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1. House of Reckoning: A Novel
2. Perfect Nightmare: A Novel
3. The Unloved
4. Black Creek Crossing: A Novel
5. Nathaniel
6. The Devil's Labyrinth: A Novel
7. Creature
8. The Right Hand of Evil
9. Nightshade
10. Second Child
11. The Presence
12. In the Dark of the Night: A Novel
13. Shadows
14. Comes the Blind Fury
15. John Saul: Three Terrifying Bestselling
16. Darkness
17. Hellfire
18. Suffer the Children
19. The Blackstone Chronicles: The
20. Faces of Fear: A Novel

1. House of Reckoning: A Novel
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2010-11-23)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345514254
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
After the untimely death of her mother and the arrest of her father for killing a man in barroom brawl, fourteen-year-old Sarah Crane is forced to grow up fast. Left in the cold care of a foster family and alienated at school, Sarah befriends classmate Nick Dunnigan, a former mental patient still plagued by voices and visions, and the eccentric art instructor Bettina Phillips, a mentor eager to nurture Sarah’s talent for painting. But within the walls of Bettina’s ancestral mansion, Sarah finds that monstrous images from the house’s dark history seem to flow unbidden from her paintbrush—images echoed by Nick’s chilling hallucinations. It seems the violence and fury of long-dead generations have finally found a gateway from the grave into the world of the living. And Sarah and Nick have found a power they never had: to take control, and take revenge. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book from the inimitable John Saul
House of Reckoning is a great read!I've been reading John Saul since the 1970's and have enjoyed most of them.House of Reckoning serves up just the right amount of chills and supernatural suspense without the gory, bloody, chainsawed-corpse-on-every-other-page crap that seems to be the typical fare in this genre.I read supernatural, suspense thrillers to be entertained, not grossed out.I found this book to be typical of John Saul in that it grabbed my attention and kept me engrossed until the end.I had a hard time putting it down.It reminded me of some of his earlier works and it was well worth reading.It's not the greatest book I've ever read, but it doesn't have to be.It's a good read and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Saul I remember
The Story:
Fourteen year old Sarah Crane's mother recently died, she keeps their farm running as best as possible. Her father has been unable to cope and has turned to drinking. One night he goes out to the bar and gets in a fight, unbeknownst to him he accidently killed the guy. On his way home he loses control of his truck at the same time when Sarah was on her way to get her dad. He hit her with his truck. Sarah shattered her him and leg. Her father pleaded no contest and got 15 years in prison. They told Sarah she would never walk again, but she was determined all she has now is a limp. Sarah is put into a home with two teenagers her age, a housewife and a prison guard for her foster family. The Garvey's just wanted the income check from having a foster family, they treat Sarah horribly. Sarah's only friend is Nick, who hears voices that are strangely silent while around Sarah. Bettina Philips is the art teacher at Sarah's high school, she instantly feels connected to Sarah and sees the immense talent she possesses. Bettina owns her family mansion, Shutters. Sarah draws this house as it was years ago without ever seeing the house. Sarah, Nick and Bettina soon learn the house has a life of its own and it irrevocably ties the three together forever.

My thoughts:
Oh man this reminds me of the first books I read of Sauls. IMHO he is the best supernatural thriller author. He weaves these tales of mystery, suspense all wrapped in a supernatural package. This book elicits such emotions.... First sadness for what was done in the beginning. When Sarah is mistreated in the Garvey house, I had to skip some pages of their interaction. I was so disgusted by those people and how they were treating sweet Sarah, I wanted to reach into the book and smack them all. It made my skin C R A W L to read the abuse and threats they placed on Sarah and her Father. On the other hand it made the end and the reckoning all the more sweeter!! This book has a fast pace and intrigue to keep ones interest. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed the Saul of old.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely fascinating read!
You cannot put this book down! You have to keep reading to figure out what is going on- I loved the way it was written!The characters seem to be dark, but then you realize the twist and it captivates you in it's grip!You will love this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
John Saul's newer books haven't been nearly as good as his earlier works, but I felt this one actually felt more like one of his earlier books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gotta love John Saul!
Another excellent read! Haven't found a bad one in the bunch. Can't wait till the next one. ... Read more

2. Perfect Nightmare: A Novel
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-04-25)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345467329
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
If you open your house to strangers, who knows who might come in. And what they might be after. Or whom. Now, ponder the unthinkable and surrender to your darkest dread, as sinister storyteller extraordinaire John Saul weaves a heart-stopping tale of lurking terror and twisted intent.

Every parent’s nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay’s recent eerie claim–that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers–drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless, faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.

Patrick Shields recognizes Kara’s pain–and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick’s suspicion, like Kara’s, blooms into horrified certainty.

Someone is trolling this peaceful community–undetected and undeterred–harvesting victims for a purpose no sane mind can fathom. Someone Kara and Patrick, alone and desperate, are determined to unmask. Someone who is even now watching, plotting, keeping a demented diary of unspeakable deeds . . . and waiting until the time is ripe for another fateful visit.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (53)

4-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Flinch from the Dark
What I liked most about this book is that it explores and details the psyche of the demented and the lost; in this case, the kidnapper, convincingly and sympathetically. The grief and anguish of the victims' families feels real without tending to hyperbole.

I enjoyed listening to this on audio, the narrators do full justice to all characters, dialogs and emotions.

5-0 out of 5 stars A nail biter...
Master story teller John Saul does it again with Perfect Nightmare.I could not put this book down. It will have you on the edge of your seat. Dark, chilling, terrifying, scary, nerve jangling.These are the best adjectives I can think of for this book. If you like suspense, you'll love this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! This was very hard to put down
I am hesitant to leave a 5 star review because it seems like most of them are written by "friends" of the author and are complete nonsense. So I was torn between 4 and 5 stars but figured what the heck, this indeed was an excellent thriller. This is my 3rd John Saul novel and so far the best. Once the story took off I could hardly stop reading. The story was horrifyingly realistic with a couple of parts that nearly stopped my heart. The police involvement was not overly detailed which I liked. The writing was smooth and I was able to feel as though I were there with the characters. If you loved Dean Koontz's "Intensity" or James Patterson "Kiss the Girls" this would be an enjoyable read for you. Yes, the subject matter was disturbing but it was written within the boundaries of decency. Kudos to John Saul and I will be ordering more of his novels.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Improbable
I remember reading a John Saul book ("Guardian") when I was a lot younger and I liked it- I found it suspenseful and scary and I was not into horror at all.

In between then and now I became somewhat of a fan of true crime, though I've abandoned that genre lately. Still, when I saw this paperback at the library, I figured it would be really good, it being by an author I had previously enjoyed and the novel being about abductions and murder.

Well, I was wrong- it wasn't good! It was fast, I do give Saul that. I was definitely under suspense and for that I gave it 2 stars, not 1.

Perhaps I am being overly harsh but not only was "Perfect Nightmare" too improbable (a maniac who has a twisted need to re-live childhood nightmares finds women who look exactly like women from his past IN THE SAME TOWN) but it contained in it some disturbing violence that I can see also grossed out and offended other reviewers. It's not that it was too graphic but it made you wonder, when John Saul's writing took him into the mind of his star maniac, how was John Saul able to write all this without somehow ENJOYING it?

The novel also had too many instances of relying on the psychic connections between mother and child to get matters resolved.

On a literary level, I also think it is easy to figure out who the killer will turn out to be and that is not good writing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Audible Version- Great Story, Readers were Lacking
The book has a great story line once you get passed the voices of the two readers on the audiobook version.The readers were a little over the top and a bit hard to listen to.Other than that the story itself was really good. ... Read more

3. The Unloved
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (1988-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553272616
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Devereaux mansion basks in splendid isolation on its island off the South Carolina coast, ruled by the "invalid," hateful matriarch of the Devereaux family. Then, suddenly, horribly, Mother dies inside the locked nursery, and all the secrets of the once-proud family emerge to wrap their evil around the unsuspecting children, teaching them the true horror of The Unloved. (Occult/Horror) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars Longwinded and hard to get into
Maybe it was just me, but this book left a bad taste in my mouth. I very rarely ever stop reading a book, but after about half way through I gave up on it. I feel guilty about it, though. Maybe someday I'll pick it back up, but who knows...

