Milk – Blood by Mark Matthews **REVIEW**

Milk-Blood - Amazon new eyesBlurb: Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can’t stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.

For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly’s true father, and both want their daughter back.

Review

Milk – Blood is a completely unique horror, mixing the physical tension of fear, dread and violence with psychological and social concerns of poverty, drug abuse and social care surrounding a motherless young girl, Lilly, who has been struggling with a terrible illness from birth and later comes to learn the true fate of her mother as well as becoming reliant on heroin.

There is a sense of darkness and eeriness in the setting alone, with the story based on a rundown street in Detroit in a poverty-stricken area where virtually every other home is boarded up, the homeless roam the road in need for shelter and crime and drug use is always an issue. Lilly has to walk down this road on the way home from school every weekday evening, with the dark house across the street and a strange, creepy homeless man calling to her. She is teased by school kids and returns home to be ignored regularly and yet still dealing with her illness and pain. And yet these latter issues are nothing compared to the horror she is to encounter deeper into the story.

I found the opening chapters alone of particular interest as Matthews has written the same scene but from each point of view, i.e. the mother’s and her partner’s. This enables the reader from the offset of the story to empathise as much as possible with both sides. I found these chapters, although very tragic concerning the death surrounding the mother, very beautifully written when it came to the partner taking care of the very ill newborn. Such a caring and gently written sequence is rare in many horrors. It is because of this that I believe Milk – Blood begins like a thriller which later develops into a horror.

To use a child, especially one so young and addicted to heroin, I thought was daring of the author in this type of horror and yet it plays out really well. There were moments earlier on in the story that I couldn’t quite comprehend the direction of the story, however these passed very quickly and as the reader continues the story opens out into a great psychological horror that will not disappoint the reader! Due to the content I would recommend that the reader is of mature age of at least 17yrs.

The homeless guy in the boarded up house across the street is also one that has his demons (and for me could have easily been a development of a scavenging character from one of Matthews’ previous books, On the Lips of Children). For he sees and hears more than you would expect. Whether it is partly due to his drug intake or a ‘gift’ he has it adds a deep sense of grittiness, mystery and fear and the reader cannot help but long Lilly to have nothing to do with this character. Of course, Lilly might just get sucked into some inevitable danger as the reader is pulled into the horror too.

Mark Matthews has written Milk – Blood in a clever manner, being able to use some personal experiences and developing them into a suspenseful horror. And not all meets the eye to begin with but as the story wraps up (which it does superbly well) the reader is treated to a little more and realises that there certainly is a purpose for every character mentioned! Despite there being many horrific and tragic scenes, the real horror is where the story takes us – the end result.

This is written in a fantastic way and I love how the reader has no sense of the bigger picture until the conclusion! Although my personal favourite book of Mark Matthews is On the Lips of Children, this one is very close, using a blend of horror from On the Lips of Children as well as the social and dramatic elements of the author’s Stray. (The links of Stray and On the Lips of Children will take you to my previous reviews and some background info on Mark Matthews with On the Lips of Children review.)

A copy of Milk – Blood was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Milk – Blood is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Milk – Blood was recently released in June 2014. The cover design is from Kealan Patrick Burke of Elderlemon Design, and the story was edited by Richard Thomas, Editor in Chief at Dark House Press.

The term upon which the title is based, “Milk-Blood” was made famous in the Neil Young Song “The Needle and the Damage Done.” A companion piece featuring a character from Milk-Blood, The Damage Done, is available for free on Amazon and has been receiving tremendous reviews.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

 

 

 

MILK-BLOOD by Mark Matthews released on 24th June 2014

Milk-Blood - Amazon new eyesAlready reaching the Top 100 horrors on Amazon upon it’s release, A Reader’s Review Blog is excited to provide the press release details for the supernatural horror MILK-BLOOD by Mark Matthews. I cannot wait to review this one in the next few weeks!!! But for now, check out the blurb and quotes from early reviews, as well as the links! Enjoy!!

One of the most anticipated reads of the summer.”The Horror Bookshelf

MILK-BLOOD, by Mark Matthews, is now available on Amazon. It is a tale of urban horror set in Detroit that may be unlike anything you’ll read all year. MILK-BLOOD is the follow up to On the Lips of Children,the author’s debut piece of horror. The cover design is from Kealan Patrick Burke of Elderlemon Design, and the story was edited by Richard Thomas, Editor in Chief at Dark House Press.

What’s it about?

Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can’t stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.

For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly’s true father, and both want their daughter back.

The term upon which the title is based, “Milk-Blood” was made famous in the Neil Young Song “The Needle and the Damage Done.” A companion piece featuring a character from Milk-Blood, The Damage Done, is available for free on amazon and has been receiving tremendous reviews.

Praise for MILK-BLOOD

An incredibly powerful story and one of the most original horror novels I have read in years. Guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat!”—The Horror Bookshelf

“I had to keep on reading no matter what, not able to break its spell.” -Goodreads Librarian

The originality and tension of the urban horror story, Milk-Blood is evident on every page. Matthews takes you to some very dark places, twists and turns, with the rabbit hole going deeper and deeper, until there is no way out. Not for the faint of heart, this story of love, loss, family and acceptance is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.” — Richard Thomas, author of Staring Into the Abyss

What a dark, twisted and bizarre book this was. One of the most striking urban horror stories I have read in a long time.” Author Adam Light

“This is a helluva story. A discomforting tale of true inner city horrors, told by characters so real they pop off the page. Add the supernatural mix to the story and it really grabs you by the throat. Very much recommended!”— John F.D. Taff, author of Little Deaths

MILK-BLOOD

$2.99 for kindle

$6.99 in Paperback

You can also check out our review of On the Lips of Children, also by Mark Matthews.

MILK-BLOOD by Mark Matthews – COVER REVEAL

We are excited to reveal the cover for Mark Matthews’, author of On the Lips of Children, latest supernatural horror ‘Milk-Blood’. Not only are we revealing the cover and synopsis, there is also a chance to win a reader’s advanced copy on Goodreads as well as to download a short story that features one of the characters of Milk-Blood for FREE on Amazon. Please scroll down for more info. Enjoy! 🙂 Caroline and Tina

milk-blood3dcovercopMILK-BLOOD is scheduled for release in both digital and paperback on July 7th from Mark Matthews, author of On the Lips of Children. MILK-BLOOD is a tale of Urban Horror based on a true setting, and is what happens when a social worker and writer visit the inner city of Detroit.

“Milk-Blood is a discomforting story of real inner city horrors, told by characters so real they pop off the page. Add the supernatural mix to the story and it really grabs you by the throat. Very much recommended!” ~ John F.D. Taff, author of Little Deaths and The Bell Witch

The cover design is by Kealan Patrick Burke from Elderlemon Design, and the editor is Richard Thomas from Dark House Press.

What is it about?

Milk-Blood - Amazon new eyesLilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can’t stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.
For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly’s true father, and both want their daughter back.

Advance review copies are available as a giveaway on Goodreads right now. Win a copy and add it to your To Be Read list: MILK-BLOOD.

ALSO…

A short story that features one of the characters from MILK-BOOD, The Damage Done is completely FREE on Amazon. Check it out here.

Follow the author on twitter: @matthews_mark

Or his blog here: www.markmatthewsauthor.com

MILK-BLOOD

The story you are about to read is entirely true. I know there was a disclaimer that called this a piece of fiction and that any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. It has to say that. So now if you are damaged while reading the story, I am no longer liable.