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Cracked Spine Book Club: The Troop

June 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm by  

The TroopHere, Now – I’ve read a lot of books since I last posted a Cracked Spine recommendation, but I just haven’t had time to post anything about them aside for some quick blurbs on our Facebook Page or our forums.

One of these books was The Troop, by Nick Cuter. A nasty, effective horror book I posted about awhile back on Facebook. After numerous responses since, from people who say they loved The Troop and never would have heard of it had I not mentioned it, I decided to give it some front page lovin’.

Hopefully this will turn some more of you horror lovers on to this horrific read. Here’s the official synopsis:

Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder — shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry — stumbles upon their campsite, Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror.

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Cracked Spine Book Club: Reconstructing Amelia

December 2, 2013 at 9:07 am by  

Reconstructing AmeliaHere, Now – Don’t believe the hype that compares this book to GONE GIRL, but Kimberly McCreight’s RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA is an enjoyable crime “thriller” that details a mother’s search for answers regarding her daughter’s fatal plunge from the roof of her school.

Here’s a bit of the official synopsis from McCreight’s official website:

Kate’s in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive Park Slope private school. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, though the school refuses to say why, at least by telephone. They will say only that Kate must come get her daughter and she must come now.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating jumps to her death. Impulsive suicide, tragic and awful, but far more common than anyone realizes. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one that she believes. That is, until she gets an anonymous text : She didn’t jump.

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Cracked Spine Book Club: The Shining Girls

August 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm by  

The Shining GirlsHere, Now – I’ve gotten pretty slack on these book suggestions, but it hasn’t been for lack of reading anything worth mentioning. Case in point, “The Shining Girls” by Lauren Beukes. I’d never heard of this lady, although I guess I should have because, well, read her bio.

Her latest book was suggested to me by Amazon, but to be honest I wasn’t too interested once I learned it was about a time-traveling serial killer. Here’s the official synopsis:

In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras, leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies, until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

While I am definitely a fan of serial killer related material, and I dig some time-travel stuff, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump into a book that mixed them together – that is, until I read the reviews:

One of the scariest and best-written thrillers of the year, not to mention the most memorable portrait of a serial killer since Henry H.

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Cracked Spine Book Club: The Fort

June 27, 2013 at 10:53 am by  

the fort

Title: The Fort
Author: Aric Davis
Rating: ★★★½☆

I was on the toilet about to start reading C.J. Box’s THREE WEEKS TO SAY GOODBYE when I turned on my Kindle and was presented with an ad for Aric Davis’ THE FORT. Digging the stylish cover that featured three kids keeping lookout on and around a treehouse fort, I decided to see what the book was about. Here’s the official synopsis:

“During the waning summer days of 1987, a deranged Vietnam vet stalks Grand Rapids, Michigan, abducting and murdering nameless victims from the streets, leaving no leads for police. That is, until he picks up sixteen-year-old Molly. From their treehouse fort in the woods, three neighborhood boys spy the killer holding a gun to Molly’s back, they go to the police—only to have their story disregarded. But the boys know evil lives in their midst. A growing sense of honor and urgency forces the boys to take action—to find Molly, to protect themselves, to stand guard for the last long days of summer.”

A group of kids in the ’80s tracking down a Vietnam vet serial killer?…

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Columbine

[Ever since Wool series of books, one author he continues to mention in interviews is Dave Cullen, the author of Columbine. Hugh first wrote this review for crimecritics.com, a site we tried to start but later dissolved after Hugh started his writing career and I couldn’t juggle site duties between two sites. I later imported his excellent review of Columbine over here to dreamindemon.com in March 20, 2009. Still hard to believe that was four years ago. After reading a recent Huffington Post article in which Hugh mentions Dave Cullen, this book and the glowing review he wrote for it, I figured I would bump the review so you can read it and check out Columbine yourself, a book I think readers of this site will find very eye-opening. – Morbid]

Ten years have passed since the tragic event that has become synonymous with school shootings. Columbine was once a word that simply denoted a high school, a football team or a state flower.…

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Cracked Spine Book Suggestion: I, Zombie

August 9, 2012 at 10:58 am by  

Here, Now – Back in June I gave you a preview of Hugh Howey’s upcoming book I,ZOMBIE. Since I am a very important man, I got a beta version of the book to read and it was better than I expected, and I already expected it to be good.  I’ve already reviewed Hugh’s best-selling WOOL series, giving it 5 stars, and it looks like I am giving him five more. Here’s the synopsis:

This book contains foul language and fouler descriptions of life as a zombie. It will offend most anyone, so proceed with caution or not at all. And be forewarned: This is not a zombie book. This is a different sort of tale. It is a story about the unfortunate, about those who did not get away. It is a human story at its rotten heart. It is the reason we can’t stop obsessing about these creatures, in whom we see all too much of ourselves.

I won’t be spoiling anything when I tell you that I,ZOMBIE is about a zombie outbreak told from the point of view of zombies.…

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Here, Now – I’m back with another great Kindle read for under $5. I promised that I would write these things up within hours of reading a book, but I am already four books behind.

