I was never interested in attending a book signing until I learned Grady Hendrix was coming to Chicago. It was five years ago that his book, “Paperbacks from Hell,” rekindled my love of ’80s pulp and has had me scouring the shelves of local thrift stores and used bookstores ever since. I’ve also enjoyed his own works of horror fiction which include “My Best Friend’s Exorcism,” “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires,” and “The Final Girls Support Group.” Hendrix’s books are often more humourous than frightening but his knowledge of horror tropes is undeniable and makes for a fun read nonetheless. I had heard that his promotional book tours were every bit as colorful as he was and quickly reserved a space on the Exile in Bookville website.
Category Archives: Book Reviews
Daniel Ransom’s “Daddy’s Little Girl” is one Depraved ’80s Thriller
With Father’s Day just around the corner, I decided to read a fatherly-themed vintage, horror paperback. After a quick scan of my collection, I managed to find the perfect story – assuming, of course, you’re sick and twisted. The story begins with Carnes and his sixteen-year-old daughter, Deirdre, taking a road trip through the rural United States. After a dated discussion regarding Michael Jackson and MTV, they decide to stop for the night in the small town of Burton. When dad returns with the room keys, his jovial mood turns to terror when he discovers that Deirdre is missing. He immediately goes into a panic and for good reason, too, as his daughter is now in the clutches of a savage rapist/murderer! For this reason alone, Daniel Ransom’s 1985 horror paperback, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” should have more aptly been titled, “Daddy’s Worst Nightmare.”
“Into every Generation, a Slayer is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts” misses the Heart
Christina Henry’s “Near the Bone” is Near to my Heart
While sharing the books I read in 2021, I admitted failing my Goodreads goal of twenty-five books. Rather than lowering the bar, I decided to reaffirm that target for 2022 and, this time by golly, I’m confident I’m going to reach it. In January alone, I finished eleven books – just four less than I did in my entire 2021. In contrast to last year’s selections, I’ve been enjoying more modern novels with just a few old “Paperbacks from Hell” thrown in. Instead of dropping one big recap at the end of the year which was, quite frankly, a pain in the butt, I’m going to review some throughout the year. Hopefully, it’ll prevent a lengthy post while also keeping me accountable for my goal. That being said, I couldn’t be happier with my first read of 2022, “Near the Bone” (Berkley/2021) by Chicago author, Christina Henry.
The Horror/Thriller Books I Read in 2021
My New Year’s Resolution for 2022 was the same one I had for 2021 – Read more books! You see, despite having a small library in my apartment, I’d been neglecting them in favor of zoning out in front of the TV. On the rare occasions I cracked one open, I’d find myself dozing after just a few pages. Clearly, my frenetic job coupled with social media had zapped my attention span and it was high time I did something about it. So, this time last year, I signed on on Goodreads and challenged myself to read twenty-five books in 2021. Spoiler alert: I didn’t succeed. The official number of books I completed was eighteen garnering me 72% on Goodreads. But hey, that’s still passing, right? Not surprisingly, most of them were horror or thriller stories and the ones I’ll be focusing on today.