It just seemed to to take ages to set up a situation and scenario with bland characters that I just could not care for. It was long winded, and just when things would start to get interesting the pace would suddenly shift and you'd be left with a bunch of boring events and descriptions, which most you could see coming for quite some time...

But keep in mind, I was only half way through and that's what this review is based off. Your mileage may very.

5-0 out of 5 stars My first John Saul book
This was the first John Saul book that I read. I couldn't put it down. It is a great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This was my #1 fave book by Saul!(Old School Fan)
Except for Suffer the Children & Punish the Sinners, I have read the majority of Saul's books.However, after Blackstone Creek Crossing, a major disappointment, I decided maybe I need to take a break or move onto to other authors for a while.I will eventually read his newer books but after reading his reviews here, I thought I would do a better job of contributing my own perspective for new readers.

Comes the Blind Fury was my 1st at age 13...awesome, couldn't put it down, emotional, creepy, sexual undertones, full of revenge, no happy endings here, but loved it!As a starter Saul book, this book definitely will strike a chord with younger readers.

The Unloved was my 2nd, a year later, and this still remains my favorite!I have read it three times!As a novel, it is definitely longer so most readers will feel that it drags but, personally, I couldn't put it down.I also think this novel is more adult and reminds me a lot of V.C. Andrew's Flower's in the Attic Series (by the way, her new books suck but this is by far her 1st and most original series...I recommend it as a read).Back to the point..both Flowers and Unloved have strong characters, a good plotline and story setting, climatic ending, a haunting family history which, in turn, leads to nightmarish consequences.In Unloved, Saul did a good job of isolating his characters, especially the devastating Marguerite Devereaux.Though she is the villain you can't help but feel saddened by the events that contributed to her madness.There is definitely a big body count in this book and it all leads to a frightening revelation for the conclusion followed by the character's demise and a chilling but good closure in the epilogue.

My third favorite I read at age 15 on a family vacation....Second Child...I also couldn't put this down and have read it twice.The main antagonist is just plain evil and she is only 16!You feel incredibly sorry for the good girl character Melissa.Although you know early on that Teri is the villain, her ability to manipulate and deceive all in the name of revenge and the "rich life" makes your emotions pulse for sure.This story is good also for a memorable "car accident" death scene, the ghost storyline character who is responsible for Teri's getting her last desserts, and a great closure...there is somewhat of a happy ending to this book...but then again, that epilogue is just creepy!

Other Great Ones from Saul:

BrainChild...Really Good!...Sci-Fi Scary!
Shadows...Really Good...Lawnmower Man-Ish
The God Project....Sci-Fi Scary
The Unwanted...Creepy
Cry for The Strangers...Creepy
Hellfire.....Creepy...(this one kinda reminds me of Second Child..tale of two sisters...that sort of thing....also, his other other novel, Where the Wind Blows reminds me of the Unloved.....it's funny how some of his books parallel each other...However, I preferred Unloved and Second Child to these two)
The Homing...Creepy due to all those damn insects...yuck!
Darkness....Voodoo is creepy plus what happens to the villain at the end sounds like a horrible death to me

Hope this helps the newer readers!I will try to write more reviews if I can think of any I missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scared out of my wits!
I am a HUGE John Saul fan. I began reading his books when I was about 9. I devoured every book of his I could get my hands on. Some nights, I'd find myself borrowing a night light as I was a little afriad to go to sleep in the darkness. After reading this book, I slept curled up on the floor of my sister's room.
Just recently I re-read this book to see if it scared me the same. Once I finished, I called my boyfriend and made him stay the night even though he had to work the next day.This book is captivating, addicting, haunting, and engrossing. It will scare you, not in a jump out of your chair way, but in the little prickles running up your neck sort of way.
It stays with you for awhile...
Enjoy, if you dare...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
If you are a John Saul reader, you don't need a review. You already know how good he is. If you are not a reader already, then get this book and get started. You will be hooked like the rest of us already are. ... Read more

4. Black Creek Crossing: A Novel
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2005-05-31)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449006549
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The dark history and dire secrets of a peaceful small town are summoned from the shadows of the past. Unholy forces are stirred from long slumber to monstrous new life. And two young misfits discover the chilling art of turning persecution into retribution. With these eerie ingredients, bestselling master John Saul once again works his unique brand of sinister magic to conjure an unforgettable tale of unspeakable terror.

For most of her young life, thirteen-year-old Angel Sullivan has been on the outside looking in, enduring the taunts of cruel schoolmates and the angry abuse of a bitter father. Then Angel’s family moves to the quaint town of Roundtree, Massachusetts—where a charming home is available, a promising job awaits Angel’s unemployed father, and most of all, the chance to make a new start beckons to the shy, hopeful teenager. But when she is shunned by her new classmates, Angel falls deeper into despair. Until she meets Seth Baker, a fellow outcast—and a fateful kinship is forged.

It’s Seth who tells Angel the unspoken truth about the legacy of murder that hangs over her family’s home—and the whispered rumors that something supernatural still dwells there. Uncertain whether the stories are true, and desperate to escape the torment of their daily lives, Angel and Seth devote themselves to contacting whatever restless soul haunts the dark recesses of Black Creek Crossing. But once they have begun, there is no turning back.

Guided by an anguished and vengeful spirit, they uncover the shocking events and centuries-old horrors that lay buried beneath the placid veneer of Roundtree. And along with the ghastly revelations comes a terrifying power—one that feeds upon the rage of the victimized, turning the basest impulses and most dangerous desires into devastating weapons. Now, the closer Angel and Seth are pushed toward the edge by their tormentors, the deeper they descend into the maelstrom of dark forces they’ve unleashed . . . and the more unspeakable the hour of reckoning will be.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (92)

4-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in the ending, but great until then
As usual, John Saul caught my attention in the prologue.I couldn't put the book down from then on. This one was heavy on the "attract teenager readers" approach(Twilight style). BUT, the ending was disappointing.Almost like he had a deadline to meet and had to finish it fast.After a good story and build up....blah.Also. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the drunk dad carpenter line.Seems to be a recurring role.I enjoyed it for the day I read it, but was left with a "Is that all there is" mind set.Glad, again, that I bought a used copy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, slightly disturbing
I've never particularly been a Saul fan, but this book was quite good. It's a bit slow sometimes and it wakes awhile for it to pick up the pace. Teens will love this book, but It might prove to be a bit of a challenge to get through for the older crowd. The ending is surprising, and you have an eerie feeling after you've finished it. I recommend this for a long plane or car ride.

4-0 out of 5 stars a very good read
This was a very good book for me.I enjoyed reading it.The plot was different, unusual and entertaining.It was well done.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

3-0 out of 5 stars Mankind's wicked ways VS supernatural forces
I just finished reading this novel, "Black Creek Crossing" and I will say that I'm left sitting here with mixed opinions of this book. I'll try not to give away too much because I still think this is worth a read. The book was on its way to getting at least 4 stars but I decided to bump it down to 3 stars strictly because of the last chapter. As some of the other reviewers stated, it's as if Mr. Saul reached his writing limit and decided to just stop writing! He did such a wonderful job describing in great detail page after page of mental and physical torment inflicted on the two protagonist characters, Angel and Seth, only to give us an abrupt unexplained ending to the most important moments for those two characters' lives. I'll stop there as I don't want to spoil the ending.

As far as the overall plot, some might call this a repeat of other horror novels and/or movies if you just look at the surface. Whether it was John Saul's intention or not, if you look deeper, he really does expose the hypocrisy of society's judgement of what most of us consider to be "evil". Day after day, year after year, two kids were mentally tormented by so called human beings. Their torment had nothing to do with supernatural forces yet the moment that it appeared as if they were "standing up for themselves", or that they finally had something nice happen to them for five minutes, suddenly THEY are the ones who needed prayers and guidance! The world ignored their daily pain and anguish but only took notice of them when they gained a tiny bit of self confidence. It's hard to label the forces that were hovering around these kids as being "evil" when it was only intervening in their lives to stop the daily wicked abuses from mankind.

Even as you read the other reviews of this book on the website, there are complaints that this book wasn't "scary" enough. If you want the kind of madness and horror like a Friday the 13th film, then no, this book is not at that level of terror. But ...for those of us who did read this book, we should be asking ourselves why aren't we considering how scary it is for a child to not only endure being harmed and overpowered by someone older and stronger than they are but for that older and stronger person to be their own parent? That to me is darn scary.

