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Book Review - Kill Creek

There’s nothing like a good ghost story to affect your sleep and force you to stare into your room's dark corners to make sure nothing is there, and “Kill Creek” from Scott Thomas is such a story. Though a debut effort, the book reads quickly, easily, and compellingly like those from the masters of the horror genre.

Somewhat of a ‘meta’ story, the plot follows four successful horror authors of drastically different approaches and audiences as they agree to a publicity stunt of spending the night and being interviewed in a nearly forgotten haunted house. The characters are well-developed with unique, believable, and, of course, tragic backstories, yet each of them has a reason to participate. The house itself is presented as another character with its own wants and agenda.

Unlike many haunted house stories which present a single night of terror that the occupants must survive, “Kill Creek” offers a perspective of a much longer lasting effect. The psychological impacts are more deeply portrayed, and how they affect both the authors and the millionaire interviewer who setup the event deliciously skirt the boundary of sanity and madness. At the brink, they realize the ongoing influence of the house and must band together to end their torment at any cost.

And like most good ghost stories, not everything is tied up in a bow. The battle between good and evil is consuming and messy and there are casualties on both sides. Finishing the last pages left me emotionally spent yet wanting more – more closure for the heroes and more books from the author.

For a debut effort, Thomas proves a compelling storyteller. But the tension buildup and explanations of supernatural elements is outstanding, as are the insights to being a writer. Effectively juxtaposed between scenes of suspense are moments of humor that greatly add to the texture and believability of the story.

Though Thomas has a minor reliance on ‘like’ metaphors, most descriptions are both fresh and easy to visualize. The characters are unique with distinct and consistent voices, though there are a couple of spots where actions aren’t quite consistent – particularly with the house.

Published in 2017, “Kill Creek” is an enjoyable and engaging novel. Just read it with the lights on. Highly Recommended. Score: 80/100.


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