samhane in a frantic bid to save his wife from the clutches of a truly evil and repugnant man known as Demon.

    I’m not going to give away any plot points in this review, but Daniel manages to meld the tradition monster type horror, with some real extreme, and I hate this term, torture horror. Demon performs some truly sickening acts throughout this novel. I personally have never been a fan of this type of horror; I find the works of folks like Ed Lee to be far too over the top, being sickening only for the sake of it. So it came as a pleasant surprise that I actually enjoyed these passages. They didn’t feel as though they were just included for sake of titillation and there weren’t a sense of them being shoe horned in. The two styles of horror writing flow together with great confidence.

    The writing feels much more assured than you would expect from such a fresh new talent. A fast paced story that manages to be both horrific and fun is maintained through to the final climatic battle, which will if you are like me bring a smile to the faces of any old school first person shooter fans.

    The overriding impression I got of Samhane was one of this place is the evil and psychotic twin of Royston Vasey. It’s like the League of Gentleman decide to get truly sick in the head.

    There is great set of characters populating the town of Samhane, from the frantic aspiring author Donald Patterson searching for his wife, Chuckles the clown, who triumphantly carries on the tradition of chilling clowns. Walter , the ex soldier best friend of Donald, who despite having a dark secret I found to be sympathetic and rather likable.

    The father and son exterminators Brian and Sam Rathbone the main protagonist of the story have been called in by the mayor to sort out the problems of the town. I loved the father and son dynamics portrayed here. Brian clearly loves his son and is full of the common worries that a parent faces, but add to this the added concerns of how do you keep your son safe at night while at the same time training him to become a hunter. I enjoyed how Brian came across as an everyman, he’s not some super cool monster battler like Buffy or the Supernatural brothers, there is no support network of watchers or hunters for him, it’s just him and his son. No long lost mythical weapons of power, just him and a baseball bat for his final showdown. He could be the guy next door. I loved how Brian makes his son read Stephen King novels as a means to learning the ways to kill the monsters, it was a nice touch. If I have one quibble with the story is that I would have liked more of a history of Brian, how he trained himself to be a hunter after the events that caused him to turn to this way of life.

    I truly lapped this book up. I have less and less time for reading these days, so really like it when I discover a new author that does it for me. This is right up there with The Kult by Shaun Jeffrey, November Mourns by Tom Piccirilli and The Valley by Willie Meikle for my top reads of the year so far.

    Jim McCleod, British Horror Novels.
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    We have a FREE chapbook and competition that runs to the end of August over at http://danielirussell.com

    Did we mention this was FREE?

    Thanks for stopping by.

    - admin@danielirussell.com
  3. I'm not that good at forums (as Torana said today). But to do my part with helping developing writers, my new website www.danielirussell.com is soon going to be posting articles on writing (previously published at Dred magazine) which some may find interesting and hopefully, insightful. That is if my editor at Necrotic Tissue doesn't want them printing in the mag first.

    There's also the usual stuff: blog, biography, bibliography, store, etc. We're also going to give away a free chapbook download (hopefully next week when the cover's done) absolutely free.

    Please stop by and sign the guest book. Show my admin he's doing a good job! lol.
  4. Yes, yes, I know I'm slack. Super busy here at Manji Towers, and I'm awaiting a few things that I wanted to blog about this week. So, expect (hopefully) a normal post next weekend, including a review of Shaun Jeffrey's The Kult, the first in a series of discussions about foreign markets (including an interview with a top German writer!) and the latest developments of Necrotic Tissue magazine, as we'll be back into a new reading period.

    Which reminds me...if you haven't already, check out the interview of Necrotic Tissue Chief Editor R. Scott McCoy on The Odd Minds radio show at (visit blog for link) . He talks of the magazine, the Malpractice anthology, his own great works...and yours truly even gets a mention at the end. Thanks Scott!

    In closing, in apology for me being so weak this week (that's some bad hat, Harry), have some more free fiction:

    There lies horror in the losing of a limb. Aside from the searing pain, loss of blood and crunch of bone, one loses a part of themself. But what if there's more to lose in the treatment? Which is the more horrific? The loss of a limb...or the gaining of a new one?

    Ladies and Gentlemen...I give you...

    PROSTHETICS

    www.daniel-i-russell.blogspot.com
  5. This week's highlights:

    IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A PLANE? NO, IT'S...AMAZON?

    Beware publishers! Amazon has a cavalry! It busts heads and takes names!


    WHO SAID YOU NEED TOE SKIN TO BE A GREAT WRITER?

    I don't want to be writing this blog. Why? Because I want to get back to the sofa and read on!


    A RECKLESS MISSUSE OF THE WRITTEN WORD

    Bring on the filth!


    HAS ANYONE SEEN THE WALKIN' DUDE?

    "Now you believe me that I can feel it moving! I'm not crazy!"

    For the full article, swing over to www.daniel-i-russell.blogspot.com.