**REVIEW** Drug (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #1) by Lynda O’Rourke

“…. I….feel like I’m in a bad dream…. like I’ve stepped out of reality and into hell.”

A book I was so excited to read, paranormal thriller DRUG (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #1), certainly didn’t disappoint, with surprises around every corner! With plenty of horror elements I am certain Drug will be a story loved and feared by many. And as it is Lynda O’Rourke’s début, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us!!

drug_final_ResizedBlurb: Out of work and out of luck, 19 year-old Kassidy Bell finds herself in desperate need of money.

Coming across a mysterious advert in her local newspaper offering a reward, Kassidy believes she’s found the answer to her prayers.

But Kassidy soon realises that if something is too good to be true then it usually isn’t what it first appears to be. Finding herself in a desperate situation, Kassidy realises that she must run if she is to escape the new horrors she has discovered however great the reward might be.

REVIEW

I LOVED Drug, as I am sure many paranormal thriller fans and horror fans will! Volunteering to test a drug in return for money, Kassidy goes to Cruor Pharma, meets the staff and the other volunteers and starts the trial. It isn’t too long before the nightmare kicks in and Kassidy’s adventure of hell begins! If you’re looking for a book packed with panic, horror, demons and the paranormal, and blood and gore, then you have reached your destination!

Lynda O’Rourke hasn’t left out any excitement or thrills. For the first book of a trilogy, Drug is amazing. Lynda has jumped straight into the story and action after the reader has been acquainted with Kassidy and her circumstances.

After losing her father, Kassidy (19) is left alone and owing debts passed down from her father. Without work she is desperately in need of money. After seeing the newspaper ad for volunteers to test a drug, VA20, in return for £2,000, Kassidy had to take the opportunity.

Upon her arrival at Cruor Pharma, Kassidy begins to have doubts whether she is doing the right thing or not, as do some of the other volunteers. As they introduce themselves to each other they begin to reassure each other, especially young hottie, Jude! This puts Kassidy at ease for a while as they all prepare for their treatment. Some of the staff seem a little cold and direct, while Doctor Fletcher (also another hottie!), appears friendlier and more accommodating.

The volunteers are expecting to be in Ward 2 overnight and then be off home the following day. But, over the course of the following hours events are not to be as expected. And the horror begins…

The volunteers are advised to rest once they have had their dose of VA20, but for some of them they sense that the atmosphere isn’t right. There is something heavy in the air and sleep is the last thing on Kassidy’s mind. In a matter of minutes the unexplainable happens and the ward becomes a battle scene. It becomes clear that some of them, if any, won’t survive. What the hell is going on? They need to escape, but it’s clear that some of the staff are a part of what’s happening. The only way out is further through the old hospital building and through the dreaded Ward 1!

Just like watching a horror movie, there are creepy and eerie scenes which build up great suspense before the action, gore and bloody mess scenes take place. Lynda O’Rourke sets the mood perfectly.

I slipped off the bed, tiptoeing toward the curtain, trying to keep my drip from squeaking. Fear raced through my body in contractions. My hand shook as I lifted my arm, reaching out for the curtain. I gasped in air as I pinched the fabric between my thumb and forefinger.

“Don’t do it,” hissed May, her blanket now just below her eyes.”

And again, later, when some of the volunteers have to keep their wits about them from whatever it is that’s after them – it’s like a scene from The Walking Dead, as the author describes the tension and complete awareness that the survivors must have to keep going:

“Pushing open the door, we followed Jude down the corridor. I wished I had another set of eyes in the back of my head. I was constantly checking over my shoulder at the barred windows and the ceiling for any signs of more bloody handprints. My ears were on constant alert. I flinched at every little noise and gasped at shadows flickering through the windows onto the brick walls.”

Kassidy is given a glimmer of hope in the way of Doctor Fletcher. He is warm and friendly and the volunteers take to him easily. Aside from Kassidy he is my favourite character. He, by and large, goes out of his way to help Kassidy, but at the same time has to hide this from his peers. There are moments when his character changes momentarily which cloud doubt to his trustworthiness, but then why is helping at all? His character is full of mystery and is changeable, but this makes him complex and interesting, as well as keeps the reader guessing!

Escaping Cruor Pharma is the one thing on the group’s mind. The reader can feel the sheer desperation they have, especially Kassidy being the main character. But can she escape?

It keeps the reader thrilled from beginning to end, and then some! You’ll be going crazy to read part II of The Kassidy Bell trilogy after the exciting but intense cliff-hanger ending we are left with in Drug.

Drug (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #1) was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

AUTHOR INFO

Lynda O’Rourke is married and has three sons. Lynda has been the story editor of over thirty bestselling novels.

To connect with Lynda visit her facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynda-ORourke-Author/1480696118846650?ref=hl

DRUG is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon – HALLOWEEN HORROR!!!

PumpkinSteve Vernon’s ‘Tatterdemon’ is a horror like no other! It is more than appropriate to read at this time of year during the harvest and Halloween season! Highly recommended for adults only due to its violent, gory and horrific theme, Tatterdemon is full of terrifying tales as well as being one complete horrifying nightmare based in the small town of Crossfall. TatterdemonThe town’s people have all been cursed by Thessaly Cross, a witch, 300 years previous and now after a wife-beating husband is killed by his wife he returns from being buried in his field as a zombie scarecrow – the Tatterdemon! Many of the local folk begin to take their personal matters into their own hands and face the ones they feel ridiculed or belittled by. As each person is killed the Tatterdemon is able to have them buried and then begins to raise the dead for more mayhem and to destroy the town of Crossfall for good!

The prologue introduces the reader to Thessaly Cross, a witch who has been condemned by the townsfolk and is being buried alive, after many various methods of trying to kill her has failed. She accuses them of trying to take her land and as she is being buried she ensures that she leaves the people of Crossfall with a curse for their descendants to encounter some 300 years later. We then fast forward to the present where Maddy Harker has had enough of her violent and abusive husband and kills him spontaneously with a frying pan after he comes home late complaining about his dinner or lack of it. Maddy then buries her husband, Vic, in the very same field that Thessaly Cross had been buried in all of those years before. Only for Vic to be raised from the dead as a demon of the witch, the Tatterdemon, a somewhat strange and scary vision of a scarecrow mixed together with mud, straw and of course Vic.

From the very beginning the reader is introduced to the atmosphere of Tatterdemon. It is dark and horrific, tense and terrifying with a great deal of violence and gore. Tatterdemon is certainly not for the young reader or those faint of heart, however it provides a story complete with action and evil depths that provides readers of the horror genre something profound to become gripped with instantaneously. It is a nail-biting and under-the covers type of read and works brilliantly late at night with the lights dimmed! Steve Vernon also shares his sense of humour which really relieves the tension and calms the blood in between the most tense scenes before it begins to boil with adrenalin again for more fear.

One of my favourite aspects of Tatterdemon are the characters. Many of them seem to be going through their own personal ordeals, however they are familiar with each other and as their paths cross their own troubles do too. From the victim of an abusive husband, Maddy, to the grieving husband of a suicide victim (who just so happens to keep his wife’s body in his freezer at home – and that is the Chief of Police for you), you can already begin to imagine what life might be like in Crossfall. From the creepy peeking mailman to the reclusive circus freak living reclusively in a trailer and to many, many more wonderful and weird characters. Tatterdemon in many respects is a fascinating read from the vivid imagination of Steve Vernon. If this genre is for you, Tatterdemon will tick all of the boxes that intrigues you and draws you in to this surreality.

Within each chapter the reader visits the different characters of Crossfall. And even though they have their own story to tell they are not too dissimilar from each other. The chapters themselves are broken down into smaller sections so that the reader can discover which character is doing what. In this way there is no waiting pages or whole chapters to find out what your favourite character is up to. The chapters have been put together cleverly and carefully in this manner. I also found this method to be faster to read and keep up with the story, especially with Vernon’s style of writing that is direct and easy to follow, allowing for plenty of momentum and horror to build up!

To make Tatterdemon the perfect horror story Steve Vernon hasn’t missed a thing from this genre. Tatterdemon holds it all, from witches, ghosts, zombies and killer scarecrows and complete with resurrections, spells and voodoo. There is no shortage of crime with murders and suicides taking place regularly. Yes, Tatterdemon is very disturbing but for all of the right reasons in this fantastic fun and gruesome horror!

Tatterdemon was provided by the author, Steve Vernon, for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

The Kindle version of Tatterdemon is available at Amazon.com for $1.24 and at Amazon.co.uk for 77p! (Prices correct at the time of posting.)

Reviewed by Caroline Barker