Crown Of Thorns: Trevor Kennedy
Reviewed by Steve Stred
- Print Length: 43 pages
- Publisher: Demain Publishing (27 Sept. 2019)
I’ve read five or six of Demain Publishings Short Sharp Shocks! Books now and they have become a standard-bearer for releasing super creepy, quick reads. All of them have been good to great and all of them have easily been one sitting reads. Not sure what more you could want in a quick burst of horror, but they are my go-to for new, exciting voices.
Crown of Thorns is my first read from Trevor Kennedy.
We follow a pair of lads as they explore the countryside in the ’80s in Belfast, only to unwittingly find a creepy, bricked up house deep in the woods. No one is supposed to be living there, but smoke is billowing out from the chimney.
As most characters in horror books do – instead of fleeing, they decide to enter the house and see if anyone is home.
From there the story deftly falls into a great mystery read with a bit of a thriller bent. There are certainly horrific aspects to it, but as police and a local Pastor become involved, more and more of the behind the scenes details come out.
I really enjoyed most aspects of this story, even at times relating the interaction between the friends akin to A Clockwork Orange.
This was also the thing that rubbed me the wrong way a few times. The dialogue felt forced and a bit corny at times. I know a lot of that came down to the setting and the dialect, but at times it read like the characters were joking and making light of the dread they were experiencing instead of reading that they were, in fact, scared and wanted to run.
At the end of the day, that is a minor grievance and more on me than anything.
This was another excellent addition to the ever-expanding Short Sharp Shocks! Series and as I’ve said before – if you’re not checking out releases from this collection, you really are missing out.
Crown Of Thorns
On the outskirts of Belfast in the late 1980s, a thirteen-year-old boy finds his life irrecoverably changed when he becomes embroiled in a mystery connected to the violent death of a young woman, centuries old witchcraft trials, a sinister ice-cream van, and an otherworldly entity known only as Mr. Needlesticks…
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here