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Review: Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

Kill Creek

Scott Thomas

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House. For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown–but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, 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 soon becomes a fight for survival–the entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

“Kill Creek” by Scott Thomas, read like a movie. There were so many lovely visual descriptors that it was hard not to see this playing out like a slow burn, television show to be honest.

Being a writer, and having written a horror novel, there is something about this story that holds on to me afterwards, particularly one startling question asked of our main character, Sam McGarver: Why do you write horror? For him, it may the obvious terror he survived, but it might also be something else entirely, some dark part of himself that uses writing as an outlet for that darkness. You’ll have to read the book to find out if wither of those are true or not. But it had me wondering about myself as a writer; what kind of horrors have I survived that made me write horror? What kind of horrors would I be able to survive? I love that aspect of this book!

There are a bunch of typical plays on the horror classics throughout. Like seeing creepy black shadows, paranoia, abandoned places, ectoplasm from ancient, blind old women at séances, that sort of stuff. Yet, all of this goes back to the fact that this story centers around horror writers, so of course those clichés are going to be featured! It is the best acknowledgement of the horror genre inside a horror book, like holding a mirror up to the tropes and telling them they look damn fine. The ending may be contrite to some, but again, I thoroughly enjoyed that it was in this book. All the other classic horror trumps had been played, so it was only ideal that this last minute scare came about.

As to the characters, though the time spent with them seems flashing, there is a great deal of depth to each one. T.C. Moore is the badass chick we all want to be, she says what she wants, works hard, and writes gritty and controversial work. Also, I love Sam. I want to date Sam. Sebastian is the kind of grandfather you wish you had (all you horror fans out there will know what I’m saying when you read it) and Daniel is such a clumsy, lovable teddy bear of a guy who thinks everything is fun and should be enjoyed. Justin Wainwright might be an annoying splinter just under the skin at first, but even he and his assistant Kate end up snuggling up into your heart.

Overall, the writing sucked me in, the story was providing twists and turns at all the best moments, and Scott Thomas should write many more books. I would buy them!

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