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The Undertaker’s Daughter by John James Minster

A monster story Mary Shelly would be proud of. The Undertaker’s Daughter is a chilling horror novel that follows the story of Anna Dingel, a socially awkward teenager who is raised in a family funeral home. The author does an excellent job of setting the right atmosphere from the beginning and keeps the tension high…

Happy new year? Here’s to a Happy Ending.

They say there is only a finite number of stories in the world. They say that as few as seven, or six, or three narratives exist and that these are simply told again and again, with the names and places changed to protect the storyteller from overly observant readers. They will tell you that the…

What would your dog tell you if it had the chance?

My faithful canine makes herself clear on a large variety of matters. She tells me if she is happy or sad (easy – just a wag of the tail, or not), when she is tired (impossible not to catch the yawn), and when she is scared (jumps into my lap, winding me, or worse). She…

I Think My Spaceship Knows Which Way to Go

I was with my father when he once asked Ian (M) Banks wether his preference was to write novels set in the real world, or to write his very much loved space operas. The cherished, but late, author replied that it was a constant effort for him not to land a spacecraft in the middle…

Birdspotting

Last weekend Mrs H and I participated in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and having recently joined the organisation, we expected to make a big splash. We’ve been conscientiously feeding them for many years, and now have their trust. On any given day, we see charms of greenfinch, clouds of blackbirds, troublings of goldfinch. Gatlings…

In for a penny

I wanted to explore what can be done with just one penny. These days, a penny doesn’t go very far. It would probably only get you a single lick of a Magnum, half a snort from a Flying Saucer, or perhaps one toe of a Monster Munch, but there’s more to this subject, and there’s…

I am a good dog

I am a good dog. I love my walks with the family. But Joggers really make my day. They wear bright clothes and jiggle towards me, arms flapping, legs akimbo. And if I’m a really lucky dog, some of those legs will be bare. Perhaps their calves will be sweaty, and I can lick the…

Don’t Rush Me

I love slow starts. I don’t want to be rushed, especially when I like a book. I want to be gently ushered into the world of the main characters. I want to spend time with them, I want to get to know them. And that means watching them in their natural environment. When things change…

Character Arcs

All stories have one thing in common — something has to happen to someone. The more interesting the happening, and the more relatable the character, the better the story. This is obvious but I’m saying it in case you thought this post was about Noah’s ark, the biblical saviour of beasts and birds. It isn’t.…

Monsters

I love monsters. They are everything you fear and all that you hate, poured into vile-veined bodies, with skin and bone and tentacle. With slavering jaws, salacious with drool, and gouging, defiling claws. Put your pent up angst into a judiciously described creature, and you have a monster on your hands. But what should you…

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