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Publisher's Summary

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, is the Finch House. For years it has remained empty, overgrown, abandoned. Soon the door will be opened for the first time in decades. But something is waiting, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests....

When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country's most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won't be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

©2017 Scott Thomas (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A slow-burn, skin-crawling haunted house novel that had me on the edge of my seat until the last page. This debut establishes Scott Thomas as a force to be reckoned with on the horror scene. " (Shane D. Keene, HorrorTalk)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,125
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    710
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    349
  • 2 Stars
    99
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    46

Performance

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    516
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    155
  • 2 Stars
    37
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    20

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

UNUSUAL PREMISE, COULDN'T STOP LISTENING

What did you love best about Kill Creek?

Four horror-story best-selling authors are offered a proposal they'd rather refuse: meeting at an obscure 'most haunted house' - for an interview. Dangled as bait: an absurd paycheck for a few day's travel, and the possible propulsion to world fame and money...mega-millions in book sales. But there was a twist: The interview would be 'live' - streamed as it happened to millions of people world-wide, by the billionaire owner of the internet media's prime trend-maker "WriteWire".

Three men and a woman are invited to the interview, then learn this will be a 'group interview' - a vying for 'best author to be promoted'. All four write 'horror' as differently as they appear: Sam, lean and writer-blocked, whose novels twist ordinary days into terror, while his own horrific past keeps flashing back - Daniel, a Christian doughboy who scares teens with philosophic endings - T.C. Moore, a hard Gothic diva whose novel covers of sex, blood and perversity are horrifying in themselves, especially when written by a woman - and the impeccable Sebastian Cole, the most prolific of the authors, whose prolific classic British horror had engaged fans who liked to 'think'.

Thoughtfully written with partial 'reveals' of each character's secrets, nudged along with dark references that slip into your subconscious, the book twists from the expected 'Ten Little Indians" format into that of an UN-haunted house - an infuriating joke made at the four writers' expense. Then it twists once again, and the real darkness creeps back in as the real story of 'the house' is revealed.

My professor in 'creative writing' used to tell me 'how to create a plot': "See that statue out there?", he'd say. "Turn it upside down, and write about what you discover." Always practical, I'd think in terms of bronze, concrete, steel, even the earth and the grass roots beneath it. "Nope", he'd grin, as he sucked on his pipe. "Try again, and use your imagination this time."

Scott Thomas' superb writing flips that statue multiple times, and with each landing , another plausability skews the story down an increasing, frightening scenario. Narration by Bernard Clark is 'right on' as he nails accents from the Midwest to the Eastern Europe. This is one of the VERY, VERY FEW novels that I will probably read again. I urge you to read it also!

138 of 142 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book that had me wanting more.

I️ am a true horror fan and not easily scared, but this book had me looking in the back seat of my car while driving back and fourth from Utah to Montana. Scott Thomas did a great job telling a well put together story by providing enough detail on that long trail to the end without over doing it.

67 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected, in a disappointing way

While I loved the voice of the narrator, that’s about the only good thing I can give this. I bought this because I thought I was going to get an edgy, subversive take on the haunted house story. And maybe that’s how the idea started but it certainly doesn’t finish.

There are four horror writers and one super horror fan, yet not a single one can tell where the story goes. You’d think there’d be some kind of Scream-esque meta storytelling going on. Each one acts like they’ve never even come across a haunting or evil spirit, I know they haven’t in actuality but it makes no sense for them to even try to guess. The choices they make are so formulaic and that’s the problem. I wanted something to shake up the formula. I wanted characters who could predict an outcome and then be subverted, not just go along for the ride.

It’s not a badly written story but it’s still a lackluster one. The scares don’t come from a psychological level, mostly degrading into possessions and blood. I wanted to be scared to pick up a book or scared to turn a corner in my own house, instead I’m wondering if the thing behind my closet door is a button up shirt or the bogeyman🙄

I’m tired of writers believing that horror and ghosts simply come from the grotesque. There are so many ways to make a house scary. A wonderful example is Mark Z Danielewski’s “House of Leaves,” which takes the primitive fear of “what’s waiting around the corner?” and plunged into it. Houses have so many unknown places to explore, unlike the outside it’s a contained area with many rooms and places locked away behind walls, doors and uncertainty. The house in this story just feels like a dragon for our heroes to fight. Not that it’s bad to personify things like that, but he could have gone so much farther with it by dumping the idea of ghosts earlier on.

All-in-all, if you like a haunted house story, I’d put this low on your list.

60 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book has all kinds of things going for it

This book has all kinds of things going for it but my absolute favourite was the characters - they're all incredibly complex and well written. They're all flawed individuals (as real-life human beings often are) and the ways they interact with each other is so interesting to listen to.

Thomas clearly understands that true horror needs strong characters to really creep you out, which is something this book did over and over again. Not only did he deliver creepy haunted house horror, but he also delivered on personal horrors like dementia and losing a child.

When a group of horror writers is assembled for a media stunt at a haunted house, none of them knows what to expect but they're the perfect people to analyse the strange goings-on as they occur. They know their craft better than anyone, but they're also skeptical and keen to discuss ideas. Listening to a book about authors discussing writer's block and the nature of writing is always fun, you know that the author puts a lot of themselves into this part of the book and it gives you an insight into what makes them tick.
The book was thought-provoking and scary, a perfect read for fans of the horror genre - it's a breath of fresh air in the haunted house niche where everything can get a little samey.

Bernard Setaro Clark absolutely nailed the performance of this emotionally charged novel, from heartwrenching screams to Irish accents, I was impressed. He brought a bunch of very different characters to life and gave the book a whole new dimension to enjoy. Beware though, this is a helluva long audiobook and very intense so I did feel the need to split it up over a few weeks.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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39 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Starts out pretty good, then goes downhill

What starts out as a psychological thriller, turns into a typical 'slasher' story in the second half of the book. I listened intently to the first part which was interesting and would keep you on the edge of your seat by scaring your mind. The second half however, turns into a bloodbath as ***POTENTIAL SPOILERS*** people start being systematically killed which is described in great detail.
I did more fast forwarding in the second half of the book than I think I've ever done w/ any book. Several rounds of skipping would be required to get past the detailed ways the people were dying.
First half of the book: 3.5 to 4 stars.
Second half of the book: 2 stars max.

42 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Largely a fun book, but drags...

It almost feels like territory we've all covered before. Ending twist was not surprising at all. Lost a star for the last three or so chapters.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

narrator made it almost tolerable.

extensive waiting for something to happen. quit half way through, could not keep my attention.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bernard Setaro Clark is amazing!

The story was good. The character development was great. The narration was off the charts!

There were a couple spots where it slowed down a little but overall glad I listened to it.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not great

I would compare this book to a B-horror movie on Netflix, you’ll put it on, loose interest, yet keep it going because you invested so much time in it already. I have a couple hundred Audible books in my collection, I listen to many a second or third time, this will be discarded and never brought back.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book

This was an excellent read (or listening, Audible in my case), it was well worth my cost (I refuse to buy audio books that are less than 8 hours in length), and it kept me hooked. I never disclose any book parts or spoilers, but this was absolutely fascinating. It somewhat reminded me of the old movie, "House on Haunted Hill", as the characters were all sought out to stay at the house based on their writing similarities..
Of course, as much as I would love to see the perfect ending in any book, ALL the good guys didn't win. I still enjoyed the storyline, the writing style, and the narrator. I hope to see more books as good or better by Scott Thomas in the future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful