Book Review: The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for “The House by the Cemetery” by John Everson, organised by Anne at Random Things Tours.  I must apologise for the late posting of this post but it was due to an admin error after a particularly challenging month.

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition edition (6 Oct. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1787580008
ISBN-13: 978-1787580008
Amazon

The Blurb:

Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead… she doesn’t intend to stay that way.

About the Author:

John Everson is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of nine novels of erotic horror and the macabre, including his latest, REDEMPTION, the conclusion to his demonic Curburide Chronicles trilogy begun in COVENANT. Other novels include the Fountain of Youth erotic thriller THE FAMILY TREE, the Bram Stoker Award-nominated tour de force NIGHTWHERE and the standalone novels THE 13TH, SIREN, THE PUMPKIN MAN, and VIOLET EYES. He also is the author of four collections of short horror fiction, including his latest, SACRIFICING VIRGINS.
John shares a deep purple den in Naperville, Illinois with a cockatoo and cockatiel, a disparate collection of fake skulls, twisted skeletal fairies, Alan Clark illustrations and a large stuffed Eeyore. There’s also a mounted Chinese fowling spider named Stoker, an ever-growing shelf of custom mix CDs and an acoustic guitar that he can’t really play but that his son likes to hear him beat on anyway. Sometimes his wife is surprised to find him shuffling through more public areas of the house, but it’s usually only to brew another cup of coffee. In order to avoid the onerous task of writing, he occasionally records pop-rock songs in a hidden home studio, experiments with the insatiable culinary joys of the jalapeno, designs book covers for a variety of small presses, loses hours in expanding an array of gardens and chases frequent excursions into the bizarre visual headspace of ’70s euro-horror DVDs with a shot of Makers Mark and a tall glass of Revolution Brewing’s Anti-Hero IPA.
Learn more about John on his website, where you can sign up for a direct-from-the-author monthly e-newsletter with information on new books, contests and occasionally, free fiction.
Want to connect? Follow John on Twitter.

My Review:

This is another book by the same publisher as Jonathan Janz’ book that I read and reviewed last month and this is brilliant too – I think that Flame Tree Press is fast becoming my favourite publishing house!
Again, a simple sounding premis but one that has twists and turns (literally – it’s a haunted house!) and scary, strange and weird all at the same time!
I have to say right here that Everson is best known for his ‘B-Movie-esque’ books with plenty blood and gore, and this book doesn’t disappoint .. although I was expecting it to start a little earlier in the story .. but that was just me getting excited for the gruesome!
The characters in this book are interesting. I had a soft spot for Mike, the carpenter charged with sorting the abandoned house out; he’s had a hard time and doesn’t really want to be there because of the rumors surrounding the house but money is money and the guy that owns it is a friend – I can totally relate to that!
One character that slightly irked at me was Emery – I mean she was OK but the description of her throughout was that she was plain and forgettable – the author also made the point that she was heavyset and a true wallflower – and it was mentioned almost every time she came into the story, which i felt was just a little over the top.
There are also quite a lot of people to get to know and keep track of which was confusing at the start but once you got to know them, their stories and why we were hearing about them, it made it a lot easier!
The setting of the book, an abandoned house right by the cemetery that has stories about witches and ghosts, was wonderfully written and certainly had my mind racing and goosebumps flaring at various stages throughout the story!
It was an easy read in that it really did feel like a film – and would make a great one so I hope someone reads this and makes the film as I would love to see how they do it..!
I really enjoyed the book and I will definitely check out a few of the authors other books as this was the first of his that I have read.
4 Stars.

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