4-0 out of 5 stars Never Dull
This was the story about two teenage outcasts who are bullied by everyone.They become each others only friend in a place called Roundtree, Massachusetts.This town has a long history of witchcraft and strange deaths.The teenagers met a cat named Houdini who shows them how to escape their tormentors by witchcraft.It was never dull and would make a great horror film.Some aspects of story are predictable but the surprises make it worth while. ... Read more

5. Nathaniel
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1984-07-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553262645
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For 100 years, the people of Prairie Bend have whispered Nathaniel's name in wonder and fear. Some say he is a folktale, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. Some swear he is a terrifying spirit returned to avenge the past. But soon, very soon, some will learn that Nathaniel lives still--that he is darkly, horrifyingly real. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ending was confusing
Johns Saul Nathaniel: Let me just say that i bought this book because of all the good reviews......It was a let down. I thought the beginning of the book was good. But the story starts to get confusing when Saul claims that Nathaniel is real and not a paranormal entity like he leads the viewer to believe. He also focused too much on the past of the town and included Nathaniel a little allowing the viewer to feel there was more hidden secrets, when in the end there was nothing but confusion. I reality i think he "Saul" for go a bit of writers block and changed the story like 100 times and then just gave up.

3-0 out of 5 stars An engaging story, but the ending and characterzation struggle
The ending was a let down.Saul brings the reader to believe on thing throughout the plot, but as revealed toward the end, the truth of the matter is different.However, the setting of Prairie Bend was captivating and realistic.Some characters such as Amos were believable, but others such as Janet and Michael were annoyingly two-dimensional. I found it hard to identify or root for any characters in this novel.However, Nathaniel was written well and the pacing was fast.There are several mysteries revealed with crafty subtlety throughout.I found that I needed to keep reading, especially past page 150.I would give Nathaniel 3 1/2 stars if I could.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I've read a few Saul books 3 newer ones and now 2 older ones. Black Creek Crossing, In the Dark of the Night and The Devil's Labyrinth were good, but Creature and Nathaniel are great.

This is a story of a wife and son who go out to a small town called Prarie Bend. Her husband died in an accident in his father's barn and as she talks to the in-laws she's never met she learns of a life that she never knew her husband had. At the same time her son Micheal is being strangely drawn to the barn on a neighbors property, he hears a voice that may belong to a ghost named Nathaniel. The story turns as you learn the family secrets, hidden deeds, diaries and a hushed mother. Great book, this should have been a movie back when it was written, I loved it.

4-0 out of 5 stars In a tiny town....
I read this bk. for the 1st time over 20yrs. ago & few times since. Although, it's not quite as good as I remember it's still a good read...As an adult I have a problem w/ 1 thing, the main character - Michael Hall. One might think he is 6 or 7 at times by the way he acts when he is really suppose to be 11.That inconsistency drives me crazy (short drive). That IMO is the only real flaw & doesn't take away from the story itself. From the beginning John Saul hooks you in & the story has a surprise twist at the end. The characters are well developed & Saul describes everything in vivid detail which pulls you into the story.I think what chills me the most is I can relate to this tale growing up in the city & moving to the country.The Halls & Mr. Findley remind me of people around here which makes the story all the more creepy...

5-0 out of 5 stars John Sauls Book
John Saul is the best horror writer I've seen.I have all of his books and always make sure I get his latest book as soon as it comes out.I finish them in 2-3 days.Nathaniel is ever bit as good as any of his previous and presents books.I started reading them in 1981 and have re-read them half a dozen times.He is easy to get hooked on. ... Read more

6. The Devil's Labyrinth: A Novel
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2008-07-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345487044
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
For more than three decades, bestselling novelist John Saul has been summoning macabre masterpieces from the darkest realms of his imagination. With each new book, his instinct for playing upon our deepest dread has grown only stronger and more sinister. He’s never been afraid to push the boundaries of suspense and confront us with what frightens us most.

After his father’s untimely death sends fifteen-year-old Ryan McIntyre into an emotional tailspin, his mother enrolls him in St. Isaac’s Catholic boarding school, hoping the venerable institution with a reputation for transforming wayward teens can work its magic on her son. But troubles are not unknown even at St. Isaac, where Ryan arrives to find the school awash in news of one student’s violent death, another’s mysterious disappearance, and growing incidents of disturbing behavior within the hallowed halls.

Things begin to change when Father Sebastian joins the faculty. Armed with unprecedented knowledge and uncanny skills acquired through years of secret study, the young priest has been dispatched on an extraordinary and controversial mission: to prove the power of one of the Church’s most arcane sacred rituals, exorcism. Willing or not, St. Isaac’s most troubled students will be pawns in Father Sebastian’s one-man war against evil–a war so surprisingly effective that the pope himself takes notice of the seemingly miraculous events unfolding an ocean away.

But Ryan, drawn ever more deeply into Father Sebastian’s ministrations, sees–and knows–otherwise. As he witnesses with mounting dread the transformations of his fellow pupils, his certainty grows that forces of darkness, not divinity, are at work. Evil is not being cast out . . . something else is being called forth. Something that hasn’t stirred since the Inquisition’s reign of terror. Something nurtured through the ages to do its vengeful masters’ unholy bidding. Something whose hour has finally come to bring hell unto earth.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
This book was pretty good - not great, but it definitely had a few creepy moments and a page-turning plot. I read a few of Saul's books a long time ago, and while I recall one of them as being particularly frightening (_The Right Hand of Evil_), this book was more of an entertaining mystery than genuinely scary (though there are also a few "gross-out" parts, too). I wish that there had been more to wrap up the end, since as it is felt rushed and with some pretty major loose ends. Still, it made for a quick, fun and easy read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Labyrinthine plot
While I enjoyed the book overall, the plot tended toward the labyrinthine, with several seemingly unrelated threads being wound about closer and closer until they were all revealed to fit together in the end.It did tend to leave me rather confused at times, but it all made sense in the end.Except the end - that left me confused again.But ... maybe Saul wanted to leave it open for a potential sequel.

The plot is explained quite well in the description above, so I'll not waste your time reiterating it.I also don't want to spoil the plot for you, so I'll do my best to be vague.The labyrinth referred to in the title is literal and shows up late in the book - I'm not sure if it is literally the "Devil's" labyrinth - it all depends on whether you believe in a literal Devil and demons, or simply in the evil that exists in the inner being of all people.Father Sebastian Sloane is apparently able to bring out the inner evil from even the most innocent of the students at St. Isaacs and exorcise it from them.It is this belief that brings the Pope, making a last-minute change to his tour of the U.S., to Boston to see Father Sloane and the children he has miraculously "saved" - Sofia, Melody and Ryan.

I believe those who are fans of John Saul's work will find this book to be well worth their while - those who are interested in horror books working in aspects of Catholicism, the demonic and the Inquisition will likewise find this book intriguing.I went through it faster than I meant to as I had difficulty putting it down in order to get my rest.So, a recommend from me!

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible
Just an awful book. Like the author would get stuck and then make something random up to continue the story. Just terrible.

3-0 out of 5 stars not the best of John Saul's
I have read quite a few of John Saul's books and I must say it's not the best. Especially in the end he repeats himself a few times which was rather annoying. If anything, you should read Manhattan Hunt Club instead, it's so much better..

5-0 out of 5 stars John saul is the best
I would recomend this book to anyone that loves Mysteries, and John Saul he is simply the best at it. You wont be able toput the book down its amazing. ... Read more

7. Creature
by John Saul
Paperback: 416 Pages (1990-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553284118
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The quiet, postcard-perfect town of Silverdale seems to be the ideal location for Ellen and Blake Tanner and their son Mark to settle down. Yet soon after moving to this model community, Ellen begins to suspect that it conceals horrific forces. In time Ellen and Blake will know evils that turn even the most loving child murderous. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (52)

3-0 out of 5 stars The issues of moral responsibility
I wouldn't classify this as a horror book, but more along the lines of a speculative thriller.Could this kind of thing happen if this kind of experimentation would occur?If you like asking yourself these kinds of questions you will enjoy this book.
I used to read John Saul quite a bit when in high school, but fell out of reading him after I had children.In the past few years I have rediscovered why I enjoyed reading his stories so much.The thrill of the unknown is palatable in every one of his books.This one also leans heavy on the philosophical side; moral responsibility, animal cruelty and winning at all costs just to name a few.
When first perusing these pages I was struck by the undercurrent of familiarity.It smacked of The Stepford Wives.And although this turned out to be nothing like that I kept thinking that this was what the story was going wind up being. The idea of everything being `perfect' allowed the visions of the Stepford scenario to come to the forefront of my brain.
This story, a page turner from beginning to end, asks the question, how far are we, as parents, willing to go to make our children acceptable to ourselves and to society?Mark was the 98 lb. weakling son to the big, buff football player dad.The idea that Mark wasn't good enough, even to himself at one point, suggests that we should do whatever it takes to make ourselves acceptable.
I enjoy books that ask us to contemplate deeper societal issues and this one challenges the very essence of acceptance.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A CREATURE ABOVE THE REST
CREATURE has always been my favorite John Saul book.I think he is an excellent horror fiction writer.In this book even the CREATURE is a victim with whom one can feel related.You feel for both sides (the good and the evil but not the real evil doer).Once again he uses Parental Expectations as an underlying theme.An excellent read from beginning to end.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
"Creature" is an entertaining read although pretty predictable.
Some parts I found myself rushing through just to get to the horror stuff.
This book is best described as a PG-13 version of a Bentley Little novel.

3-0 out of 5 stars Perfect town perfect life...... or not!!!! 3 1/2 stars
Creature written by John Saul is one of those books that captivates its readers. I have been reading horror novels since I can remember, and this is the first book that I branched out from only ever reading Stephen King, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz.

The Tanner's were a pretty perfect family from by the San Francisco Bay. After Blake Tanner recieved the news that he was being transfered for more money in what seemed to be a perfect little town in Silverdale, Colorado,he was ecstatic. His wife Sharon was not very pleased with the news, but had to be there to support her husband. Mark Tanner the main character was their son. He was a very scrawny sixteen year old that was only alittle over five foot, due to rheumatic fever he never grew to be as big as his father hoped. His father in high school was the quarterback that won alot of trophies, and expected the same from Mark. Mark pretty much stuck to himself and loved animals and taking pictures. He was always bullied and thought maybe moving would help. After moving to the small town, Sharon noticed that everything was too perfect. The sports team's never lost, the town did not have junk food of any kind. The high tech company of Tarrentech ran the entire town. While still getting picked on yet again Mark decided to go to the local sports clinic to see if they could help him. When Mark started to become bigger, stronger all within a short period of time his mother begain to worry. Marks father tried to tell her that it was just hormones and not to worry so much. After Mark became violent and ran away from home, Sharon made it her mission to find out what was making her son into a monster. In this story you find out what extreme measures a mother will go through to save her son.

This is more of a Sci Fi novel than a horror, but it had me turning the pages until the very end. What I loved about it the most was that in this book there was no happily ever after.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Saul
I was looking through the local library and stumbled across this and being a person who loves a good horror/mystery grabbed it right up. I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. Of course with all that's going on these days with steroids and HGH it's hard to believe this book was written nearly 20 years ago and is still relevant. The story grabbed me right away with the small kid who wants to be bigger, and the classic athletic father who wants his boy to live up to his expectations of being the star of the local football team. The ending kind of bothered me, it left alot of questions and to what happened and what will happen but overall it was good ... Read more

8. The Right Hand of Evil
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (2000-05-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449005836
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When the Conways move into their ancestral home in Louisiana after the death of an estranged aunt, it is with the promise of a new beginning. But the house has a life of its own. Abandoned for the last forty years, surrounded by thick trees and a stifling sense of melancholy, the sprawling Victorian house seems to swallow up the sunlight. Deep within the cold cellar and etched into the very walls is a long, dark history of the Conway name--a grim bloodline poisoned by suicide, strange disappearances, voodoo rituals, and rumors of murder. But the family knows nothing of the soul-shattering secrets that snake through generations of their past. They do not know that terror awaits them. For with each generation of the Conways comes a hellish day of reckoning. . . .Amazon.com Review
John Saul has been giving readers the jitters since the publication ofSuffer the Childrenin 1977. His 22nd twisted tale, The Right Hand of Evil is anothernerve shaker.

The Conway family is in deep financial trouble. Ted Conway would ratherknock back bourbon than support his family, and Janet Conway's career as anartist is going nowhere. Happily, the three Conway children--toddler Mollyand 15-year-old twins Jared and Kimberley--seem well adjusted. Of coursehappy children to not make for good horror material, so dark times arejust around the corner.

Ted receives an unexpected call from a Louisiana sanatorium, where his agedAunt Cora is dying. Cora wants to convey a final message to her onlysurviving family members. She rasps out the ominous words, "I can see it.Stay away! Stay away from here!" Her words are futile--the financiallystrapped Ted moves his family into Cora's old house, a house deeded to themin a family trust.

Young Kimberley instantly feels a dark presence in the dilapidatedVictorian house: "Suddenly her skin was crawling, as if a large insect werecreeping across her neck." Tragedy upon tragedy strikes the family. Kim'sbeloved cat disappears and is sacrificed in a black-magic ceremony; an evilpresence takes over Jared's mind--transforming him into the most rotten ofbad seeds; the wails of a dead infant fill Kim's head, driving her to theedge of insanity. The family has fallen victim to a centuries-old curse--acurse that threatens to wipe out the Conway name.

Although there is nothing particularly original or earth shattering aboutthis haunted-house story, The Right Hand of Evil is still a welcomepiece of escapism. Read it at your peril. --Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

Customer Reviews (118)

1-0 out of 5 stars time is too scarce to spend it on this book
The preface is the most exciting part of this book.It goes downhill from there.I kept going and going hoping it would get better, but no luck.The book makes it out to be a mystery, perhaps scifi, and about black magic.But it ended up instead being a boring uneventful book about being in a marriage with an alcoholic spouse, cleaning up a large house, going to school and trying to fit into a new school with a touch about teenagers and their pot smoking rebellion.I think you have to be high to enjoy this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just OK
I quit reading John Saul's works several years ago, because while I enjoyed them at first, I found he used the same type of tricks in each story. My sister said it best: "Once you've read one of his books, you've read them all." But I wanted something to read and thought I'd see if his more recent works would convince me to add him to my "favorite authors" list.

While THE RIGHT HAND OF EVIL didn't wow me, it at least seemed different than his usual stuff (keeping in mind I'm talking about works I read back in the 80's). It wasn't great, and was similar to other haunted/possessed house stories I'd read by other authors, but it was better than nothing. I might give him another chance, if the subject interested me, but I wouldn't expect greatness. I hope he surprises me next time.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
I picked this up at the library thinking it would be a good mystery, suspense.It was a big disappointment.The plot is predictable and the story and characters are weak.I found the use of God's name taken in vain horrible. There is constant swearing and its not necessary.John Saul is always writing about death,and evil.I think he needs to have a heart to heart with God and get it straight before he writes another book.

2-0 out of 5 stars From J. Kaye's Book Blog
Let me begin with I am a fan of Saul's - have been forever and ever. So if you are a fan, don't throw stones at me when I say - this wasn't his best work. I've read some killer books and this just wasn't one. And no, it wasn't as bad as it could have been either and at least it had an ending - unlike King's Cell.

