Cover Image: Kill Creek

Kill Creek

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. It was a little reminiscent of Hill House, in which the house itself is a character. The writing was fine, the characters were fine, with one exception, and the story was great. It's definitely a reread for me. 

But what I can't get past is T.C.'s character. I mean, what the hell. She is so over the top that it's distracting. After the eighth mention of her long hair, great body, how she loves to be naked in her house, and how she's JUST SO TOUGH, I was over it. 

So while the ending of the book is great, and I want to reread the book, and I'd read more by this author, T.C. is just so ridiculous that I don't know if I can deal with her again. If I do reread it, I'm going to skip some of her shit.
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Sam McGarver's career could use a little help. He has gotten nowhere on his new novel, spending hours watching the cursor blink on his computer screen. Sam tells himself, and his agent, that he's concentrating on his teaching and healing from his separation, but really it's because he's rattled by the past and the present making it so that he just can't move forward. In desperation he agrees to a PR stunt for the streaming service WriteWire. The founder, Wainwright, is a billionaire's son who is desperate to make his own mark on the world. He's famous for "events" that he elaborately stages and streams to his millions of viewers worldwide. Yet he longs to be taken seriously and to that end his newest endeavor is a little more pared down yet artistically thematic. He has invited four of the most distinguished horror authors to partake in a roundtable interview on Halloween in the notorious haunted house on kill creek, last owned by the Finch sisters, and immortalized in the book Phantoms of the Prairie: A True Story of Supernatural Terror. Like Sam, the three other authors have their reasons for being there, Sebastian Cole is a legend past his prime and facing irrelevance, Daniel Slaughter is losing ground with his Christian fanbase who used to devour his teen tales of terror that always ended with a morality lesson, and T.C. Moore has been cut as screenwriter from her own book's adaptation, a book ironically called Cutter. They all expect Wainwright to pull some kind of stunt. Yet despite the cutting questions it's all above board and they leave the next morning. What happens next will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

H.P. Lovecraft, R.L. Stine, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Stephen King get together at a haunted house for a PR stunt. A clever conceit that if hewed to, instead of ending up a gore filled version of Burnt Offerings, would have set a new meta benchmark in haunted house horror. But the promise of the first few chapters, of Sam's lectures being the literary equivalent of Scream, are all but forgotten as you force yourself to just get the book over and done with. All the witty banter and badinage between the four authors is so delightful that every time the book strays from the quartet Thomas's editors should have told him to cut it because anything beyond that grouping is extraneous. I started to think that being run over by a bus wouldn't be that bad a fate because then my part in this story would be over. My main problem was that while the house is the epicenter of the evil Thomas lets the evil wander a little too far afield. The house almost becomes an afterthought while it should be the focal point, the fulcrum on which the whole book hinges. When they literally just left the house halfway through the book I was yelling at them that this isn't how it's supposed to happen. Yet while this is my main problem it is far from my only problem. You can tell this is the first book Thomas has written because it feels at times so amateurish and heavy-handed. Sam's dark secret? The mystery of the third floor bedroom? I knew what was going on the second they were mentioned. And as for the number of horror films and books he just straight up rips off? If he had kept the light, meta approach, this could have been humorous, instead it felt lazy. And as for a professional photographer using an HP PhotoSmart Printer, I'm not even going to go there.
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Words fail me. KILL CREEK is extraordinary, all the more so as a debut novel of literary and psychological horror. Be not mistaken: there's plenty of the Supernatural here too, so intricately blended with the psychological horror as to become one. I read this in one day, figuratively glued to the virtual pages, and couldn't stop. My only regret is that somehow I missed reading it at the novel's 2017 release, and in fact it was the upcoming release of author Scott Thomas' second horror offering, VIOLET, that nudged me to first read KILL CREEK. I am unafraid to admit that likely I will never forget the novel's denouement concerning the House's third-floor bedroom...nor the Epilogue. Never. I will not forget KILL CREEK, and yes, I will reread it....when my nerves settle.
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What caught my eye first was not the haunted house theme of the book, but the protagonists who meet in the infamous  Finch House: four horror authors, lured there for some online event to discuss and promote their work. But what they get is more than they bargained for, and when they return home, something evil follows each of them...

