Couple Charged After Beating 3-Year-Old Boy Into A ComaPolice Say Man Arrested After Getting Caught Performing Sex Act On 2-Year-OldNursing Assistant Accused Of Molesting Elderly Woman With Shower HeadDrunk Mom Gets Kicked Out Of School Play, Assaults Officer, Floods Jail CellTeen Sentenced After Dressing As Clown Then Stabbing Boyfriend During SexWoman Mauled To Death By Neighbor's Pack Of DachshundsWoman Charged In Death Of Infant Poisoned By EnemaPolice Looking For Mother Who Repeatedly Stabbed 11-Year-Old Daughter, Kidnapped 7-Year-Old DaughterWoman Who Stole $1.2 Million From Job Kills Herself Hours Before SentencingBoy, 10, Electrocuted While Hiding In Dryer During Hide-and-seek

Cracked Spine Book Club: The Short Drop

March 3, 2016 at 2:01 pm by  

Short DropHERE, NOW – I barely have time to get news articles written up anymore, much less reviews, but I just finished The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons and figured I would add my two cents.

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

A decade ago, fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard, the daughter of Benjamin Lombard—then a senator, now a powerful vice president running for the presidency—disappeared in the most sensational missing-person case in the nation’s history. Still unsolved, the mystery remains a national obsession.

For legendary hacker and marine Gibson Vaughn, the case is personal—Suzanne Lombard had been like a sister to him. On the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security asks for Gibson’s help in a covert investigation of the case, with new evidence in hand.

Haunted by tragic memories, he jumps at the chance to uncover what happened all those years ago. Using his military and technical prowess, he soon discovers multiple conspiracies surrounding the Lombard family—and he encounters powerful, ruthless political players who will do anything to silence him and his team.

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 Cutter. 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.

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.

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.

Cracked Spine Book Club: The Fort

June 27, 2013 at 10:53 am by  

the fort

Title: The Fort
Author: Aric Davis
[rating:3.5/5]

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?…

Columbine

[Ever since Hugh Howey gained enormous success with his 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.…

Crime Screen Movie Suggestion: The Mooring (2012)

February 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm by  

The MooringDirector: Glenn Withrow
Writers: Ivy Withrow, Hallie ToddGlenn Withrow
Stars: Hallie Todd, Thomas Wilson Brown, Karli Blalock, Brooklyn Tate
[rating:3.5/5]

If you’re looking for a survival horror film involving  a group of teens being hunted in the woods by a psychopath, but would like one that didn’t have you rooting for the killer, then I’d like to suggest Glenn Withrow’s THE MOORING.

It’s about a group of teen girls who’ve gotten into trouble because of online activities like cyber-bullying, online gambling, and a hacking. They’ve been entered into a program that will teach them that “there is more to relationships than pushing buttons” by stripping them of their online access, and placing them on a houseboat for some camping in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, their excursion is interrupted by a pair of psychopathic drifters.

Here’s the synopsis from the THE MOORING’S official site:

Every 40 seconds a person goes missing. In northern Idaho, a group of teenage girls attended a summer camp to help them connect with nature without technology.

Crime Screen Movie Suggestion: Stitches (2012)

February 18, 2013 at 7:59 am by  

Stitches PosterDirectorConor McMahon
WritersConor McMahonDavid O’Brien
StarsTommy KnightGemma-Leah DevereuxRoss Noble
[rating:3.5]

Out of all the good movies I have watched since my last review in August of 2012, I would’ve never imagined my next one would be a horror comedy about a clown that has risen from the grave to kill the kids responsible for his death. But out of all the crappy horror I have watched recently, I felt STITCHES deserved some more attention for being surprisingly fun and successfully delivering some imaginative gore.

Here’s the official synopsis from the official siteJaded Richard Grindle is the sleaziest clown working the children’s party circuit in Ireland. Arriving late to one birthday, his timing is off, the bratty kids a nightmare and a prank goes horribly wrong – he falls on a kitchen knife and goes to that Big Top in the sky. Years later the same nasty kids attend another more grown up bash. Little do they know, thanks to a black magic clown cult, Stitches will be the uninvited guest of honour seeking revenge on those responsible for his untimely death.

Crime Screen Movie Suggestion: Scalene

August 31, 2012 at 11:42 am by  

HERE, NOW — You may be as surprised as we are to learn that we occasionally get free movies and books to review. I mention this because, in full disclosure, SCALENE was sent to us by Breaking Glass Pictures to review. But do not fear, DD reader, as I would never risk damaging my reputation for providing excellent choices in movies and books by recommending crap just to get free stuff.

In the case of SCALENE, a film directed by Zack Parker, I can honestly say you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Not only does it delve into a bit of the headlines often featured on this site, as well as some of the re-occurring discussions they produce, but Margo Martindale delivers one of the best performances I have seen all year. Here’s the official synopsis:

Told from three points-of-view, SCALENE is a perceptual thriller that revolves around a mother’s revenge (Margo Martindale, Emmy  Winner, F/X’s “JUSTIFIED”, Showtime’s “DEXTER”, MILLION DOLLAR BABY) after her mentally-challenged son (Adam Scarimbolo, A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, LYMELIFE, STAKE LAND) is accused of sexual assault by his student caretaker (Hanna Hall, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, FORREST GUMP).

Here, Now — It’s been awhile since I posted a movie recommendation, but not from a lack of watching any. I have six movies I think a lot of you DD’ers will enjoy, starting with LOVELY MOLLY. It’s a horror film directed by Eduardo Sanchez, one of the creators of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, who went on to direct a few direct-to-video movies that didn’t come anywhere close to being as popular with audiences or critics as Blair Witch (although I did enjoy ALTERED). From the looks of the MOLLY reviews, it seems like that streak continues with yet another VOD release.

MOLLY currently has a 42% ranking at Rotten Tomatoes, and top critics use terms like “reductive and histrionic,” as well as “depressing and lazily nonsensical” when describing the film; those who enjoyed it call it creepy, disturbing, and effective at creating a sense of unease. I fall somewhere in the latter camp. I really liked LOVELY MOLLY and thought it was disorientating enough, with just enough creepiness, to overcome its flaws.…

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.…

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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