The plot was good and the characters were okay. I guess in the end, the book felt a bit beneath his usual professional style.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Limp Hand of Evil

Oh the horror!A big old house, with a mysterious past, a sudden change in personalities; satanic sacrifices and a small town gripped by the force of evil; does it all sound thrilling?Well, this book contains all that but it somehow manages to reduce it all to the most tripe story possible.The Conways have inherited a house from a long lost dying Aunt and as they start to move in strange things begin to occur.I love a good horror story and like some I don't get tired of using familiar plotlines as long as a refreshing twist is added or it is well written."Right Hand" seldom delivers on the former and does a fair job on the ladder.The beginning was great and the middle build up the suspense but the ending was a complete let down.After reading it, I scratched my head and said, "Was that all that had to be done to set things right?"We have this evil presents taking over a family and causing the son and father to do nasty things but in the end it can't even put up a good fight.At least in the "Exorcist" there was a royal battle taking place here the battle between good and evil is over before it even begins.I think Mr. Saul grew tired and decided to ended with the first thing he thought of; sorry but the ending is just plain lazy and spoils the entire story.Another disappointment for me personally was how mute the horror really was.Sure there are animal sacrifices but a human one would have added to the gore factor.The sex was also quite tame as if Saul wasn't sure he really wanted to go there or not.I kept waiting to see if Jared and Luke would go at it or if Jared and his sister would get closer but alas nothing more then dream like sequences took place.Saul hinted at a possible nasty outcome regarding the union between Luke and Sandra but the dumb ending took care of that.All and all, while the story kept you interested there weren't many surprises or terrifying moments to be had and some chapters were just plain filler.Saul did pay homage to "The Exorcist "by naming one of the priests McNeil (anybody else catch that?"Still, the priests were underused and could have played a more significant role.I would have even welcomed more scenes at school but that didn't' happen either.No, I'm afraid I can't truly recommend this offering by Saul.I have purchased Nightshade though and will read that next; I hope the story is much better displayed with a more gripping ending.The audio recording for this book was fine and the reader did a good job in narrating the story.There are a few minor sound effects primarily when the demon speaks but for the most part it is a straight reading.C-
... Read more

9. Nightshade
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2001-05-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449005909
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Fifteen-year-old Matthew Moore seems to have a charmed life . . . until a mysterious fire forces his grandmother to move in with his family. The elderly woman insists on recreating the bedroom of Cynthia, her favored child who died tragically more than a decade ago. Soon Matt's life insidiously begins to change. At night he finds himself haunted by nightmares of unimaginable terror. In the morning the smell of Cynthia's perfume seems to linger in his room. While his grandmother drives a wedge between his once devoted parents, Matt transforms from a gregarious teenager to a hostile loner. Then a shocking tragedy shatters the family beyond repair--as a horrific shadow from the past takes on an implacable life of its own, clawing toward Matt with ferocious hunger. . . .

Amazon.com Review
There's no such thing as a happy family in John Saul's dark imagination. He made this chillingly clear in Suffer the Children and The Right Hand of Evil, and he deepens this impression in Nightshade, a perfectly macabre tale of a household ripped apart by malevolent forces.

Meet New Hampshire couple Bill and Joan Hapgood and their teenage son, Matt. They have a huge home, many friends, and the glow of Matt's glory as a high school football star. Life couldn't be sweeter, right? Wrong!

Trouble begins when Joan's mother, Emily, accidentally burns down her own house and moves in with the Hapgoods. Matt is terrified of his foul-tempered grandmother, who refers to him as "Joan's bastard." Emily's odd behavior reaches a fever pitch when she insists that the bedroom of her long-dead (and much-favored) elder daughter, Cynthia, be recreated, prom dress, dolls, and all. The household's normal warmth vanishes, "the sense of welcome and comfort was gone." Matt complains of strange, perverted dreams in which the staggeringly beautiful Cynthia visits him, leaving behind the pungent scent of her Nightshade perfume. Joan also feels the presence of her dead sister, and has painful flashbacks to a childhood best left forgotten. A murder and three disappearances befall the small town, Matt spirals into depression, and Joan loses her mind. Throw in child abuse, torture, and a wickedly irritable ghost, and we have one whopper of a nightmare. Nightshade contains gobs of gore, melodramatic (and occasionally bumbling) prose, and a deviant, twisted ending--John Saul's famous recipe for family disaster and reader delight. --Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

Customer Reviews (87)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just Okay.
I read this book 6 years ago and don't remember every detail but enough to give it a fair rating. It was okay. Nothing great, nothing life altering and nothing to write home about but not terrible either.
There were some creepy eliments (which I appreciate) but all in all, it was a no brainer. Easy read and not too difficult to figure out but fun enough to keep the pages turning.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nada new
When I read the epilogue I was hooked, but then about 1/2 way through the book it started to get repetitive.I just did not care for Matt's character.Still an alright book, but not that "spooky."However, it is a quick fast-paced psychological horror w/ a surprise ending.I'd say this book is geared more toward teens/young adults & has the usual troubled teen theme (typical Saul).

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Saul
Joan Hapgood has a pretty good life - a handsome, successful husband, a beautiful east coast home in a picturesque town, and a high school golden boy in their teenage son Matt.Things are good until Joan's crabby old mother, Emily, burns down her own house and has to move in with Joan and her family.From the first, the idea is a disaster.Emily is foul-tempered and seems to despise her own daughter, making it clear instead how much she adores and misses Joan's elder sister, Cynthia, who died years before, and wishes it were Joan who had died instead.Joan's happy life begins to quickly slide downhill as living once again with her mother brings back painful memories and turns her into a timid, fearful girl again.

Even more affected than Joan is her son Matt, whom the grandmother seems to loathe even more than she loathes her daughter.She calls him "the bastard" when she pays him any attention at all, and while he feels he can ignore her rudeness, what he can't deal with are the strange, erotic dreams he begins to have of his Aunt Cynthia.Matt's and Joan's lives are both spiraling downwards for reasons they don't understand, and when several murders and the disappearance of the old woman begin to shake things up even more, many forces seem to converge at once to one nightmarish end.

One review here said it like this: " ...gobs of gore, melodramatic (and occasionally bumbling) prose, and a deviant, twisted ending -- John Saul's famous recipe for family disaster and reader delight."That's pretty apt.It's classic John Saul, for better or worse!

1-0 out of 5 stars TinaM
This was the first time reading a John Saul book.I had read a few reviews and it sounded like it would be spooky which I like, however, he did not scare me at all and I kept waiting for it to happen.Did not care much for the characters in this book either.The main female character just kind of drove me crazy, did not like her.Anyway, as I said it was my first time reading Mr. Saul so I probably should not judge too harshly, but I was not impressed or scared.

4-0 out of 5 stars When reality starts to fade
A macabre tale of nightmares that delivers on all levels.Poor Matt Hapgood's life takes a turn for the worse when his ailing grandmother moves in with them.Soon, he is having erotic dreams, and hearing things in his bedroom.His mother is slowly going insane and after his stepfather is killed in a hunting mishap Matt himself thinks he is going mad as well.
I found the book to be rather riveting although I cheated a little and read the Amazon reviews half way through the book so the ending wasn't entirely surprising.Yes its been done before but the story was good and gripped me which is the highest praise one can give a book of this type.Still I have a few minor quibbles.The first being the sexual abuse taking place.I'm not sure if we are meant to believe that all the sexual activity taking place in Matt's room was spiritual in nature or more of the physical variety.If the ladder is true then I just find it hard to believe someone could be fondling him and he would simply not wake up and realize who it was.Sleep or no sleep he would know for a fact who was in the room with him.After all, he was brought to the height of sexual pleasure and there was evidence of that in the morning; I've herd of sleep walking but never of sleep fornicating.Another minor point is the amount of verbal abuse Joan received from her mother.It was all too clear that Joan was ill equip to take care of her mother and that it was surprising that she kept insisting she could.Apart from those two points the book was good with a satisfying ending and if Saul so chose could write a sequel to it.I listened to the MP3 CD version which was read well though at times the reader held back a little in articulating emotions.B+
... Read more

10. Second Child
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553287303
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
One hundred years ago, in the beautiful village of Secret Cove, Maine, on the night of the annual August Moon Ball, a shy and lovely servant girl committed an act so unspeakably violent that its legacy still lives. Now, the blood-drenched past of this small town is about to come to life once more--just in time for this year's August Moon Ball. HC: Bantam. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great order!
Thank you for fullfilling the order promptly and just as described! The book was in great condition!

1-0 out of 5 stars The Second-Rate Child
Judging by the other reviews, this is a well-liked and very celebrated book. I'm glad people enjoyed it, because I sure didn't. I don't like being so hard on a book, but frankly, this one earned it.

This is, by far, the WORST book I have ever read. Boring, predictable, and badly written, it is an utter slog from front to finish. The plot was intriguing enough that I kept reading it instead of giving up as I desperately wanted to (and should have), hoping that something would happen at some point, but... it never did. The story slowly builds over a few hundred pages (and I do mean slowly) and then just peters out. The almost non-existent near-instantaneous resolution to the story was not worth the pain reading this absolute mess of a work caused me. I will most certainly avoid John Saul in the future.

The sad thing is, I think this could have been a great book if it had a different editor, and it definitely needed a better ending. As it was there were too many insignificant details that bogged the story down rather than moving it forward, and what could've been an incredible story about ghosts, abuse, possession, and centuries-old revenge instead is just... horrible, and not in the ways you want a horror book to be!!

If you like a plot with no resolution, poor writing, and stories in which nothing ever happens, this is the book for you. For the rest of us: move on. The only thing that makes this a "horror" novel is how scary it is that something this awful actually got published.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anywhere Anytime
Knowing John Saul very little, and being more into James Patterson books, I was a little apprehensive at first, but after reading the first chapter I couldn't put it down.
Anyone who likes murder, paranormality, emotional reading, or the feeling to have to look over your shoulder, this is perfect. I have read this twice now and it gets better the more you read it. I have read alot of murderous and supernatural books, and this has been the best for me by far.
I am recommending this to everyone. read it anytime, anywhere. just don't have a guilty consience if you read it at night.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good triller
One on the best John Saul's thrillers. As usual everything mind-twisted and only at end you find out the truth, but everything is around smth mysterious and paranormal.

Great book to read and spend time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-written
Another one of John Saul books that was very engaging.When Teri's parents died in a house fire, she moves in with her father(Charles), step-mother(Phyllis), and half-sister(Melissa).At first everything is going well for Teri.Although Teri is treated like gold by her step-mother, Melissa is being abused by ner mother.One night Teri witnesses the punishment Phyllis imposes on Melissa.
After that night Teri creates a sinister plan to get rid of Melissa and taking her rightful place as the daughter of the Halloway Household.
This story really draws you in and makes you feel for the characters that are on the recieving end of Teri and Phyllis's wrathe. If you are looking for one of those books that are impossible to put down, this is it!
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11. The Presence
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (1998-04-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449002411
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Beyond the sparkling Hawaiian beaches, masked by the deceptive beauty of the rainforest, evil awaits sixteen-year-old Michael Sundquist and his mother, Katharine, an anthropologist who has come to the Islands to study the unusual skeletal remains unearthed on the volcanic flanks of Haleakala, Maui.

Yet far below the black depths of the Pacific a mysterious substance snakes through undiscovered fissures in the ocean floor, as nature itself seems to portend the terror to come. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

1-0 out of 5 stars boring!!!
I started this book a few days ago after getting it from the library.The summary of the book makes it sound so interesting, the archaelogist, hawaii, etc.I was terribly let down by this book.I read as much as I could and only made it to page 70 when I gave up.By then it was going nowhere.Just about a boy who was getting bullied around, and a woman inspecting some bones found beside an inactive volcano in hawaii.Where is the chill?where is the supsense?This book sucks.I want to read one of Saul's disturbing tales about children.Donot waste your time on this book.I am now reading faces of fear, and it is much more interesting.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Presence
Under beautiful Hawaiian beaches, danger is lurking below for scuba divers.One of Hawaii's wealthiest citizens is trying to achieve his goal by putting the lives of teenagers in jeopardy.The brilliant anthropologist, Dr. Katharine Sundquist, has unearthed an unusual skull that doesn't match anything that she is familiar with in her other diggings.Will she will be able to save her own son's life?The beach bum hacks into Yoshihara's elaborate computer system and sees what an evil man he is.Love finally seeps in toward the ending to make this story palatable.Not one of John Saul's best books!

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise - 2.5 Stars
Out of all Saul's bks. I've read this is one of my least favorite. This bk. is more Sci-fi-ish & Saul just isn't my favorite. when it comes to science fiction or "speculative fiction."Plus, it had the usual troubled teenager theme & I've grown a bit tired of that theme.

On a positive note - this is good for young adults & is fairly "clean" (has "bad" words).My 12yr old loved this bk. & gives it 4 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Characters, Exotic Locale; Far-Fetched Plot...
I am a fan of John Saul, despite his penchant toward the abuse of children. The Hawaiian locale (Maui) creates a nice setting for the goings on, but they are a bit unbelievable. How could a smart, rich man have been so vulnerable (greed?). Anyway, without giving awy too much of the plot, I enjoyed the characters a lot; Katherine Sundquist was a fine heroine, learning things along the way (with the reader), and her son, Michael, was a fine foil for the bad guys. There is a good degree of suspense, and the premise was quite fine. I don't know how such a simple solution could've escaped the team of brilliant scientists. Having been to Maui, it was a nice reminiscence, and my interest was held quite well. Mr. Saul is still one of my faves...

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice setting, good plot
This 1998 offering from Saul is not his best, but I was attracted to it primarily for the Hawaiian setting.John Saul has a home in Maui and he's also the founder/host of the annual Maui Writer's Conference, so I guess he wanted to pay homage to one of his favorite places.

Since her husband's death a few years before, Dr. Katherine Sundquist has dedicated herself to raising their son and concentrating on her career.The now-teenaged son, Michael, is having problems with bullies in school and a recurring battle with severe asthma, so when an old college friend invites Katherine to spend three months in Maui for an archaeology project, she decides this is a good time to get away.Once in Maui, however, she and her son both realize that there's something strange going on with this so-called `archaeology' project, which isn't at all what it was presented to be.Working in a super high-tech laboratory hidden away on an enormous estate, Katherine can't help but be curious about the restricted wing and the secret midnight deliveries.Michael gets into his own mess after a late-night scuba dive that goes awry, and immediately afterwards, his new Hawaiian friends start dying or disappearing.Katherine soon realizes that it's all connected directly with the project she's working on, and when time starts running out for Michael she has to act quickly to save both him and herself.

The conclusion is pretty out there, and I liked it.Think DNA codes, mysterious underwater geodes, and strange prehistoric bones that maybe aren't so pre-historic, and Saul has come up with a pretty good `speculative fiction' scenario.I enjoyed it.
... Read more

12. In the Dark of the Night: A Novel
by John Saul
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2007-06-26)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345487028
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Summer vacation becomes a season in hell for an ordinary family who unwittingly stir something invisible, insidious, and insatiable from its secret slumber–unleashing a wave of horror only the darkest evil could create, that only a master of spine-tingling terror like John Saul could orchestrate. For deep in the shadows in the dark of the night lurks something as big as life . . . and as real as death.

It has waited seven years for someone to come back to the rambling lakeside house called Pinecrest, which has stood empty since its last owner went missing. For upscale Chicago couple Dan and Merrill Brewster, the old midwestern manse is an ideal retreat, and for their kids, Eric and Marci, it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy summer exploring. Which is how Eric and his teenage friends discover the curious cache of discarded objects stowed in a hidden room of Pinecrest’s carriage house. The bladeless hacksaws, shadeless lamps, tables with missing legs, headless axe handle, and other unremarkable items add up to a pile of junk. Yet someone took the trouble to inventory each worthless relic in a cryptic ledger. It has all the makings of a great mystery–whispering, coaxing, demanding to be solved.

