From Dark Places

Names Paul Nelson, I'm a massive reader of dark fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller. I also review for website Shelfinflicted and for Scream Horror Magazine and Website


Favourite authors include John Connolly, Lee Thompson, Ed Lorn, Craig Saunders, Joe Hill, Kealan Patrick Burke, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, Michael McBride, James Newman & Stephen King. Just to name a few.


I also collect Signed first editions, wish I'd got more money, there's so many books I want and there needs to be more hours in the day.

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The Girl in the basement by Wayne Simmons

The Girl in the Basement - Wayne Simmons

Kayley Sands commits the cardinal sin of late night revelry on the late night bus home after a gig, lulled by the comfortable back seat and droning vibration of the engine she dozes and dreams of home. Then, bit of a shock to say the least, she wakes disconcerted, someplace she really shouldn't be then a cloth is placed over her nose and mouth, and her eyes roll back into her head.


She wakes again tied to a bed in a cold dark basement and the start of a nightmare. Now The Girl in the basement by Wayne Simmons turned out to be a pleasant surprise, not because there's a girl tied to a bed of course but more so because I was expecting a dose of torture porn. The setting was there, a perfect lead in was provided but thankfully we turned off that path and the story developed into a decent psychological horror of secrets and repercussion.


If you've spent time as a student this could well bring back fond disjointed memories of drunken times, waking up in unexpected places, hell it's part of growing up but chances are there won't be fond memories of being abducted by a psycho. There's a solid degree of realism to these events, you can imagine it happening and the author provides a protagonist that you can't help but be fully invested in. Haunting flashbacks, a desperate fight for survival, things hidden deep in the past, plenty of tears and screams all make for a powerful novella that feels bigger than its sixty odd pages.

Probably the handiest suitcase you'll ever find



Reading progress update: I've read 45%.

Hellspawn: The Complete Collection - Brian Michael Bendis, Ashley Wood, Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Bill Sienkiewicz

Well seven issues done and I have to say the artwork is sensational, really liking it. 


The story however feels incoherent and disjointed, random encounters and entities, lots of different threads that hopefully come together but I'm not holding up to much hope. It feels like I'm missing essential history but yeah, we'll see what occurs.

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New author in our midst

If any of you have read Michael Patrick Hicks - Revolver or Consumption. (I read Consumption and thought it was excellent and I know some of you have read Revolver)


Well he's on here so give him a follow he's not got many and welcome to Booklikes.


Michael Patrick Hicks

Hell's Bounty by Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale.

Hell's Bounty - John L. Lansdale, Joe R. Lansdale

Hell's Bounty is a riotous and sometimes tortuous weird west horror gambol by the brothers Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale.


We start with shadows and wingy things at the belfry, and a wooden box containing red lights burning hieroglyphic-like inscriptions.


Quill has put many a man in Boot Hill cemetery, and as it happens a solitary woman, he's our bad guy but he's not your average bad guy. He's possessed by something particularly nasty that wants to end the world as we know it.


'He hadn’t liked her singing, caterwauling was more like it. She had sounded like a cat with a stick up its ass. Even the horny miners and cowboys in the saloon applauded when she hit the floor. She was not only a terrible singer, she’d had a face that could drop a raccoon out of a tree at twenty paces.'


Our bad guy come good guy is short fused bounty hunter Smith, he rolls into Falling Rock and sets off an explosive chain of events courtesy of the stick of dynamite he carries in his belt.


What's the single most important, no hang on, vital consideration when throwing a stick of dynamite with the intention of blowing the bollocks out of something? Well, if it's got a short fuse, then throw that fucker quick. Unfortunately Smith doesn't heed that advice and his next port of call is a wheelbarrow of body bits in the bar of Hell's waiting room.


Smith's not done, in fact he's regurgitated and immediately needed back up on the ground floor by Satan himself, the bartender from hell, the dead are rising at that behest of something old and evil, and Smith is the chosen one to save the day.


I enjoyed the first part of Hell's Bounty, there was plenty of humour amidst the saloon patrons with some great characters like Payday and Double Shot as the story unfolded. The final battle sees the return of legends such as Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok and Quantrail to assist with the horde of the dead but I lost interest as the story gradually descended into an all-out action zombie killfest storyline. Silver disintegrates these dead folks and there seemed to be shed loads of it about, more common than dirt. All told started off good fun but ended up a touch repetitive with nothing that stood out.






Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances - Neil Gaiman

'I don’t understand parents. Honestly, I don’t think anybody ever does.'


Trigger Warning is a short story and poem collection by Neil Gaiman intent on finding those little pressure points that cause the most unease and arouse reflection, maybe even disturb you a mite.


There's some little gems here but first I'll explain why I like Gaimans wondrous prose and fascinating stories. He thoughtfully exploits the story twist and role reversal better than anyone but it's the little things that stick with me, shown perfectly in The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury.


'I went to the shelf and the dictionary was gone, just a dictionary-sized hole in my shelf to show where my dictionary wasn’t.'  


Now that sentence probably wouldn't appear in most people's favourite quotes and to be fair it's easily passed and forgotten, but it stayed in the forefront of my mind as I listened to the audio. So much so that I spent 30 minutes desperately trying to find it in the kindle version. This perfectly shows the way Neil Gaiman thinks and writes, exploration of a mute fancy that no-one else would even consider wasting a second on, all in a sentence and that's why I love it.


Gaiman travels far and wide in this collection, from the last of the Time Lords to Sherlock Holmes and honey bees, from the fancifully dark fairy tale to Shadow from American Gods traveling through my home region of the Peak District encountering ghosts and murder.


The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is a haunting tale of travel and treasure, family and murder, darkness, revenge and regret, desire of the soul. A true delight and I will certainly revisit the illustrated version of this story.


‘The Misty Isle is not as other places. And the mist that surrounds it is not like other mists.’


Nothing O'Clock sees the return of the Doctor and a foe worthy of terror, what can only be described as strangeness beyond belief starts with a person wearing an animal mask buying a house for cash. It soon becomes wholesale as property everywhere is being bought for cash by people wearing animal makes and they want one thing, for you to ask them the time.


Sherlock Holmes makes an appearance in The Case of Death and Honey as Mycroft breathes his last and case of research in a far off land into honey and a particular bee. The Sleeper and the Spindle is a delightful cross of fairy tales with Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the seven dwarfs.


There's far too many stories and favourites to mention them all but safe to say I enjoyed this immensely, Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors and an incredibly talented guy. The absolute perfect medium to pull back that thin veil between worlds and explore the darkness beyond. A simply masterful story teller.


Just as captivating is Neil Gaiman himself talking about the stories and those little triggers, things that upset us, leave our heart beating overtime, shock, not gore but mind messing at its best.


'What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk.'

Why are weekends over so fast .... need a laugh?






Currently reading

The Steel Valentine
Joe R. Lansdale
Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back
Joe R. Lansdale
Outbreak: The Mutation (The Outbreak) (Volume 2)
Scott Shoyer
If You Dare (Deanna Madden Novels, Book 3)
A.R. Torre
Hellspawn: The Complete Collection
Brian Michael Bendis, Ashley Wood, Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Bill Sienkiewicz
Progress: 45 %
Fade to Black
Daniele Serra, Jeff Mariotte
Kealan Patrick Burke
Offline: In The Flesh
Kealan Patrick Burke
Kealan Patrick Burke
Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood
Joshua Williamson

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Paul has read 121 books toward his goal of 200 books.