Anyway, THE LION, THE LAMB, THE HUNTED is a crime thriller by Andrew E. Kaufman that came highly recommended and hit the #1 spot on Amazon’s Psychological thriller and Mystery & thriller lists.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis where the book is sitting at a 3.74 with 844 ratings:

“She only step outside for a minuteBut a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley’s world upside down–a minute she’d regret for the rest of her life. Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. 

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Cracked Spine Short: I, Zombie Chapter Draft

June 19, 2012 at 8:19 am by  

Here, Now – If you have been on this site for any amount of time, then you have heard of Hugh Howey or may even know him. We recently reviewed his Amazon Bestseller, the Wool Omnibusand now I eagerly await his next book, a zombie book titled I, ZOMBIE.

I can hear some of you complain, “Ah, man… another zombie book?” Yeah, it is indeed a saturated market at the moment. The public really love their zombies. But let me tell you why this is my most anticipated book. I, ZOMBIE will detail a zombie outbreak from the viewpoint of multiple characters. But unlike the plethora of other zombie books out there, these tales will not be told by a group of survivors, it will be told from the zombies themselves.

Imagine that you have been turned into a zombie and have found yourself in your infant’s room. No hope for the poor kid as you reach into his crib and then lift his soft belly up to your mouth and begin chewing.…

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Cracked Spine Book Suggestion: Trial Junkies

June 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm by  

Here, Now – Ok, got another book for you. In preparation for our reviews rebirth, I went on Amazon and bought a few popular books for my Kindle in the thriller genre. TRIAL JUNKIESa legalish crime thriller by Robert Gregory Browne, was high on the bestsellers list and my first pick.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

“Ethan “Hutch” Hutchinson hasn’t seen his old college pals in nearly ten years. Now fate has brought them together again as one of the gang is put on trial for a brutal, senseless murder. The Chicago police and prosecutor think they have their perp, but Hutch isn’t about to sit silently in a courtroom as someone he cares about is wrongfully convicted. When Hutch and his friends join forces to search for the real killer, what they find shatters every notion they have about friendship, loss and redemption, and may very well cost Hutch—and the woman he loves—their lives.”

Sounded decent, the reviews were good and the price was cheap. Three criteria I look for when trying out prostitutes or books from authors I have never been exposed to.…

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Here, Now – I mentioned over the weekend that we’ll be bringing back book and movie articles to compliment our news articles and help round out the overall theme of D’D. The only difference is that they will not be full-fledged reviews, but rather recommendations from us to the D’D reader.

So, that being said, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off than with Hugh Howey’s WOOL OMNIBUS EDITION.

Anyone who has been on this site long enough is familiar with Hugh Howey. He was one of our writers, one of the site founders, and a very close, longtime friend of mine. A while back he decided he wanted to be an author, and within a short amount of time, he was.

Already having written a handful of well-received books, it was his latest effort, the self-published WOOL series, that shot him to the top of everyone’s reading list, landed him in Entertainment Weekly and with a movie deal.

I reviewed the first WOOL, a novella involving people living in an underground silo after some kind of catastrophe made living above ground impossible.…

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Cracked Spine Book Suggestion: Wool

November 7, 2011 at 10:27 am by  

Here, Now – Since we are trying to get back into the groove with the book and movie suggestions, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t point you guys towards our very own Hugh Howey’s recent novelette titled Wool. We get emails from time to time, asking about Hugh’s whereabouts, from people unaware he had changed professions. He is no longer our resident troll and site co-founder, trading all that to become an author.

Full disclosure: Hugh and I go back more years than I care to mention. I admit this because I don’t want anyone assuming that because of this, I am willing to forego journalistic integrity (lol!) so that a good friend can make some coin. I’m no shill (sometimes to a fault in regards to this site) and I take my recommendations seriously. I know what it feels like to waste time with a bad movie or book because some jackass got a free copy and repaid the creator with a blowjob disguised as a glowing review chock full of bullshit.…

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Here, Now – I’m an avid reader who, like a lot of you, found it harder and harder to squeeze in quality reading time within a normal day. It got to the point where most of my reading was being done sitting on the toilet. That is until I broke down and bought a Kindle. Now I read everywhere, including the toilet, finishing one to two books every couple of weeks.

That’s the reason for the resurgence of book reviews in Cracked Spine. That and the fact I want to point out books I found worth my time that you may enjoy as well. I’m here to please, people. I may not get to the bad books as I don’t have time to waste on them (although I did finish the highly praised The Priest’s Graveyard that featured a chick so goddamn annoying it took all I could to finish it) but I plan on talking about the good books like the one I read last month.

It’s the debut novel from S.J.

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Here’s another book recommendation for you. I already missed one day and if I go two days without telling you all about a good book or movie, then it’s all over with. This would just hurt you ’cause if I recommend it, then it’s worth checking out. That’s a fact.

Today’s suggestion is Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. I’ve never read anything from the guy, but his book was high on the Amazon must-read list, and the synopsis sounded promising:

In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32″ Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard from again. He never confessed . . . and was never charged.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry lives a solitary, shunned existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion.