I loved how the author created four very different faces of horror with the authors, and on top of that  added the haunted house. It was fascinating to see how the house - or whatever lived in there - crept into the work of each author, while at the same time keeping their unique voices intact. Reading those different versions of the same story should be fun (though much too time-consuming).

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to spend much time reading during the last few weeks, so this story took much longer than it normally would have, it being perfect "stay up all night reading" material. The feeling I sometimes got that it dragged along was only due to the fact that I had to read it too many small portions.

An outstanding haunted house novel - highest recommendation!
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When I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it, I was extremely happy to find it available to request on NetGalley as was so excited when I was approved a copy.

Haunted house books are one of my favourites to read as I love the slow build up, the increasing level of spookiness and threat and how the characters respond to it.

Here we have 4 horror authors invited to the Finch House for a group interview by Wainwright, the founder of a horror website and a huge fan of all 4 authors, he thinks that having it set in the Finch House would be an amazing coup and pull in millions of views over the few days that they're all there.

Small things start happening at first, nothing too spooky or out there just little things they brush off as paranoia or their over-active imaginations, as time goes on though things start getting more serious and the story ramps up to more spooky and violent ends.

I enjoyed the characters and how they were fleshed out, the interplay between them all was well done and the story moved on at a steady pace, however, I was disappointed with the fact that there wasn't more set in the house, there is a good chunk in there but I prefer the majority of a haunted house book to be set in said house, that's just my preference though and that is why I changed my original 5 star to a 4.

*Huge thanks to Scott Thomas, Inkshares and NetGalley for this copy which I chose to read and all opinions are my own*
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Kill Creek has been on my Horror October TBR list for two years running so I’m glad to have finally gotten round to it. I thought it would be a classic haunted house story, and in a way it was, but it was also so different to what I was expecting.

In this perfect-for-Halloween read, four famous horror writers are invited to an infamous haunted house for an unconventional all-night interview  with controversial online journalist Wainwright, in what seems to be an homage to the classic film House on a Haunted Hill. But really, that’s where the similarities end.

After a lot of bickering, some ruffled feathers, and classic haunted house hi-jinks, the writers survive the night and go home. The End. Not reeeeeally. I mean they do head home, but the story is far from over.

I felt like this major twist on the classic haunted house tropes was a double-edged sword. On one hand I thought it was genius as it was the last thing I was expecting, but on the other, I felt deflated. I wanted the predictable people Vs the house story. It had been set us as such and I felt cheated.

However, that’s just me being petulant. What followed was a story in itself, one that felt new and while it held my interest, I did think it could have been condensed slightly.

Overall, Kill Creek was a surprising take on the genre, one that is certainly in need of a bit of a shake up, so I applaud Thomas for that. It’s a perfect read for All Hallow’s Eve.
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I received a digital ARC of this book from Netgalley.

Take The Haunting of Hill House, add a touch of Stephen King and his penchant for writer-protagonists, a pinch of social media stunts, and you'd have something like Kill Creek.

The house at Kill Creek is a bad place. Its history is full of murder and secrets, and there's a bedroom in the attic sealed behind a brick wall. So, of course, a horror fascinated social media personality is determined to use it as the backdrop for a Halloween event, featuring four famous horror writers.

There's the well respected lit-horror author, the popular writer of Christianity tinged teen thrillers, the angry woman who writes erotic, Clive Barker style gore, and the legendary old writer who no one has actually seen in years. They all take the money from the webisode that they create when they stay the night in Kill Creek, but as I'm sure you can guess, they leave the next morning changed, compelled to write about Kill Creek and the mystery of the brick wall.

Not long after, Kill Creek draws them back, and not everyone gets out alive...

This is a fun, scary haunted house story. It's not too heavy, and it isn't as deep as I think it wants to be, but it's good fun for All Hallows Read.
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Full review forthcoming..........................................................................................................................................................................
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Meh. If I had to sum up my feelings about this book in a single word, it would be, "meh." This was honestly one of the most disappointing reads I've had in a while.

I'll start with the good, though.

This book was undoubtedly an homage to the big names of horror, probably both classic and modern. As someone who really likes horror, both on the page and on the screen, I could appreciate that.

