Book Review: The Monster Within Idea by R. Thomas Riley- 5/5 Stars

The monsters lurk in everyone: monsters of greed, of guilt, of the pleasure found in pain, of the pain found when pleasure dies. Carefully disguised, the monsters can sit down beside you or take up residence within you at the slightest twist of fate. Will you try to stop them? Will you want to? 

 This collection of 18 stories from R. Thomas Riley deftly explores the monsters born of the human mind. “Attrition” offers a future prison system that frees only those who repent sincerely—but what can an inmate do if he finds that sincerity is not really the key? “Twin Thieves” and “Tautology” throw a devilish spin on relationships gone wrong, while “The Lesser Evil” twists the abuses of race and power into a gritty, noirish nightmare of the choices a man must make to protect a lesser man and a greater good. In “Touching God,” a young man’s past catches up to him when worlds bleed into each other and the past crosses into present, bringing back the abuse he once escaped and the brother who wasn’t so lucky. Sacrifice, selfishness, and the worst of good intentions: all combine in The Monster Within Idea. From vampires and aliens to hit women and Wild Bill Hickock, Riley gives a subtle psychological turn to dark science fiction and horror. Let the monsters walk the paths of your mind. The idea is already within.
This book is truly one of the most unique, memorable and scary horror anthologies I've ever read. Most anthologies have one or two gems, but the rest of the stories are average. This book has so many gems in it.

Touching God about two boys who get in to an even worse situation trying to escape their abuse left me with my mouth wide open and shaking lightly in my bed before sleep.

Bubo is a brief, but chilling story that takes more than 1 bizarre turn that makes it unforgettable.

In The Beginning  is so brief and so terrifying, it left me salivating for more and completely terrified of what I would I would find if there was more. It's not until the end that you realize how familiar this sharply told tale really is.

Brittle Bones and Plastic Skin is such a unique story that I could not tell where it was going even from word to word. It's such a tragic story of a father losing his sun,but I guarantee you, you've never heard one like this before! It stayed in my mind for days.

The Core of Forgotten it was so disturbing, twisted and mind-blowing that I'm not even sure that I like it, but I'll never forget it.

Just about every story in this book is deeply disturbing and passionately, effortlessly almost written. It's an anthology I will never forget about. I see the author has other anthologies available. I'll be reading those as well. He blended sci-fi, physcological, zombie and other different versions of horror so well, it was like a feast for the horror lovers soul.

I highly recommend this book to horror fans for a great read!

5/5 Stars

Book Review: World's Most Evil Psychopaths by John Marlow 5/5 Stars

Carl Panzram was gang-raped at the age of 14 and by way of revenge forcibly sodomized more than a thousand boys and men as well as committing over 20 murders.

Ed Kemper shot his grandmother once in the head and twice in the back and went on to murder his grandfather, his mother, her friend and six female hitch-hikers.

Jerry Brudos strangled Jan Whitney in his house and left her body dangling from the ceiling for several days.

Pietro Pacciani got 13 years in prison for killing a travelling salesman who had slept with his fiancĂ©e. Not only did Pacciani stab the man 19 times, but he also raped the corpse.

The World's Most Evil Psychopaths provides a concise, yet detailed look at some of the most dangerous individuals who have ever lived. Starting with examples of the earliest recorded psychopaths, author John Marlowe presents a carefully chosen cross-section of history's most infamous criminals, whose fascinating life stories are viewed with an unflinching gaze, making for a chilling, but engrossing read.

Wow, what can I say about this book? It's filled with details about the most viscous murderers and their horrible crimes. I am interested in true crime books, but have read many that are dry and boring. This book was not it! The author really did a good job of writing down the most important details about each person and their crimes without over sensationalizing it or drawing it out as filler.
It was a fast read even though sometime I had to put it down because the details are so disturbing and overwhelming. It's clearly not for the faint of heart. If you like true crime and have a REAL stomach for it, this a book you have to read!

5/5 Stars

Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King- 3/5 Stars

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again.
 Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. 

The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

 Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

As a big Stephen King fan, as soon as the book came out I had to read it. My father actually rushed out and gave it to me. Let me start off by saying I ate the book up like cake. The plot moved very quickly and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I enjoyed it. I really did. However, it wasn't at all perfect.

The main villain, Brady Hartsfield, was definitely the most interesting and engaging character in the entire story. He's written with the traditional 100% authentic creepiness we've come to expect from his most evil characters. 

The detective Bill Hodges however, wasn't particularly interesting and the love story felt a little forced. I also found the relationship between the cop and the young man he was working with extremely unbelievable. The dialogue felt forced and fake. King writes great characters, but he's just not very good at writing a young black male. I hate to say it, but the character felt extremely stereotypical.

While the plot was fast moving and kept me hooked, there was nothing really special about the story. The story line wasn't exceptionally unique which was a real surprise for a King story.

Overall, it was a good read. Not one of his best, but certainly better than Dr. Sleep which was so boring I could barely get through it. I recommend all King and non-king fans read it as it's a good read, but just don't expect anything remarkably different.

3/5 Stars


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