Rating: 5 out of 5.

Highly recommend it

I love a good horror novel, so I was excited to read this one! I had trouble putting it down once I started. I love that the supernatural villain has a human backstory (a really disturbing one) and that the villain’s point-of-view is interspersed throughout. It really adds to the creepiness of the story! Also, I found it unique that the book’s heroes are older (70+) as, in my personal experience, this demographic is underrepresented in literature in that capacity. I found the characters well-developed and likeable, and the story itself is gripping & suspenseful. I’m looking forward to reading about more scary IPS investigations in this series!

Gallows Hill

Rating: 5 out of 5.

An excellent and chilling story

Gallows Hill is the second book in The Investigative Paranormal Society series. I have read the first book, Maledicus, so I was engaged with the characters in this book before I started it. In Maledicus, I quickly became very attached to the main character, Roosevelt or Rosy to his friends, and also to Helena, the little girl who becomes the focus of Maledicus’ evil intentions.

In this second book, a different member of the society is central to the story and we get an opportunity to learn the backstory of Sam which, intriguingly, ties in with the central themes and story of Gallows Hill.

Sam is a retired detective who lost his only son, Josh, to suicide ten years earlier. His son’s death destroyed his marriage and Sam lives alone. He has never recovered from Josh’s suicide and carries a burden of guilt that is threatening to destroy him.

The author is exceptionally good at character building and his depiction of Sam and his emotions and motivations are captivating. I quickly grew to love Sam and was thoroughly invested in his life.

The story has a dual theme, the first being the chronic illness of his friend and colleague’s daughter, Maria, and the ultimate revelation of the circumstances surrounding Josh’s death and the second, is the investigation by the society of rumours of a ghostly presence at an abandoned steel mill on the outskirts of town. The two themes are cleverly woven together to create a satisfying and clever story.

The ghostly presence, Ebeneezer Schwarznacht, is horribly depraved and his portrayal was reminiscent for me of the men behind the Salem witch trials. I find the evil embodied in this type of personality, pious and self righteous, is far more frightening than the concept of a demon as it represents real people and real happens rather than fantasy. It is chilling to think of killers who are totally entrenched in their belief that they have a divine right to judge others and take away their lives.

The author does a great job of running the two themes in parallel with clever overlaps and then tying them both together with some great twists at the end.

This is an excellent and chilling story and I would recommend this book to lovers of horror and supernatural stories.

Evil Lives After

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A good book with a satisfying and exciting ending

Evil Lives After is the third book in The Investigative Paranormal Society (“IPS”) series. Jeremy takes the lead in this thrilling paranormal adventure against the most appalling personification of evil the society has encountered to date. The book is written using two timelines and the IPS must enter into battle in both the present and the past, as well as the realm inhabited by ghosts and other spiritual creatures, in order to overcome this new threat to both Bethberg and the world.

John Kemmler is a fascist living in Bethberg in 1937. He is a firm follower of Hitler and Mussolini and has established his own Nazi party called The Bethberg Believers. He plans to grow his party with the eventual aim of overthrowing the existing American government and leading the USA into the war on the side of the Axis powers. Over time, John Kemmler becomes more and more obsessed with his beliefs and he starts writing a Mein Kampf styled journal which he infuses with his growing evil thoughts and ideas and into which he inserts a piece of his soul so that he can continue to influence others through his journal after his death.

Jacob is John Kemmler’s grandson, the child of left-wing parents who believe strongly in equality for all. He obtains the guidance and help he is seeking in support of his own strong fascist beliefs when his grandfather’s journal comes into his possession. Aided by his close friends, Jacob sets out to fulfil his grandfather’s dream.

Having read and enjoyed the first two books in the series, it was great to see the quiet Jeremy coming into this own in this book. Having been compelled by recent events in his own country and the greater world, Jeremy has undertaken to learn more about his Jewish faith and to give stronger and more open support to the causes he believes in. Although this book is the third in a series, it is not necessary to have read the first two books in order to enjoy this one. It is helpful from a character development perspective, however, if you read the books in order.

The major theme in this book of intolerance towards people of different ethnic, sexual and religious beliefs and backgrounds are on-going and current and I enjoyed the author’s view on selected historical events from WWII and his linking of these to modern events. I am a believer that knowing and understanding the circumstances that led to historical calamities can help in identifying similar red flags in our current world and the implementation of preventative steps.

This book has a satisfying and exciting ending and the author successfully tied all the threads of the story together. I would recommend this book to lovers of paranormal books with a solid and interesting storyline. Readers of historical fiction will also appreciate this book.

Draft Done!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Must read for writers!

As a writer, I have always found writing the first draft of my novel to be a daunting process. I had the novel idea, had some idea of how I wanted it to start, and how I wanted it to end. But after reading this book, I now feel I have the tools and confidence I need to get my first draft done without any obstacles!

I definitely consider this book a must-read for any writer who is struggling with their first draft! And if you’re looking for a good recipe for an omelette, this book has that as well.

French on English

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great book to have

I do a lot of writing. This book is never far away. Good for study to keep your skills honed; good as a reference. A book everyone needs. If you want your work to look good, don’t skimp on English skills.

“If you want to be a writer, then you must write–every day if you can. Remember that you must never give up.”

-Charles F. French