At times, it was clear that Scott Thomas is capable of writing very well, and potentially delivering some scares, so I'm not writing him off just yet.

This book would probably make a great movie, and I'm thinking I would like the movie version more.

That's pretty much all I actually liked about this book, and I feel weird about giving it such a low rating because it seems to be well-loved, in general.

The first 30% or so are seriously over-written. The remainder of the book is a little better, but I stand by what I said once (when I was only about halfway through it): it could probably lose 100 pages and nothing about the story would change. With horror, or any other spooky-ish book, I tend to call this "Stephen King Syndrome." So if you like how wordy King can be, you probably won't be bothered by that aspect. One additional note about it, though, is that some things were repeated way too often. Certain phrases, or recounting the same memory or whatever. Eventually, I just started skimming and skipping over pages.

Nothing really happens until close to the halfway point. Then, I finally had hope of reading a truly creepy story, but it lost steam really quickly. I don't want to say much about what happened, so I don't spoil anything for someone planning to read this, but there was a shift in the type of horror around 70% and I just rolled my eyes and thought, "Of course." I'd seen it coming, but had hoped it wasn't going to go there.

Two things frustrated me most about this book.

The first was the one (main) female character. At first, I thought I was going to like her. And eventually I did, but less in a, "Wow, this guy wrote a decent female character, hurrah!" kind of way, and more in the way that I wish I could take her away from him and give her to a woman author. The creepiest thing about this book was how T.C. Moore was written at times, and if she could come to life and speak for herself, I'm guessing she would verbally rip Thomas a new one. Or maybe even literally do it. I get it. She's a tough, badass bitch, in a field dominated by men. I. GET. IT. I have no issues with unlikable female characters (I want more of them!). I have no issues with crass female characters. But Moore was just so over the top she became unbelievable, which is really disappointing because if Thomas had just dialed it back a bit (and maybe not mentioned her breasts and underwear and how she has a "pagan ritual"--which I have other issues with--of writing naked) it would have been much better to read about her.

The second thing was the lack of explanation. I still have no clue what caused the things that happened in the book. We're given some vague ideas, but nothing is really settled and actually explained. I guess that's supposed to make it creepier, but it just irritates me. And then there were the vines. I won't elaborate on that part.

None of the characters really stood out to me. It's like they should have had more depth, but just didn't. I honestly can barely even remember their names already, even though (as I'm typing this) I just finished the book a half hour ago. I think the idea for them was to make them almost like archetypes of big-name horror authors, without actually making them into those authors. But that didn't quite work for me, in the end, and so I never really cared about any of them. I just wanted the book to end so I could move on.

I feel like this book should have been a better experience for me, but I spent almost all of it bored and/or skimming over all the repetitive bits so I could finally finish it. I wanted to like it, but it was just...fine. Not really good, not horrible, just fine. I saw the ending coming from pretty much the beginning, and it was also just fine. Nothing new or surprising there.

Would I recommend it? Not really. But, if you love Stephen King, maybe Dean Koontz, and others like them, you might like this more than I did.



I received a free copy for review from Net Galley
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This book...

As a fan of the horror genre, I had been quite displeased with a lot of the work I was reading. Until I read Kill Creek. 

This book is absolutely frightening. The last sentence will send shivers through my body for a good week.
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Kill Creek does its part to usher in the "new" era of the haunted house novel, by completely turning the sub genre inside-out. So, the idea of: four people hand-selected by a reality TV producer to spend a night in a haunted house -- isn't exactly original. And that's the point. The real horror, the haunting, the dread, the despair comes well after the opening haunted house scenes!
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I'm always on the lookout for great modern ghost stories and this book sounded perfect for our library's collection. The book started very strong for me and had the classic set up of great ghost stories. It starts with a tragic and creepy backstory and then we are introduced to our main players. Each one fills the horror writer niche and you are excited to see where this all will go (although I did have some major issues with our female writer). They meet and agree to spend the night in a creepy abandoned mansion with the mysterious past. Shadows and creepy things happen and the suspense of what will happen was so strong and then.....NOTHING. They get to leave. I let out a HUGE sigh of relief when they get to leave. But it isn't over.  Now start to part two....which did not grab me the same way as the first. What worked and kept you reading in the first part was the intense dread that was building. Once it was released, the book didn't have the same urgent feel to me. Although not perfect, I did enjoy this book. I think with a ghost story, the imagined horror is what makes it a great novel. The actual reveal of the horror and what is behind it just didn't have the same suspense. With that said, Scott Thomas is a great new horror writer. Recommend for libraries looking for horror and I will look out for more from the author.
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Characters were well developed.  The plot was intriguing.   Loved the descriptiveness of the book. I would like to read more from this author
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KILL CREEK transcends the haunted house trope. This is a debut novel and it shows. I started and stopped reading this book on three different occasions. The beginning is incredibly slow. So slow in fact, you can skip to the part where you get to the house. You wouldn't miss a thing. But let me go back and give you the details.

The author sets up a scenario where you have four people staying Halloween night in a so-called haunted house. The Finch House is your typical haunted house. It's located on the edge of town. It's empty, abandoned, and overgrown. 

It is supposed to be a publicity stunt. Wainright (is the founder of a website dedicated to all things horror) invites four of the best horror writers to the Finch House for a live-streaming. Each author specializes in their own type of horror. T.C. Moore is an erotic horror novelist. Sam McGaver is a teacher and a struggling horror writer. Daniel Slaughter is a Christian horror writer. Sabastian Cole is the heavyweight horror writer. 

While they are filming, the usual haunted house things occur. You get the noises and unexplained shadows. There is a mysterious third-floor bedroom that is bricked off, though. But nothing too out of the ordinary happens. That is when things start to pick up. 

To me, my favorite part is the history of the house. I love history. I could read about historical events and places all day. Anyways, you get to see what happened in the house from the time of its construction to the present. I also like the downward spiral. SH!T. The authors begin writing a novel. Oddly, the authors reunite at the Finch House a year after their live-stream event. 

Scott Thomas does a fantastic job weaving this tale of utter torment. The Finch House has a story needing to be told. KILL CREEK delivers the goods but doesn't avoid the usual tropes. The author explores the characters' backgrounds meticulously. 

Scott Thomas has a unique voice and I dig his writing style. The narrative was slow at times. The characters were solid. Like I said before, you can tell this one is a debut. The tension didn't stay tight throughout. At times, the tension did build, but it wasn't lasting. 

I had high hopes for the latter third of this book. I felt like the sails were taken out from under me, though. No longer did I feel the cool wind in my hair as I breezed through this book. I wanted to be surprised by the ending, but it played into a tired old trope. 

If you like haunted house stories, then you should give KILL CREEK a go. 

Recommend!

4/5 stars!⭐⭐⭐⭐
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I loved that this was about 4 horror writers spending a night in a haunted house! I would definitely recommend this book to people who want fast-paced action with some horror and drama added in. It was an amazingly quick read that captured all 4 characters very differently. The book kept me on the edge and that is good enough for me to declare it a 5-star book. 

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Scott Thomas makes one hell of a horror debut with his Stoker Award-nominated haunted house novel, Kill Creek - so strong a debut that I found it hard to believe he's a first-time author. Turns out, Thomas has a bit of a pedigree in television and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the R.L. Stine TV series, The Haunting Hour. While Kill Creek is his first novel, Thomas definitely knows his way around a horror story, and his work here carries a nicely cinematic style with more than a few movie-ready scenes and set pieces. 

After being duped into agreeing to an interview by an Internet website mogul, four authors find themselves unwittingly gathered together for an overnight stay at the abandoned and decrepit Finch House. For the wealthy Wainwright, this is a chance to speak to his idols, the modern masters of horror, and rake in lots of lucrative web-clicks. For the authors, it's a gimmicky way to promote their work, score some quick cash, and waste a night in a supposedly haunted house before returning to their lives, check in hand. If you know your way around a haunted house story, I don't have to tell you that things don't go quite according to plan...

