Later, by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, 2021)

A young boy has the ability to see and to speak with the recently-deceased. As he grows, this leads to conflict with both the living and the dead. A pacy yarn from the master, balancing crime-related thrills with the paranormal in line with much of his recent output. Won’t win any converts, but again emphasises that King is a supremely confident storyteller. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Coffin Bound, Vol. 1: Happy Ashes, by Dan Watters, Dani, Brad Simpson & Aditya Bidikar (Image Comics, 2020)

A young woman, pursued by an unstoppable supernatural contract killer, tries to erase all trace of her existence. Smart and dirty action-horror with arty leanings, in a Clive Barker meets late 80s Vertigo comics kinda way. This collects issues 1-4. Volume 2 follows.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Living and the Dead, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2006)

Two lonely, lowly people find themselves – and each other – in the middle of a zombie situation. Whimsical and charming, Jason’s deadpan approach to straightforward story matter is effective, not least when dealing with the tropes of the z-genre. A short read, and all the better for its briskness.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

 

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts, by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & many others (Berger Books, 2018)

Nine Japanese stories of food, folklore, and supernatural revenge. Excellent compilation of traditional tales, delivered with twist-in-the-tale EC Comics-style glee. Lots to enjoy and to appreciate, not least in the book’s sumptuous presentation, and in the accompanying recipes and guide to ghosts and demons of the Edo period. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

 

The Shining [Devil’s Advocates], by Laura Mee (Auteur Publishing, 2017)

A monograph on the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of the Stephen King novel. And a good one too; a smart, detailed and perceptive commentary on the movie, its production and reception. Academic but accessible, and even-handed in its analysis of the continuing significance of the movie as a popular culture touchstone. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Descent [Devil’s Advocates], by James Marriott (Auteur Publishing, 2013)

A monograph on the 2005 Neil Marshall-directed horror film. Leaning on Freud for much of its insight, this is an academic but nevertheless readable text on the movie, making clear its associations and being careful to site it in both the director’s wider work as well as in a cycle of mid-00s underground-fixated flicks.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Blair Witch Project, by Russ Gomm (Arrow Books, 2018)

A folk history of the making of and the later life of horror movie The Blair Witch Project. Taking a fan perspective, but able also to offer contrary opinions, this monograph successfully presents an overview of the movie and indicates why – not least in production and in marketing terms – Blair Witch is still an influential film.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Hitcher, by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Arrow Books, 2018)

A monograph on the 1986 road movie/horror hybrid, patterned after the approach of the BFI Classics series. While there’s some interesting material on pre-production and casting, this is not a good effort. Variable writing and editing, with assertions rather than arguments cluttering the thin text. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England