But the more the boys devote themselves to restoring the forgotten possessions and piecing together the puzzle behind them, the more their fascination deepens into obsession. Soon their days are consumed with tending the strange, secret collection–while their nights become plagued by ever more ghastly dreams, nightmares that soon seep into reality. And when a horrifying discovery surfaces, so does the chilling truth–about the terrifying events that rocked the town seven years before, the mysterious disappearance of Pinecrest’s last resident, and a twisted legacy with a malevolent life of its own . . . and a bottomless hunger for new victims.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible
This story is a truckload of clichés mixed with sloppy writing on every imaginable level and scale.From simple mistakes like using an ambiguous pronoun in a sentence that refers to the wrong person, to bigger mistakes like a character making a statement that only makes sense if they are simultaneously in two places at once, this story is a mess.The characters are incredibly one dimensional, to such an extent that I never came close to caring about any of them.They were all just set pieces, from the obnoxious townie boys that pick on the visiting boys, to the stoic sheriff, and everyone in between, moving through an extremely predictable and plain plot which featured not a single twist or creative spark.It was so bad, I actually stopped listening to the audiobook right in the middle of the "climax", because it was just so annoyingly unexciting.I just wanted it to end.I don't technically know how it concluded, but it's pretty obvious where things were headed.I've heard Mr. Saul has written some good stuff, but this ain't it.AVOID.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his others......
John Saul's " In the Dark of the Night,"...............I just started reading it the other day and let me say that it has taken me long time to get through it.The book is about three boys Eric, Ken and Tad, who's parents decide to rent houses out on Lake Phantom/Pinecrest. Great summer fun..... not likely! The book focus a lot on how Eric's mother is a paranoid about the old lake house she's rented. Merrill ( eric's mother) feels that there is a bad spiritual past linked to it, which could make it haunted. But the story seem to rear off to the carriage house? The three boys find a brick wall that is covering a secrete passage to a storage room that the deceased Doctor stored his treasured obsessions (he was fixated on serial killers and the tools they used and how their minds worked). Every time the three boys get close to the room and the items in it they have this feeling of a supernatural power that draws them to stay in the room and explore more. Things get a little creeper when the all three boys experience re-accuring dreams about death, and murder even creeper when the people from the town turn up dead the same way the boys saw it in their dream. I am on page 225 and that is the highlight of this book....it seems to just go in circles with the dreams, boys going to this room and people getting killed. I will continue reading this book...i hope it gets better, but for now it is like a broken record.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Saul's best, but entertaining regardless
I have long been a John Saul fan. The writer's knack for knowing the human psyche, especially in children, gives a sense of truth to his work and puts the reader squarely in the middle of average lives interrupted by supernatural influences. It's a sort of horror-genre "reluctant hero" situation, and nobody does it better than Saul.

In the Dark of the Night, stacked against those expectations, is a bit of a disappointment. In the Dark of the Night is more gore than horror, and "reads" rather formulaically. True, Saul's already got a formula. But usually there are enough twists, or specific personal challenges, to make each story fresh. Not this time.

In the Dark of the Night begins with the hesitation of middle-aged mom Merrill to vacation with her family a state away. The premise is good, and will capture the interest of likeminded souls (mothers, teenagers, people who have presumably unwarranted fears, and the like).

Unfortunately, Merrill is not cleverly exampled as skittish; she's outright pegged as so, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. John, you know better than anyone: show, don't tell! Saul's overenthusiasm in this book for explanation takes this quick, snap-up beginning and drags it a bit too long for some reader's tastes; hang in there with it, the writing itself is good, and if it's shock factor you're looking for, don't worry, you will find it.

The other leading players in this novel also have firm bases. But like Merrill, they tend to beone-dimensional, sometimes in a way that leads us to disbelief--not the "Oh wow!" kind, but the "Oh, please" variety. The father, for instance, is level-headed, calm and none too easily ruffled; so far, so good. Unfortunately this pigeonhole stretches the reader's credulity by extending even to the murder of a local citizen, to which the father reacts by telling his wife this is no reason to leave their summer place. The idea is that after all, it's only one unexplained death. And besides, how is 40-something Merrill ever to get over her unreasonable fears if she runs away from just one body, exactly her son's age, washing up half a mile from her summer home? Er...come again?

The three teenage boys in the book are virtually interchangeable. I found myself glazing over the actual names and then trying to recall to which suburban cut-out parents the given boy belonged. It was extremely difficult to get into, and hence feel for, any of these boys, including the apparent ringleader, not through leadership but by more written exposure by Saul. In addition, none of the three seems to put the brakes on even when the murders begin to occur. These are presumably intelligent, well-off, educated boys. There is simply not enough motive, in my opinion, for them to continue with their "investigation", fully knowing that each time they enter the carriage house, something really, really, really gnarly is going to happen.

As I said, you will find some good horror here. It's a bit of the stomach-turning variety, so watch out. I commend Saul here. He got down-'n-gory with this one, delving into the distasteful and culturally taboo in the name of his art, and that's a bold move.

I won't give any more spoilers; you won't need them, as you'll have it all locked up by just over halfway through. The book, however, is worth checking out if only for Saul's catchy, readable style and for a chill or two.

I do still await Saul's next literary creation and must cut him some slack on this latest book. He has, after all, been churning out bone-chilling creations for four decades. It's hard to stay fresh for that length of time, especially when leaning on one particular theme (horror; youngsters). I'd had a hint of this slowing down of creative juices out of Saul previously when reading Black Creek Crossing. Luckily, what Black Creek Crossing had--but The Dark of the Night didn't--was the additional element of telling the reader about something she may not have full knowledge of; in this case, witchcraft. But that's another review for another day.

BOTTOM LINE: Don't shell out the clams for the hard cover, but do check this one out next time you're at the library.

3-0 out of 5 stars In The Dark of the Night Novel by John Saul
I have not read the book yet, but it arrived in good condition and in a timely manner.

3-0 out of 5 stars fluff
I kept this book in my car to read whenever I was waiting somewhere for an appointment.It's an easy read, and one that you can pick up after a week without forgetting what's happening in the story. It was an 'okay' book for this purpose...not great, and not a page-turner...just 'fluff'. ... Read more

13. Shadows
by John Saul
Paperback: 400 Pages (1993-05-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553560271
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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They call it the Academy. A secluded, cliff-top mansion overlooking the rugged Pacific coast. A school for children gifted -- or cursed -- with extraordinary minds. Children soon to come under the influence of an intelligence even more brilliant than their own -- and unspeakably evil. For within this mind a dark plan is taking form. A plan so horrifying, no one will believe it. No one but the children. And for them it is already too late. Too late, unless one young student can resist the seductive invitation that will lead... into the Shadows. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great suspense novel by Saul
First book I read by John Saul. It was hard to put down, well written, and has great characters. It has quite a few twists that were unexpected.

What more can I say? Very little to criticize in it. I would recommend it if you're a fan of Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and the like.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quite good IMO
I really enjoyed this book & is one of my favs. by John Saul.I thought the plot was quite interesting - genius kids meet mad scientist working on artificial intelligence & "what if" A.I. was possible.Also, the ending doesn't leave you w/ 101 unanswered ?'s like some of Saul's books.

Anyways, book is an easy enjoyable read & should appeal to ScFi fans too.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an awesome Psychological Thriller!
This is an intriguing novel about an academy for gifted children, and studies on artificial intelligence.
I love reading anything that has to do with the mind, and this book tops my favorite list.
If you like to fantasize about being a genius, or enjoy the thrill of a fast paced mystery. You will love this novel!
If you haven't read Sauls other books, I recommend them all. My other favorites include Brain Child, Black Creek Crossing, and The Unwanted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Frankly, the best Saul's book
I don't agree with this stupid review of guy from Balmoral Castle. The book is just great in all ways. I really love it. When i started to read it i thought but then i read, read and it was already end of book.

Mind-twisted end. Didn't really expected such ending, but think it's great and from some fantastic side. 5 stars for book is fair.

1-0 out of 5 stars John Saul CD
Sorry, but I didn't order this.Don't know how it got in my list of things I bought. ... Read more

14. Comes the Blind Fury
by John Saul
Paperback: 384 Pages (1990-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440114756
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A child cries out . . . in torment--in terror. From out of the past, from outof the mists, a terrible vengeance is born. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comes the Blind Fury
This is the first John Saul book I read, and still my favorite!I can't find too many others that compare to this.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best So Far
I could not put this book down!!! This is a must for Saul fans and for someone reading Saul for the first time. You will be hooked from the first chapter.

2-0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful, Creepy Ghost Story
This book captivated my attention even though it was very creepy and spooky. It's the only ghost story I ever read so don't really have anything to compare it to. I can't really say I liked it, because I don't like being creeped out and scared, but if you do, then this books for you. It's about a girl, Amanda, who was blind and was forced off a cliff, died and now haunts other 12-yr. old girls. Michelle, an adopted girl, moved from Boston to Paradise Point and found an old doll in her house the she named "Amanda." The ghost girl came to visit her and they became friends. When someone teased Michelle, the ghost would come and arrange some sort of "accident" so they would die. This happens over and over to build up the suspense and excitement. I'm not going to tell the ending though, because I don't want to spoil it for you.

--Karen Arlettaz Zemek, Author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"

4-0 out of 5 stars My favorite from Saul
'Comes the Blind Fury' is by far my favorite book from John Saul.I found many of his others to be formulaic.