Thankfully, Thomas throws in a few juicy curveballs here and there, slowly inching his narrative toward a finale of all-consuming madness that chills in all the best and brutal ways. Thomas, however, knows that he has to earn the premise's payoff, and he spends a lot of time building up his central cast. While the focus is on Sam McGarver, the most Everyman horror author of the bunch, characters like TC Moore, Sebastian Cole, and Daniel Slaughter - a horror-ready name if ever there was one - carry enough personality and intrigue to keep this slow-burn narrative hustling along. Moore, in fact, was my favorite character in this story - a brash, take-no-prisoners attitude, whiskey swilling, tough gal are always right up my alley narratively-speaking, and her introduction immediately captivated me. 

Although it's become rather cliche to have a horror author as the protagonist of a horror novel, it works surprisingly well here. Usually the protag's occupation is ancillary, but in Kill Creek it's a primary focus and a linchpin for the work itself. Thomas is clearly well-versed in horror and genre tropes, as well as the career of writing and some of its more self-depreciating aspects. At one point, McGarver jokes that he's a writer, which means he spends most of his time procrastinating on the Internet. But it's his introduction as a college lecturer, wherein he delivers a presentation on gothic literature to his students, that makes a solid argument toward the credibility of not only McGarver's skill as an author, but Thomas's as well. The fact that Thomas creates this band of authors is one thing; the fact that he created them with such attention toward their pedigree and bibliographies is another. It's common to see horror authors experiencing a real-life horror event in fiction, but this is probably the first time I've wanted to actually read these fictional author's works. I wish I could buy a TC Moore book for my Kindle right now, or dig into a Sebastian Cole book next, and that alone should speak volumes to how much I appreciated Thomas's character work here.

Narrating Kill Creek is Bernard Setaro Clark, and hot damn, he's a fine reader. While much of his delivery is direct, Clark has a few aural tricks up his sleeve that really impressed me. Clark knows when to act up the material a bit, changing tones and pitch, and sometimes flat-out shouting, when needed. He also pulls this nifty trick of creating spatial distance between characters by turning away from the microphone at certain points. Say a character is shouting from across the room - rather than speaking directly into the mike as he would for our POV character, Clark turns away slightly, giving a sense of depth to sell the impression that there really is a character yelling from across the rom. It's such a simple thing, but so well executed, and not something I've often heard in other audiobooks. Of course, it's also possible I'm easily impressed, but I appreciated these moments a heck of a lot when they occurred. Clark's narrative skills certainly get a workout in the book's climax, as McGarver and company are forced to contend with the threats lurking within the Finch House once and for all. 

Kill Creek isn't just a mighty fine haunted house novel, but a wickedly impressive debut for its author, who manages to wring the story for all its worth and deliver some pleasantly shocking twists along the way. This sucker builds like a roller coaster, slowly ratcheting its way to the top, and then violently dropping readers down a twisting thrill-ride that pulls their stomach up their throats. To put it mildly and succinctly, Kill Creek fucking rocks.
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I really enjoyed this book.  It was reminiscent of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  I really enjoyed each of the very different characters and their oddities.  There are some pretty startling twist and turns that everyone that enjoys Chillers and Thrillers will love.
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WOW! WOW! WOW! Such a good ghost/haunted house/possession horror book!  Why did it take me so long to read this book?  I could not put it down, but when I had to I looked forward to picking it back up! Four horror authors are invited to Kill Creek, a supposed haunted house, for an interview with Wainwright and his assistant Kate.  All is well, until Kill Creek "wakes up."  But even after they leave Kill Creek, Kill Creek does not let them go! Their lives are not as before and in order to find out why, they have to return to Kill Creek.  This was such a gripping horror novel.  I am definitely going to look into from Mr. Thomas.  4.5 stars rounded to 5
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This is one of those books that pulls you in and refuses to let go until the bitter end. The characters were all incredibly entertaining to follow and unique in their own ways (no bland and generic tropes here!) and the story itself managed to actually hit a gamut of emotion besides trepidation and horror. I really felt for one of the older characters. Definitely a book worth picking up if you want to feel like you're actually in a haunted house.
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This has to be the scariest haunted house story I've read in years.It reminds me of a modern day Legend Of Hell House, which I absolutely love. The author set  tone of the book right from the first chapter, and kept me glued to each page right up to the inevitable end. Great book!
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