Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Haunted House

By Jack Kilborn

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It is hard to know who to recommend Haunted House by Jack Kilborn to. To horror fans? Absolutely. It is a tight if stereotypical package of gore horror. Yet its gimmick may narrow the scope. Horror writer Jack Kilborn and his attached-at-more-than-the-hip mystery author friend J. A. Konrath have previously written six horror and mystery novels titled Afraid, Endurance, Trapped, Serial Killers:Uncut, Origin, and The List. In this novel, Kilborn brings back all the main characters of those books through the premise of a scientist inviting them to spend the night in a haunted house and having the chance to win one million dollars if they survive the night. They should have listened to the old saying to never bet against the house. But then we wouldn't have a story, would we?

I've read all the previous novels except The List and Serial Killers. I'm also a big Kilborn fan. So it was a little bit like homecoming week for me. Yet I couldn't think about how indifferent most readers would be to this gimmick if they haven't read the others. Kilborn clearly sets it up as a stand alone but in order to do that he needs to leave out essential information in the previous WHAT HAPPENED?!!. This results in characters that are too cardboard when they didn't need to be. As for the plot, it is fairly conventional for most gore horror buffs and very predictable. I won't give away the ending but I kept waiting for the Scooby Doo Gang to show up.

Even with that said, this is a fun roller-coaster ride. It's not up to the normal Kilborn/Konrath levels of pulp fun and tension but still worth reading. If you can, read at least a few of the previous novels first.

Method acquired:  Purchased

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