Book Review – Crooked House by Joe McKinney


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:!supplement/c14cx


About cmsaunders

I write stuff. Pretty much any stuff. My fiction and non-fiction has appeared in over a hundred publications worldwide and I have written over a dozen books which have been both traditionally and independently published. My first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales was published back in 2003, and I've worked extensively in the freelance journalism industry, contributing features to numerous international publications including Fortean Times, Bizarre, Urban Ink, Loaded, Record Collector, Maxim, and a regular column to the Western Mail newspaper. I lived in China for over five years where I taught English during my search for enlightenment, before moving back to the UK in January 2013 to work as staff writer on Nuts magazine. Later, I was senior writer on Forever Sports magazine and associate editor at Coach magazine, before leaving to chance my arm in the world of pro freelance. In recent times I've devoted more time to dark fiction, my latest releases being Human Waste (Deviant Dolls Publications), Tethered (Terror Tract Publishing) and X4, my fourth anthology of short fiction. I also edit, copy write, proofread and ghost write, and drink far too much craft beer. View all posts by cmsaunders

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