tales of the zeppelin artwork by frazer irving

The Boy in Winter's Grasp
Available now  - click here

It is Christmas 1914. As Europe descends further into the Great War, Christopher Flyte is sent home in disgrace from his school. He returns to the sleepy English village of Alton. It is there that he meets the mysterious traveller, Bailey - a master storyteller who fills the boy's head with stories of King Arthur's time. The more Christopher hears, the more he suspects that Bailey's stories are more than just simple myths.

Soon, Christoper is a pawn in a game that has been playing out for centuries....

Published by Fantastic Books

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PoeAuthor: J. Lincoln Fenn

Reviewed in Books on Jan 27, 2014 by John Scotcher
Great little horror in small town America, where the fantasic is hidden among the mundane.  A brilliantly paced book easy to read from the first line.  If you like your scares accompanied by laughs, you'll love this.

I do enjoy a flawed hero.  Sure, it's nice to have them chiselled and debonaire occasionally, but eventually you just want to punch them.  In J. Lincoln Fenn's debut novel,  our hero 'Dimitri' is  delightfully human, at turns petulant, verbally clumsy, given to quiet rage at his colleagues and insecure with the opposite sex. In other words he's just like the rest of us.

As we discover that all is not what it seems in the small town that Dimitri lives and works (as a journalist, whose most involved work is the obituaries), seeing it through his eyes is funny as well as scary in just the right mix.  As the blurb (click the link to read) says, Dimitri is soon being haunted by a female spirit.  Some of my favourite elements of the book were those that develop this part of the story.

I was, to be fair, always going to like this book.  J. Lincoln Fenn's novel, which rightly won the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Author award in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror category, carries with it echoes of Stephen King, an author of whom I am a huge fan.  Like King, Fenn has a masterful ability to really lead us by the hand into small town America, with each character, no matter how small their part, a fully fleshed out individual.  Through the ensemble of co-workers and other town residents we are gifted with a totally believable setting for the demonic events of the story to unfold in.

Likewise, I also felt hints of another favourite author of mine, Neil Gaiman.  'Poe' delights in hiding the fantasic in plain sight.  Supernatural beings don't so much turn up in the least likely of places as having been there all along.  

I hope J Lincoln Fenn is busy writing another novel.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author.   

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