Friday, 31 May 2019

Fear the Walking Dead

Just finished watching the first episode of the 4th season of Fear the Walking Dead, which I enjoyed, I must admit, except for one quibble.

Spoiler Alert if you haven't seen this yet, but... why, after years of living in an unstable, dangerous environment, where there are not only deadly walkers but sometimes far more deadly human renegades, do people still walk blindly into ambushes without taking any but the simplest and least effective precautions? I mean why, when you have a huge armoured SWAT vehicle, would you all leave it to stroll down a country road, surrounded by long grass and bushes, to help a lone, apparently injured person? Why stop the vehicle some distance from this person then all three of you get out and slowly walk towards them, leaving yourselves wide open to being ambushed? That's just plain stupid. The writers do get damn lazy at times. Or are they pushed by more senior "creatives" into writing these kinds of situations, however daft they might be?

I would add that, apart from this, it was an excellent episode - a lot better than The Walking Dead of late.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Last Blood - the final Rambo movie coming in September

First Blood, based on the David Morrel novel, was the best of the movies, with two pretty poor ones before 2008's John Rambo, which was back to form. I can understand Stallone's desire to wrap it all up with one final fling, with Rambo V in September this year. If it's anything as good as John Rambo, then it will be a fitting finale to a rather unique series of films.

Here's a taster:



Deadwood movie coming soon

I'm looking forward to the new Deadwood movie. The original TV series was one of the very best ever aired. It was a shame it ended too soon. At least now we might have a well-rounded conclusion.






Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Chernobyl



Those of us who lived through this, albeit at what we then thought was a safe distance, will never forget what happened, though many of the details were only scantily released at the time. Soviet Russia was secretive at the best of times, and obsessively so whenever anything went wrong.

I never quite realised - or have since forgotten - just how massively disastrous what went on in Chernobyl could have been, not only for Russia, nor just Eastern Europe (then under the domination of Communism), but for Europe as a whole, the UK included.

HBO's 5-part serial about the events that went on is gripping stuff, perhaps because so much of it is true - horrifically so.

If you haven't watched it, you should definitely make the effort to do so. Not only is it insightful in what could have been the worst disaster of the 20th Century, but is an excellently written, well acted and very well directed piece of drama.

The Return reviewed in Phantasmagoria Magazine

As well as Into the Dark, the next issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine will also feature a review by Trevor Kennedy of my Lovecraftian crime noir novel The Return.


THE RETURN by David A. Riley

To paraphrase Shakespeare, there is something rotten in the Northern English town of Edgebottom, especially within the district of the appropriately named Grudge End. The ground there is sour, cursed for centuries perhaps. The powerful Malleson family have owned the now derelict mill at the epicentre of the area for decades, a family with some twisted secrets of their own. Over the years, countless horrors have occurred in Grudge End; brutal ritualistic murders, whole families massacred with their heads removed, and many others driven to insanity and suicide by the catalogue of ghastly events there.
Gary Morgan is a man with a rather shady past, to say the least. He grew up in Grudge End and when he was a teenager his drunken brute of a father was viciously butchered in what was believed by many locals to be an occult-related murder. Although having moved away from the area for quite some time, Gary’s own life has been shrouded with criminal connections and several failed marriages. He decides to return to his home town for one last time before the streets and mills where he spent his youth are pulled down for good. And to escape the clutches of some quite nasty London-based gangsters as well.
On his return, Gary bumps into an old school friend of his, Kevin Cross, whose increasingly manic paranoia surrounding ‘something’ in town is just the tip of the very dark iceberg of what is to follow. When Kevin has his arm savagely hacked off by a mysterious assailant, a series of events begin to unravel, all connected to Gary, the vile Malleson family, and the deep, ancient secrets of Edgebottom. As the bodies begin to mount up and the baffled police close in, something very Old is awakening from a long slumber…
Bloody hell, it really is grim up north! And down south in London too, it appears. Author David A. Riley presents us with an extremely violent, bleak, fantastically weaved tale that could perhaps best be described as H.P. Lovecraft meets the Kray twins via the kitchen sink British realism films of the late 1950s/early ‘60s. It is gloriously dark in Edgebottom, literally and figuratively, from the highly sinister occult goings on, to the East End gangsters out for their pound of flesh. Even the weather here is persistently miserable, with its torrential rain, bitter coldness and overcast skies.
Riley’s story is expertly created throughout, with the narrative point-of-view seamlessly switching between the main protagonist, the investigating police detectives, the gangsters, and so on. The building tension and mystery surrounding the town is both gripping and morbidly fascinating. When the real horror kicks in around the second half of the book, the appearance of the satyr-esque being is indeed a sight to behold. A truly terrifying, seemingly unstoppable creation of pure unadulterated evil.
There are the aforementioned homages to Lovecraft, more so towards the end, however these slide in perfectly to the rest of Riley’s tale, one that would still stand strong on its own even without the Lovecraftian influences.
A definite recommendation for fans of grim horror and HPL alike.