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I’m trying to get back into the groove of writing up reviews, so here’s another book for you. This is the last one I finished called The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton. I regularly peruse the Best Books of the Month on Amazon and this particular book was high on the list in January. I was already familiar with Hamilton’s McKnight series, which this is not a part of, so I checked out the official synopsis:

Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it’s a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an 800-pound safe… he can open them all.

It’s an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever closer to a life of crime.

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The Cracked Spine: Harlan Coben’s “Caught”

October 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm by  

It’s been awhile since I have had anything resembling a review on the site, and this is mostly due to a lack of time. So in order to combat that, I am simply going to stop trying to write long-ass, mostly skipped over reviews and just offer some recommendations. Sort of like the Oprah Book Club, but for DD readers and without all the crap.

To be honest, all I really want to do is navigate DD readers, who probably share some of my morbid interests, around the stinking turds and towards material they may enjoy as much as I did. I’ll leave actual reviews to the people who are paid for it and will link to them within my future recommendations if you’re looking for more in-depth analysis.

To start things off, I’d like to talk about one of the best books I have read this year, Harlan Coben’s 17th novel, Caught. Here’s the official synopsis:

17 year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her.

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Brother of notorious English serial killer Fred West is planning to release a book on his infamous brother and lovely wife Rose and their House of Horrors. Fed up with people always getting it wrong, he wants to set the record straight on what really went on behind the doors of 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, England.

Doug West, 64, claims “Nobody knew Fred and Rose like I did. Nobody spent as much time with them over the years outside of their family.”

“Hardly any of the stuff you read about them in other books is right, which really annoys me. They are full of inaccuracies and get so much wrong. A book of my own would be a good opportunity to put the record straight.”

This charming couple tortured, raped, and killed at least 12 women and young girls over a 20-year period between 1967 and 1987, including their daughter Heather whose remains were found under their patio. Rose is also responsible for killing Fred’s stepdaughter Charmaine whilst he was incarcerated for theft.…

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The Elementals by Michael McDowell

August 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm by  

I was talking with Lizard a little while back when the conversation turned to my favorite subject – horror. We were discussing some of our favorite horror novels when I mentioned my love for the Southern Gothic as well as “rabbit hole” stories consisting of characters experiencing a situation that gets progressively worse. She asked if I’d ever read or heard of a book by Michael McDowell titled THE ELEMENTALS. I know everything, so the fact that I didn’t know what she was talking about could only mean that I had once known but some other knowledge had pushed it too far back into my memory for me to recall. She gasped incredulously, and it wasn’t long before a box was waiting on my front steps with the novel inside. I immediately started reading, and I was immediately hooked. She told me I was gonna love the book, and how right she was. In my lifetime, I have read some great horror books where one of the characters wasn’t a person at all, but rather a place.…

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To welcome back Dreamin’ Demon’s Cracked Spine book recommendations, I have one Jaded will love. Just so you know, she likes her horror books chock full of blood and guts so she will be pleased to know that Vincent Churchill’s THE BUTCHER BRIDE has all that as well as a healthy dollop of sleaze.

Here’s the official synopsis: Thirty years ago, a depraved assault during a Halloween costume ball shattered a young woman’s mind, turning her into a brutal mass murderer. Dressed in her rival’s blood-soaked wedding gown, the legend of the Butcher Bride was born. Now, decades later, everyone who enters the Silas Mansion will encounter a frightening spirit ravenous to satisfy perverse appetites. Death is the only escape. Here comes The Bride…

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Evie is a girl after Morbid’s black heart. She is gorgeous, has a healthy sexual appetite and a morbid fascination with serial killers. In particular, the mass murderer Marlie Downing, the Butcher Bride. Twenty-five years ago Downing went on a killing spree during an annual Halloween party held at the famous Silas Mansion, dispatching of a handful of guests in a gruesome fashion.…

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Every month, Amazon highlights some books that their editors feel are the best new reads in fiction and nonfiction, making them available at a discount all month long. So we have decided that every month we will take a look at this list and put it through the D’D filter, taking out any crap that may have terms like “young adult”, “heartwarming” and “inspiring” attached to them – leaving a much better list of the dark, morbid and macabre. I won’t sit here and pretend to care if some of you open-mouth breathers pry your eyes off of Maury long enough to crack a book, as I don’t care if you stay dumb. I NEED some of you to serve me my $5 Box at Taco Bell and to wash my car. This monthly section is more for fans of D’D who also like to read a good book on occasion. So for you, feel free to jump into the discussion with your observations or chime in if you have already read any of the books we feature.…

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The Walking Dead #69 Review

February 26, 2010 at 9:51 am by  

If you have been following Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse epic The Walking Dead, then you already know. This book is not only the most brutal account of the dead returning to life ever told, it is also the most realistic. And I use the term “brutal” cautiously. Don’t misunderstand – The Walking Dead is chock full of good ol’ fashioned zombie killin’. Heads roll and guts spill on a regular in this story. But the real brutality of this wonderful little book is in what transpires within the mind of a survivor. Never before, on any medium, has a zombie survival story properly conveyed what would really happen to characters who are witness to such macabre acts of violence and destruction of human life on a daily basis. Issue #69 has our survivors finally making it to Washington, but will things get better…or worse?…

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