13 Dark Tales (Collection One) by Michael R. Martin

13 Dark Tales (Collection One) by Michael R. Martin

A shocking event on an evening train only revealed by hypnosis, a man driven to extremes to rid himself of nightmare neighbours, and a rural driving holiday stopped in its tracks by a mythical creature. Just three of the 13 Dark Tales, inspired by macabre urban myths and sinister folklore, in this first collection. Read them in the dark hours when they might call to mind a disturbing story you can’t quite place or a strange shape glimpsed from the corner of your eye; things you dismissed as too fantastic to take seriously but left nagging doubts, nonetheless. Some of them may be true.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.
13 Dark Tales is a collection of short stories from British author Michael R. Martin. Each story falls into one of three genres: thriller, horror or science fiction, each linked by the common theme that they are all dark in some way. The stories are well built given their brevity, and distinct enough from one another to not feel like they are all a similar tale.

Dark_Tales_Coll01_KDP_Front_Cover01Some short story collections are an unfortunate collection of stories that feel rushed or incomplete, but Martin has clearly put a lot of thought into this collection, ensuring he uses a vastly limited word count wisely to build characters, locations and the story themselves.

This made for a nice collection, with stories short enough to dip in and out of while also being thoroughly enjoyable and feeling every inch the product of the author; with all the tells his longer works have running throughout.

My rating:
goodread

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Area 62 by Michael R. Martin

Area 62 by Michael R. Martin

When Colin Thurcroft decided to expand his hiking gear business with a retail outlet, the derelict shop close to the centre of his home town seemed ideal. But something truly bizarre happened there nearly forty years ago, and it has left behind some tantalizing clues. As Colin digs deeper, he comes face to face with an international conspiracy beyond his wildest imaginings and the darkest of government secrets.

Brought to the very edge of reason, he must challenge his understanding of reality and accept a future within which the human race has little influence.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Area 62 is the second book I’ve had the pleasure of reading from Michael R. Martin. With the first book, Screams in the Woods I was treated to a horror mystery which I thoroughly enjoyed. Area 62, as the name suggests, is a fantastically-well written sci-fi.Area62_KDP_Front_CoverColin Thurcroft’s quest for answers as the the strange goings on in his new retail outlet over the last four decades take him on a journey that tests his concept of reality along with his marriage. The things he sees, experiences and learns along the way would be difficult for many to process, but they only strengthen his resolve to dig deeper.

Chance encounters with shady government organisations, the daughter of a whistleblower, a retired Ibiza DJ living on a distant Scottish island and beings from another world take Colin deeper down the rabbit hole. Just as you think things could not possibly get any stranger than they already are, a new revelation adds to the mind-bending situation. As things come to their conclusion the author leaves us hanging on to the seed of events that will change the course of humankind forever.

This was the ideal book for me at the moment. Something that falls into the bracket of easy reading, a sci-fi novel with a slight feel of the classics without being cheesy or overboard. I found it an entertaining, fun read that did not disappoint.

My rating:
goodread

Screams in the Woods by Michael R. Martin

Screams in the Woods by Michael R. Martin

One rainy Monday morning, private detective Christine Lynch is presented with an untitled lever arch file to review. It contains the detailed research of a 19th century local mining accident. The authors have been missing for over a year. Two unrelated facts, surely? Then she reads the file…

 

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

Screams in the Woods on the face of things seems to be a good old fashioned mystery novel. A 19th century mining accident that appears to have more to it than a simple mineshaft collapse. The sudden and mysterious disappearance of two men researching the incident. Two relatively average incidents, albeit linked through somewhat mysterious secrets. Michael R. Martin has crafted a nice mystery here, uncovering pieces of evidence that help guide the reader down the path to the final answer.
Screams_KDP_Front_CoverAs the story unfolds, it becomes clear the two mysteries are intertwined at their core. As detective Christine Lynch delves deeper into the disappearance of the two amateur investigators, she cannot help but find more and more inconsistencies in the mining accident answer as to the deaths of so many miners.

Towards the latter half or so of the book, as Christine’s investigation deepens, and her belief that both mysteries solidifies itself, she finds herself drawn into events first hand. Torn between two warring sides trying to gain the answers to the mystery that stretches back centuries leads to a dangerous, bloody race for life, knowledge and answers.

By the time the conclusion of this mysterious tale rolls around, nothing is obvious or clear cut about the two core cases. While they are intertwined there is something dark and macabre underlying both, and tying them together. A sci-fi meets paranormal ending ties up the story nicely, making for a mystery that isn’t cast in the same mould that most tend to follow.

My rating:
goodread