Book Review: Three Cold Hours by Jonette Blake

          

Book Review: Three Cold Hours by Jonette Blake


My thoughts about Three Cold Hours by Jonette Blake


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Disclosure: I got sent a free copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley.



The book synopsis:

Three Cold Hours by Jonette Blake

3 supernatural thrillers in 1 collection


POISON IN THE POND
Karen Malcolm believed her terrible ordeal was over. Instead, it plunged her into a supernatural nightmare where even the monsters are afraid of the dark.

THE UNHEARD
When Jenny Abercrombie finds out what really happened all those summers ago, she will have to choose between believing her sister’s side of the story, or believing the ghosts who want revenge.

STRANGE LEGACY
Elijah Brooks discovers something sinister is behind the disappearance of stagehands at his Wild West recreation show: a strange legacy that has been in his family for generations.

Titles also available individually.

This collection was previously published as "The Shivers Novellas" by D L Richardson



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Discussing Three Cold Hours by Jonette Blake





Quotes from the book:


Poison in the Pond

Within seconds she found herself dragged away into a world of nothing. Others may have found this sleep peaceful. To Karen it was as if she were two inches tall and sliding down a razor-sharp knife into the wide-open mouth of a monster. 


If he was so proficient at deflecting a harsh stare from a woman he was obviously married, she decided. At least her writing experiences had led her to believe this, since she could hardly be called and expert on the subject.


Panic rose up inside her once more, and her head began to swim. “I don’t want to talk about it. I can’t. I just can’t.”


He’s having second thoughts about his decision to ask for the maximum sentence. That’s why he’s nervous. He isn’t like other criminals.


He clears his voice and says for all to hear, “I have dismissed my lawyer. I wish to defend myself.” “Any particular reason why?” “He was an arrogant prick.”


“Hey, I’m just having an anxiety attack but can you blame me? I once spent a week tied up in my own apartment while a madman pretended to love me. And the ironic thing is that if it wasn’t for that madman, I wouldn’t be here looking for a ring because I wouldn’t have met the man who would become my husband.”


She tore open the envelope, quickly read the letter, and when her eyes landed at the bottom of the page, and when she saw the signature, her mouth went dry and her heart almost stopped beating.


It was possible he’d been sent to another prison. But a chill had settled in her blood and she knew he was locked inside these walls.


“We never got to talk much, did we? Such a shame I had to silence your lovely voice.”


She felt her lips pull back into a sneer. “I have no intentions of ever setting you free. You can rot in hell for all I care.” His face went white. “I already am. Please, help me. You must help me. I’m so frightened of the dark. I’ve seen what’s waiting for me.”


She wasn’t fond of school anymore. Ever since Flossy had turned up as a stray dog the teachers had begun giving her weird looks and the kids were calling her Stressy Jessy. 


Tyler winced. “I guess that’s my fault. I seem to be able to talk most people into opening up about their problems, but I clam up as soon as it involves me.”


She flicked a handful of the furry bugs away and stomped on them when they fell to the floor. But they kept on coming. They swarmed around her, beating at her skin as though putting out a fire. When her head started to vibrate from dozens of insects crawling inside her ears, she started screaming.


He couldn’t explain why he needed to keep the gun, especially when he’d never fired one before, but for the first time in his life, he let his intuition have final say. His intuition also advised him to find the nearest rifle range for target practice.


At last count there were forty-eight ducks living on the pond. It seemed as if they were all dead and a gripping fear told her they hadn’t died of natural causes.


With great effort, Karen rolled herself up off the bed. Mom duties didn’t clock off just because someone tried to destroy your home with you in it.


“There’s usually a good reason why someone is scared of the dark.” As if to prove his point, a scream shattered the air.


Flossy had been right about badness coming. Jess wasn’t so sure about the last part of her friend’s prophecy. She was pretty sure the time was now only she didn’t know what to do. She was scared. The most scared she’d ever been in her life.


The Unheard


Main Street was familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time, like running into someone at the supermarket and spending the rest of the day wondering where you knew them from.


It’d been a long drive and she’d worn flats and yoga pants and a t-shirt for comfort. Should she change? she asked herself in the hallway. Or would that send off a vibe that said ‘desperate’?


He gave her a smile so bright it could have ignited wet wood. He hadn’t changed a bit. If anything, age had worked its magic on him. And she was dressed like a house-painter.


He hadn’t meant to steer Jenny along this path, since it was overgrown and he never came this way anymore. Nobody did. Not since the cabin fire and the rumors that followed.


If it can find what it seeks, it will not be lost anymore. It turns its back on the cabin and follows the woman. She is important somehow, it’s just not sure how.


She enlarged the image. It was unmistakable. A streak of something was in the shot. But it didn’t resemble a smudge. It resembled a person with eyes and hair and a nose and a mouth.


Her jaw tightened. Who’d said anything about eating alone in her room? Why couldn’t a single woman sit in a restaurant without the town coming at her with the girl guide’s handbook to small-town etiquette?


It was easy to justify following her. She could be hit by a car and it was his community duty to keep the streets free of bloodshed. She could trip and fall and there’d be nobody around to pick her up. Nothing criminal about stalking a woman if it was for her protection.


The man is smiling. He has no right to smile. He has no claim to happiness. He should be punished. Yet, it doesn’t know why. Not yet. The memory is coming back. Slowly, like the fog that used to come down the mountain and lay across the lake.


Carrie Abercrombie was good at keeping secrets, especially from her little sister. It was a gift. Carrie just needed that gift to work a little longer.


“One thing about the summer girls, they left when the holiday ended, which turned brave foxes into cautious rabbits. The boys had a code, never give your heart to a summer girl because they’d take it with them when they left.”


What’s the use of being dead if it can’t have a little fun? It starts to scream like a banshee.


He’d lied about cooking, he mostly ate pizza but impressions mattered when it came to murder. He beckoned for her plate which he loaded up with a thick slice of lasagna. He handed it back to her.


She felt someone sit down on the sofa beside her. Then a hand stroked her cheek. Why had they returned? She’d given them what they’d wanted. But this wasn’t the ghosts from Horseshoe Bay. This was something more sinister. 


Strange Legacy


Something had sprouted out of the dirt. The man believed in reality over fantasy, skepticism over gullibility. Yet this thing stood as tall as a bear with eyes the color of buttercups.


He tried to scream but dirt filled his mouth, his nose, his eyes. He opened his mouth to draw in oxygen, but took in more dirt.


How easy for Elijah to justify his actions when the Reverend stored a part of his history in the garage like trash. Besides, the goods were to be handed down from father to son one day, so this acquisition was akin to attaining capital without the obligatory death to kick-start the transaction. A business decision, nothing more. The Reverend was always telling Elijah to aim high.


A box marked DO NOT OPEN sat in the middle of the floor. Secured in silver duct tape, its one rule beckoned to be broken.


Elijah shook his head. If the devil was in the details, then vocalizing his plans would be like inviting the devil to join the team, and Elijah’s life was screwed enough without the help of a demon.


Something strange is going on. There’s talk of a curse. Things like that can cripple a show. I can’t afford to be financially ruined because of a few lazy riff raffs who gossip like old women.


Ten feet away, the dirt begins to move, like someone is raking an invisible hand across the top. Then there’s a loud bang only there’s NOTHING THERE.


Some call it bigfoot. But it ain’t a local legend. It’s more ancient than that. Only I don’t quite know what it is. Other tales are of beasts wandering the open plains, Indian spirits some say. This ain’t no Indian spirit.


Whatever the heck it is, it reaches a hand out for me and it ain’t in friendliness.


Instead of finding fault with Andy’s woman, Elijah reckoned his friend had done well to land himself a woman who loved him enough to care about his absence. Pity nobody could say the same about Elijah.

 

A man could only do so many ill deeds before he lost all hope of redemption.


At last he pulled into the street he’d spent his life hating. He tried to view the place with fresh eyes, and failed. Where people saw trees and shrubs, he saw vines creeping up to strangle him.


Some people are born for adventure. Some are born to be safe.


It’s the boy’s screams that haunt me the most. His terrified yelps as the beast drag him along the ground, pulling us along with him, are like razors down my throat.


As if on autopilot, he drove to Andy’s home, fit the key into the lock, showered, dressed, raided their fridge and pantry, drove to the nearest bar in town, drank two glasses of beer, walked out, then stared up at the cross on top of the church and asked himself that if a good person did a bad thing did it still make them a good person? 



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Book Review: Three Cold Hours by Jonette Blake






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