He may not be a household name (yet) but Joe McKinney is one of the most accomplished horror writers out there. His 2011 effort Flesh Eaters won the prestigious Bram Stoker award for ‘best novel,’ but the San Antonio-based police sergeant is perhaps best known for his four-part Dead World series. This is the latest release on Dark Regions Press from the greatest writer you probably never read.
Down-on-his-luck college professor Robert Bell takes a new job via an old friend and moves his family into a sprawling old house, which comes as part of the package. It seems almost too good to be true, and he immediately senses something isn’t quite right with the place. His suspicions are confirmed when he uncovers the house’s grisly history, and the Bell family begin experiencing a terrifying selection of inexplicable phenomena that sucks them into a living nightmare. It soon becomes apparent that Crook House isn’t a normal dwelling. It’s somewhere where the past still lives, and it’s coming back to bite them.
I’m a sucker for a good haunted house story, and this one didn’t disappoint. It’s atmospheric, intense and gripping. My only complaint would be that it has one of those endings that leaves the ultimate conclusion to the reader. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more resolution, but that’s just me.
This review is taken from the Morpheus Tales review supplement, issue 26. FREE to download here: