tales of the zeppelin artwork by frazer irving

Blog Details

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.   

Add a comment

Please notify when someone comments on this.


ratings starratings starratings starratings starratings star
transparent gif

Buy now



It’s Halloween, and life is grim for twenty-three-year-old Dimitri Petrov. It’s the one-year anniversary of his parents’ deaths, he’s stuck on page one thousand of his Rasputin zombie novel, and he makes his living writing obituaries.

But things turn from bleak to terrifying when Dimitri gets a last-minute assignment to cover a séance at the reputedly haunted Aspinwall Mansion.

There, Dimitri meets Lisa, a punk-rock drummer he falls hard for. But just as he’s about to ask her out, he unwittingly unleashes malevolent forces, throwing him into a deadly mystery. When Dimitri wakes up, he is in the morgueicy cold and haunted by a cryptic warning given by a tantalizing female spirit.

As town residents begin to turn up gruesomely murdered, Dimitri must play detective in his own story and unravel the connections among his family, the Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, and the secrets held in a pair of crumbling antiquarian books. If he doesn’t, it’s quite possible Lisa will be the next victim.

Click this box again to hide it

transparent gif