Goodreads Reviews, Horror

Box: A Psychological Horror by Matt Shaw

Box: A Psychological HorrorBox: A Psychological Horror by Matt Shaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Box by Matt Shaw was definitely psychologically horrible!

I’d say it was a very simple concept, in that it was a short story, with very little actually going on. But it got right into my head!

I was hooked from the first few paragraphs, just because I’m a sucker for horror and I wanted to find out if it would disgust me, as other books by this author sound pretty hardcore!

Maybe I’m hardened to certain things, as being a horror fan for so long, I’ve read some twisted stuff in my time! A couple of parts made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but overall, I really liked it.

So, if you’ve got half hour or so to kill and fancy a horror that’s written by an author who thinks, erm,‘outside the box’, (ha!) give it a go!

I recommend this to readers who aren’t too squeamish, but it’s just horrid enough to subtly shock.

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Goodreads Reviews, True Crime

The Case that Foiled Fabian: Murder and Witchcraft in Rural England by Simon Read

The Case that Foiled Fabian: Murder and Witchcraft in Rural EnglandThe Case that Foiled Fabian: Murder and Witchcraft in Rural England by Simon Read

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating read about an unsolved murder case that took place in Lower Quinton, a sleepy little Warwickshire village back in 1945.

Chief Inspector Robert Fabian of Scotland Yard was sent in to solve this grisly crime, as he was considered the best man for the job. But as the title suggests, it completely foiled him, and to this day, it remains unsolved.

Rumours of witchcraft and satanic worship in the picturesque village played a part in this real life murder mystery and the locals remained tight-lipped throughout the investigation. Nobody knew or saw anything. In such a small farming community, somebody somewhere must of seen or heard something, surely.

Fabian spent countless police hours trying to fathom out why Charles Walton was viciously attacked and killed with a pitchfork, his torso left pinned to the field where he was working that February morning. Who would do such a thing to this elderly gentleman?

What I enjoyed most of all about this fascinating book by Simon Read, wasn’t the main crime story itself. The author incorporated a thoroughly interesting insight into the early workings of police procedural and the establishment of the CID into the police force in early 1900’s England.

It’s incredible to think how the police themselves would completely ruin a crime scene, because their knowledge of forensics were somewhat limited. Filling a footprint with cement and examining clothing fibres was about as technical as it got back then! Luckily, Fabian was a breath of fresh air for our police force, and quickly made a name for himself as Scotland Yards most successful Inspector, with a habit of locking up countless criminals for murders, robberies and suchlike throughout his career.

The book covers various other crimes that Fabian was involved in solving, as well as very interesting chapters on Witchcraft and ancient Pagan traditions. In addition, there’s black and white photographs of the village of Lower Quinton, including the church and graveyard, as well as a macabre photo of the ACTUAL murder scene!

I gave this book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because it was a very different read for me. I’m always reading crime fiction where the murder gets solved, forensics have all the tech and gadgets, and it’s a complete story. This non-fic, however, left me with lots of questions, and the fact that Fabian was foiled by whoever committed this gruesome crime, and actually got away with murder makes a real change.

I also liked the chapter about ‘The Beast’. And by that, I don’t mean Mark Labbett from The Chase! This is the original Beast, the one and only Aleister Crowley, the infamous occultist and ceremonial magician who reeked havoc and mayhem with his crazy, but rather intriguing beliefs!

Overall, this book was enjoyable because it was so educational, and the photos enhanced the experience. I learned a lot about the history of the police, it has reminded me that true crime is a great genre and I must read more of it. (Oh my poor TBR!)

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Goodreads Reviews

Within the Heart of Silence by James William Peercy

Within the Heart of SilenceWithin the Heart of Silence by James William Peercy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yesterday morning I was up at silly o’clock! It was going to be a glorious day, and if you live in the UK, you know full well that we have to grab these moments, because our weather can be pretty rubbish!

So, my partner and I were going on a forest trek, and this ebook of poetry by James William Peercy was the perfect introduction to my day.

The author was kind enough to send me a free copy, via Booktasters to read and review. The timing to receive this couldn’t of been better! So, at 5am, coffee in hand and the sun peeping through my window, I started to read what proved to be a truly beautiful book of poems.

Each poem was accompanied by a stunning photograph taken by the very talented Jacqueline E Smith, which enhanced the visuals when immersed into James’ world.

I will say that this kind of book would be better as a physical copy. The photos could be bigger and the page set ups would look fantastic with the poems set out as one per page. An ebook just doesn’t give this the justice it truly deserves, as one or two poems needed the last few verses or lines continuing onto the next page. This has a bit of an effect on reading flow. But this certainly didn’t ruin it, some books are just better printed on paper. Especially if there are photos or pictures.

So the poetry. It was a pleasure to read! The author has a real passion for nature, as does the photographer. The spiritual element shines through, and it leaves you with real food for thought.

My favourites were:

Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose, in Texas USA.

Here’s what caught my attention;

‘The irises of color: green, blue, and brown.
Flow through the scattered rocks of life,
No limits are the bound.’

So beautiful.

And also:

Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, California.

‘Touch the trees, we dare you.
Feel the flowing tide.
Reach down deep for who you are,
You will know inside’.

The photo accompanying this one was breath-taking. I am a lover of trees, woodlands and forests, so it really caught my eye.

And finally:

Big Top Candy Shop, Austin, Texas.

Not nature based as such, but an ode to the memories of an old guitar! It was truly brilliant!

‘The mileage may have added up
But the strings, they’re going strong.
If I look a little worn for wear
It’s just my journey home’.

This brought a real smile to my (early morning) face!

Not only was there inspiration from America, but a fair bit from Scotland too. This just made it even better for me, as I love Scotland and all things Scottish, as my partner is from that neck of the woods!

Overall, the author took me, as a reader, on a spiritual journey, through the woodlands and the delicate streams of nature’s wonders. And the guitar poem was the icing on the cake!

I’d recommend this to all poetry and nature lovers, who appreciate stunning photography, and the serenity and peace of what our world can give us through the medium of poetry.

I’d like to thank the author, James William Peercy, the photographer, Jacqueline E Smith, and Booktasters for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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