The Return is published by Blood Bound Books (www.bloodgutsandstory.com) and is available to purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

Trevor Kennedy
These are the links to buy copies of this book on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Kindle versions of my novel are available for £1.99 at Amazon.co.uk and for $3.19 at Amazon.com.

The cover is by the brilliant Croatian artist Andrej Bartulovic.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Into the Dark reviewed in the next issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine

My horror novel Into the Dark is reviewed in the next issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine this coming weekend.


A review of INTO THE DARK by David A. Riley (writing as Andrew Jennings). Review by Helen Scott for Phantasmagoria Magazine.
It is bad enough for Janice Burroughs that she is afraid of travelling home from work in the dark but now there is a serial killer at large in London. The nights are drawing in and she is all too well aware of how vulnerable she is, a single woman, living and travelling alone. Then there is her creepy neighbour Jimmy. He won’t stop asking her out and hanging around. She tries to make as little noise as possible at home so he doesn’t catch her at the door, prompting another awkward exchange. Until one night there is a power cut and Jimmy comes to her rescue. Thinking he’s not such a bad bloke after all, she agrees to go on a date with him. Then as she gets to know him, he starts to pick her up from work in his old BMW - at least that way she doesn’t have to be afraid of travelling alone, what with a killer on the loose.
Meanwhile, Chief Inspector James Yates and Detective Sergeant McKenna are investigating three brutal murders. They are hunting for a killer who likes to slice off the faces of their victims before applying grease paint. Jimmy’s name comes on their radar as he has a connection to the family of one of the victims. He did some plumbing work for them and has been previously arrested for domestic violence against his ex-wife.
To complicate matters, Fiona, a barmaid on her way home one night, not only witnesses but thwarts an attack on another woman. Hailed as a hero and interviewed by the papers she doesn’t realise that all the publicity is making her a target for the attacker. That is until late one night Fiona is attacked in her own home and it has serious consequences. Not only that but now the police are looking for a man who drives a BMW.
But what has all this got to do with Craig, a thirteen year old boy abducted from a train station in Lancaster? Finding himself manacled and mutilated by his ‘doctor’ abductors, he has given up any hope of escape.
Janice and Jimmy soon find themselves embroiled in a set of circumstances that means they have to flee London and head north.
I first read this book last June, then when I was asked to review it I read it again. I have to say that I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. It lost none of its appeal or tension, even though it was familiar. That is because Jennings/Riley writes so well. His characters are written in such a way that they have a familiarity to them and as the reader you just get taken into the story. The whole plot is wonderfully thought out and executed, leaving you, the reader, wanting more. I know I certainly did. Definitely worth a read and as it’s only £1.99 on Kindle how could you possibly say no. Go on, treat yourself.

Into the Dark is available to purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wordery and direct from Parallel Universe Publishing.
Helen Scott.

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk  £9.99
Amazon.com  $12.99          Barnes & Noble $11.63

Ebook:
Amazon.co.uk  £2.99
Amazon.com  $4.30

Monday, 13 May 2019

Volumes 1 and 2 of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts now available in softcover

The softcover versions of the limited, signed hardback edition of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts are now both available to order online, £15.99 each. Volume 2 contains a small number of recent full colour and black & white illustrations not included in the hardback.

Amazon UK - volume 1
Amazon UK - volume 2


Amazon USA - volume 1
Amazon USA - volume 2