Archive for the ‘Best new horror novel’ Category

Take a Dangerous Dive into “The Quarry.”   Leave a comment

The Quarry Cover

By C. Michael Forsyth

I was delighted to recently learn that fellow horror writer Mark Allan Gunnells lives in Greer, South Carolina, a stone’s throw away from my home in Greenville. What’s more, I discovered, one of his novels is set at the very real Limestone College, 1.8 miles from my door! Intrigued, I immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle.

I wasn’t disappointed. The Quarry is a well-crafted, chilling tale, especially impressive because this was the author’s first novel.

The story centers around Lake Limestone, a former quarry and limestone mine near the campus that was flooded decades ago in the 1950s—deliberately, it turns out, by miners who encountered something horrible there. In the present day, the lake is tranquil and idyllic. That’s until a thrill-seeking jock named Dale gets the bright idea of scuba diving to the bottom in the dead of night. He awakens an ancient evil lurking deep beneath the waters and becomes possessed by it. As Dale undergoes a horrific transformation, his best friend and roommate Emilio tries to save him, while trying to unravel the secret of the Quarry.

Though thoroughly modern in its depiction of college life, the story is in the classic horror tradition. In fact, it reminds me of the 1950s flicks my sister and I used watch on TV every Saturday night as kids. Dale’s struggle against his curse is reminiscent of Teenage Werewolf and The Amazing Colossal Man, in which a decent chap becomes monstrous through no fault of his own.

The Amazing Colossal Man

In the 1957 film The Amazing Colossal Man,  exposure to atomic radiation causes a man to grow 60 feet tall.


Gunnels has a sophisticated writing style, with lines such as “Like liquid darkness, the lake enveloped him.” When the increasingly sinister Dale laughs, the sound is “like rocks scraping the bottom of a muddy lake bed.” The author milks the inherent creepiness of certain campus locations for all they’re worth, such as the gloomy basement room that houses the laundry machines, dubbed the Dungeon by students. He often creates suspense by withholding information from the readers, leaving them to uneasily ponder what might be coming next. It’s quite far into the story before we find out the exact nature of the menace in the lake—and believe me, it’s far from what you’d expect. Emilio is also nursing a secret of his own.

An enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to checking out the sequel, The Cult of Ocasta.

C. Michael Forsyth is the author of the horror novel Hour of the Beast.




I have a terrific new book to recommend: Hour of the Beast. Of course, I’m a wee bit prejudiced, since I wrote it!

That’s right, folks. My much-anticipated first novel has been published at last. You can order it at any bookstore, and it’s available on Amazon. But the easiest, fasted and cheapest way to get it is at

It’s a pretty cool website. Among other things, you’ll find my 50 best Weekly World News stories, plus Chapter One read by yours truly. (Sorry, Morgan Freeman was booked up).  And yes, for you cheapos they’ve got it in eBook format too.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

The nightmare begins on a lonely country road when young bride Elaine Stern suffers “a fate worse than death” at the hands of a werewolf. Nine months later, the traumatized woman gives birth to a pair of fraternal twins.

One, Jason, is frail, bespectacled and timid. The other, Joshua, is aggressive and hairy, with uncanny strength. When the boys are in their teens, they arrive at HallertonCollege, a mysterious place where weird things tend to happen even before they get there. The horror goes into overdrive when a string of grisly murders paralyzes the campus. As the body count mounts, Jason begins to suspect that his brother has inherited the curse of lycanthropy. He races to find a cure, enlisting the help of the wise, adventurous and beautiful Professor Cairo Oldewood.

Also along for the ride are Cameron, a gorgeous blonde coed, and Jason’s roommate Dylan, a fearless extreme-sports junkie who will do anything for a thrill — even face the full fury of a rampaging monster. Together, to save Joshua’s soul, they must solve a centuries-old mystery before the full moon rises again, and before the hour of the beast is upon them!

I’ve got some enthusiastic feedback pouring in from the fellow writers who’ve read it so far:

 “A new master of the horror genre is upon us! Hour of the Beast is a gripping story, filled with great characters and some stunning plot twists. A fresh, sexy new take on the classic werewolf story.  From the opening chapter, the tension increases as the action accelerates toward a precarious pinnacle.  Plot lines introduced early return in a frenetic bundle at the climax of this fast-moving tale.”

                                                                                                                                       – John J. Stevens, author ofFire Island.

Hour of the Beast is written in fire and blood. This gripping, fast-paced mystery/thriller features anIndiana Jones-type heroine, Cairo Oldewood. It will keep you turning the page to the very last horror.” –

                                                                                                                                     – J.e. Franklin, winner of New York Drama Desk Award.

And you can bet your sweet bippy Stephen King will feel exactly the same way as soon as he’s done reading it.

So, visit the website and order your copy – plus the dynamite poster of the cover art by the great British artist Martin McKenna, and a t-shirt while you’re at it. (Key chains, caps, mugs and of course Hour of the Beast thongs are on the way).

Or run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore to order your copy of Hour of the Beast.

%d bloggers like this: