Four prominent Horror authors, all as different as the books they write and the readers who read them, are asked by an eccentric internet personality to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses. Their time at the house, known as Kill Creek, will be broadcast live over the internet and also recorded so that those unable to watch live will be able to view it later. All of the writers have reasons to be wary. They also have their reasons for wanting to participate. To say that none of the participants are unprepared for the events that transpire in those 24 hours would be the very definition of an understatement. But when morning comes, and they all go their separate ways, one thing becomes clear: Kill Creek is not yet done with them. As each of their lives spins wildly out of control it soon becomes clear that the only way to put an end to the madness and regain their lives is to do the one thing none of them wants to do: return to Kill Creek.
Just as Thomas Olde Huevelt updated traditional ghost stories last year with Hex, first time novelist Scott Thomas brings the haunted house tale into the 21st Century with Kill Creek. Thomas weaves a wonderfully horrifying backstory for the titular domicile and then populates the promotional sleepover with a varied and interesting group of characters. The result is a page-turning novel filled with atmosphere and increasing levels of anxiety as the plot proceeds. Kill Creek is a “slow burn” type of story, creeping up on the reader with a slowly building a sense of dread and unease (in sharp contrast to the cheap thrills/chills/shocks that are now prevalent throughout the Horror genre). But while the heat may be set firmly on medium and the story unfolds at its measured pace, that heat does rise consistently resulting in a roiling boil of tension and dread. And the ending is satisfying, unexpected and disturbing. Kill Creek is a great read for anyone looking for a good, solid ghost story and would be an especially good choice for the month of October.