Published by Flame Tree Press on February 14, 2019
Also by this author: The Siren and The Specter, The Sorrows, Old Order, Savage Species, Wolf Land, The Dark Game, House of Skin, Dust Devils, The Raven
When Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler in a gas station parking lot, he doesn't know the little boy will end up in a foster home. He doesn't know that the young mother will soon burn herself alive in grief and rage, nor does he know that the dead woman belonged to an ancient and monstrous fire cult who will stop at nothing to get revenge. After the young mom's suicide, Joe and his family are plagued by inexplicable events.
✮ My Review ✮
It is my absolute pleasure and honour to be kicking off a blog tour for Jonathan Janz! Anyone who knows me knows how much I do enjoy his books! In The Siren and the Specter, he scared the bejeezus out of me with the paranormal. In The Sorrows, he sent me to crazy town with the past and gore. In Old Order, he touches so very briefly on a cult, it is the baby book, the build-up to The Nightmare Girl, well this was just a little bit of everything with so much more horrifying actions with a cult.
Firstly, I have to say that this book does not disappoint, it does not relent and it is not for the faint-hearted! Even after I read the last line on the last page do I still feel like this book has not let go of me, nor Joe. I mean by jove! If anything this book has just shown me that no good deed goes unpunished and whether I should stop and help in the first place!
Joe, with his family, filling up his car in a petrol station, witnessing a young mother smacking her child, but not the light tap on the bottom, no properly beating this poor defenceless child. Like every book of Mr Janz’, crazy town begins and you just can not work out who you can and can not trust, the best thing to do just don’t trust anyone! Everyone is just batshit crazy! Especially the Waltz family!
Sharon, the Grandmother/Mother, Angie, the child/Mother were just absolutely mental, all part of a dark and vicious cult. All Joe innocently wants to do is protect Little Stevie from the pair of them, but the s***t hits the fan, or a gasoline bottle over someone’s head and I was biting my finger in absolute horror. The cult does not feature heavily in the story until near the end, instead, it is the haunting and stalking of the family instead that takes centre stage, with a lot of insinuation which is more foreboding at times.
This book was intense with no relief, I was constantly waiting for the next thing to happen, from ashes being thrown in the garden, hallucinations, a blacked out chapel all truly terrifying events. I read this in the car, my daughter wanting me to cover the book cover (and rightly so, I mean have you seen anything so menacing!) and the faces I was pulling through fear, revulsion and terror made the boy laugh. I am sure OMFG left my mouth a few times, in a whisper of course! Where three-quarters of the book is poodling along in third gear, driven by the characters, the gear is suddenly changed to fifth gear and we are in the fast lane to the ultimate crazy town and a whole lot of heart in throat action.
I loved Joe, here is a character who tries to do the right thing by his wife and Chief Copeland every time. A contractor who finds in the last few months that he is being outbid on work when he comes up trumps when the Baxter house next door is sold and the new owners want him to do the renovations. Each time events happen, he (eventually) speaks to his wife and said some douche things but this just proved he was a normal man, wanting to do right by his family and protect them at all costs.
This book is not overly scary, but it is violent and it is dark and bloody terrifying! The shadows in the night just got darker, the laughter just got menacing and the new neighbours next door, well I want to tighten that bolt a bit more across my door! This book set my teeth on edge and as agreed with Sara (Not Another Book Blogger) we expect nothing less when we read something by Janz! It is another page turner for sure!
For me, a light relief in the book was Joe and Darrell’s relationship. The banter they have and the bromance that ensues is such a strong beacon of light in this dark and menacing tale. Trust me you need them! You need this!
I have said that 2019 is the year I am going to get all Jonathan Janz’ books and I mean it! He is by far my favourite horror author, damn this man knows how to write! It is like he knows what fears you have and he completely plays to his strengths by writing them and twisting it all around on you.
Have you read The Nightmare Girl? What did you think?
Until next time xxx
Thank you so much to Anne at Random Things Tours for the tour invite and the author and publisher for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: