One By One: D.W. Gillespie
Reviewed by Steve Stred
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Flame Tree Press (26 Sept. 2019)
“But what secrets could owls have to tell?”
First off – massive apology to D.W. Gillespie, Flametree and Netgalley. I had this marked down as an October release and when I started to see the release posts and tweets, I realized I’d messed up! So, my sincere apologies for not getting this read and reviewed before the release date! I actually have another book from Netgalley that I’ve done the same with, so need to get through that ASAP as well!
One by One is my first time reading Gillespie’s work and it definitely won’t be the last. I actually have the paperback copy of The Toy Thief already (thanks Flametree Fourth of July Sale!) and I’ll be diving into that once done with my other physical read.
The book follows Alice and her family as they relocate into a new house. Well – new to them. Her dad, Frank, exclaims how they’ve lucked out and found a great deal. Once fixed up they’ll be sitting pretty.
Heard this before in horror stories, am I right?
Things soon unravel when a mysterious drawing is uncovered behind some old wallpaper and it’s then that Gillespie ramps up the massive creep and fears.
I found a number of spots where I was legitimately creeped out and unnerved. Haunted house type tales always do that for me, but this one added the elements of a brutal blizzard, tense family dynamics and a piece of the house’s history inserted to add back story. It hummed along.
This would typically be a book that I’d whip through in one or two sittings, but with a number of books on the go, it ended up taking me waaaaay longer than I wanted. This isn’t a negative about the book at all, it was just the reality of my life at the moment.
I had one negative in the entire book, and truly it’s probably more of me just getting confused.
The house has a lot of odd architectural quirks. One such description was of a small door and a very narrow passageway. I didn’t completely comprehend what this was and where it was going. I know it was going to another room, and the room had stuff in it, but I’m still not sure if it was going up to the attic or across to another room on the same floor. This was just my issue and it wasn’t a big deal overall, but a few times I got a bit confused!
The ending of this book is superb. I felt something similar to what happened was going to happen but without being spoilery – I really dug how Gillespie finished this one off. And the epilogue was a great touch.
This one is a stunning read, Gillespie can write his derriere off and it’s another fantastic release from Flametree. I highly recommend this for all readers of horror as there are elements from numerous sub-genres to really let the reader connect.
One By One
The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child’s drawing of a family just like hers.
Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child’s drawing with a dark black X. It’s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.
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