2-0 out of 5 stars Kind of interesting at first, but disappointing ending.
I have to say that the beginning of the book was riveting: How Michelle started to "change" little by little without knowing it, still retaining her innocence, but becoming more and more suceptible to the voice that she hears. I have to say it did not sound like I had heard it before.
Then there was the middle: It started to get predictable. I don't mind predictable if the plot begins to unravel and the mysteries unfold. But in this book the only "plot twist" about the fate of the nude woman I had already guessed the first few minutes into the book. I kept thinking that there was going to be a plot twist in the end. What a disappointment! I got to the end of the book and not only was it boring "gee another kid bites the dust", but you never learn the story of how this "possession" occurs or what mystical power enables such. You never learn where Amanda goes. It just has a "dumb" plot as effortless as that adjective may appear. Unfortunately this book does not even deserve a better written review!!! ... Read more

15. John Saul: Three Terrifying Bestselling Novels: Suffer the Children; Punish the Sinners; Cry for the Strangers
by John Saul
Hardcover: 704 Pages (1996-11-20)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$18.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517182467
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Saul Book
Book is in great condition - pages slightly yellow, but for the price - GREAT!Came within a reasonable time period.

5-0 out of 5 stars A spine-tingling trio of horror novels, they will keep you awake all night.
John Saul is a master of horror story telling.His stories cause shivers up and down your spine, butterflies in the stomach, and the uncontrollable urge to keep reading.I am deliberately keeping these reviews vague so as to not spoil anything.

In Suffer the Children, Rose and Jack Conger are suffering marital problems because of an incident that happened several years back, causing their daughter Sarah to retreat inside herself and stop talking.Their older daughter, Elizabeth, appears to be the perfect daughter and sister - doing well in school, taking care of her sister patiently and generally maintaining the status quo as much as possible.

But there is something lurking in the woods.The children have been told to stay out of the woods - because there is something dangerous there.However, Elizabeth keeps going into the woods, although she denies she has, and then suddenly children begin to disappear ...

Full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing throughout the story, and Saul - of course, is a master story teller.I couldn't put it down.

Punish the Sinners (Saul, John) is a bizarre story, set in the backdrop of a private Catholic high school called St. Francis Xavier High School.When Peter Balsam begins teaching a controversial psychology course, he notices that the children in this school have been very well indoctrinated in the attitude of the whole village (Neilsville, WA), which is very much a small town filled with very religious people.

However, something isn't quite right at the high school and Peter is determined to find out what it is.There are strange rumors, whispers about a dark secret society.And then the children start dying ...

This story is just creepy and I loved reading every word.Don't miss it if you are a fan of horror.

Cry for the Strangers was, in my opinion, the creepiest/scariest of the three stories.Brad and Elaine Randall are looking for a place to stay for a year so Brad can write a book.When they come into Clark's Harbor, they think they've found the perfect place.It is a lovely little town with several beautiful little beaches ... and strangers are NOT welcome here.From the moment they decide they want to live there, strange things start happening.A fisherman falls overboard and drowns - tangled in his own net.Elaine discovers the corpse of a dog on the beach, with its neck broken.The fisherman's wife commits suicide.And one of Brad's former patients (he is a psychiatrist) is here - a young boy who suffered from terrible hyperactivity - and is apparently completely cured.

As things get uglier and uglier for the Randalls (and the Palmers, whose child I just mentioned), they are repeatedly told that it is because they are strangers and they don't belong here.Can they discover the secret to save their lives in time?

Saul writes true horror, so don't expect any happy endings here.But DO expect to be thrilled and chilled.Don't miss these great stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I enjoy reading Saul books very much and this was a great set of his earlier novels. I enjoyed them very much. Reminds me of King and Koontz mixed.

5-0 out of 5 stars have to read
A friend of mine read these two out of the three books (suffer the children and cry for the strangers)and then she lent them to me to read, she told me that I would love them so I read them and she was
right they are great. Now I am buying them so I can read them againI don't often find books by the same author that I like, but John Saul's novels are great and I am looking forward to reading Punish the Sinners.

5-0 out of 5 stars New fan of John Saul
I borrowed this book from a friend to read at work (which is a very boring job).Not with this book!It has kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.I can't wait to get back to work to finish reading it!Now, that is terrifying! ... Read more

16. Darkness
by John Saul
Paperback: 400 Pages (1992-05-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553297260
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Years after they left the town of Villejeune, Florida, the Anderson family returns, only to find that something unspeakably evil that feeds on the young and innocent is waiting for their teenaged daughter. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

1-0 out of 5 stars YOU'RE KIDDING, RIGHT??

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprised
This story surprised me somewhat. Is there any place that John Saul can't take you in a gripping story about the dark places.This story immediately gets you involved in the scary place. The horror grabs you in the first 30 pages.Saul has the ability to create the picture without drowning you in pages of discriptions.

3-0 out of 5 stars Darkness by John Saul
Darkness by John Saul
Reviewed by
Shaun Michael O'Brien

When I first stumbled upon this book the title made me interested in it. When I picked it up and read the back cover it intrigued me even more. When I saw that People magazine said "Saul has the instincts of a natural storyteller" it made me comfortable enough to buy it.

When I got through the prologue I was somewhat interested in the main character all though I haven't read to many captivating books based on a what seems to be an illiterate backwoods pregnant country bumpkin but I was somewhat engrossed.

But when I started to read the first chapter I was introduced to a new character named Kelly, a 16 year old girl. I didn't mind that much because I have read several books that interlink two protagonists, so I kept reading.

A couple pages in I was introduced to two more characters, Marry and Ted, and was reading from their point of view. So now there are Three characters that may or may not be the main character and to top it off there is a Kelly Anderson and a Marry Anderson (maybe not confusing to you but it became confusing to me. Why not Kelly and Debra?). Usually this would be enough to loose my interest but I kept reading, mainly because I didn't have another book to read at that moment.

So as I kept reading I was introduced to several other character and was reading from their point of view, kind of like watching a movie but without being able to put a face to the characters, and at this point I still haven't really found out who the true protagonist was.

The only character that I liked so far was the grandfather even though I think the writer was pushing to make Kelly the true lead.

I'm up to chapter 4 and I have been thrown into the lives of a handful of people one by one without enough time to learn there names let alone connect with them; but still I read.

On some occasions when the story jumps back to one of the many characters that you are following something has happened to them and it makes u wonder if u missed a page; but you haven't.

At times I found myself wondering if this was this authors first novel; but I still continue to read.

As the chapters went by and despite the fact that more characters where introduced, one that inevitably shares the lead of the story, at about chapter 11 or so everything started to calm down.

The writer has the knack of keeping the story moving but just enough for you to turn to the next page. There are some instances that you find yourself reading on just to find out how the writer is going to explain to you what the hell just happened and what it has to do with anything else.

There are some parts of this story that are not truly answered to the fullest extent the reader would have hoped for but was answered in some form or fashion.

This tale is far fetched and believably unbelievably (yes I meant what I said) but non the less is a good enough read to pass the time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Predictable, yet not a total loss
This is an earlier work by Saul and I only came across it recently. My favorite of Saul's works is The Blackstone Chronicles which I thought was well-plotted and riveting. Some of his other noteworthy works are Guardian, Midnight Voices and Black Creek Crossing. Darkness is a mixture of themes - the story revolves around a small town in Florida that is close to the swamps and where there is a mystique built around the Dark Man, an entity that strikes fear into the swamp residents and around which a cult is built - with child 'sacrifices' and all sorts of disturbing activities. When two teens meet, a boy and a girl who have always thought themselves different from others, they find a strong mental connection to not only each other but also an aging swamp resident who has mysterious links to the Dark Man. It is up to the teens to figure out what exactly is going on in the small town of Villejeune whilst battling a sinister force that seems to be supernatural yet may also just be a figment of their imaginations.

The story is promising - it has an interesting premise and though there is the usual supernatural element, it is also a sort of medical thriller centring around experimentation on children and exploitation of children, in this case, for the purposes of prolonging life and defying the ageing process. However, the way the plot develops seems highly implausible and is predictable. An astute reader would be able to deduce who the Dark Man is quarter way through the book, and also tie things up quickly to the effect that the story itself no longer seems very thrilling. That being said, Darkness is quite interesting and though the characters are one-dimensional, the story itself makes for an interesting departure from the usual plots by Saul.

4-0 out of 5 stars A winner
I really enjoyed the book. It was a good piece of fantasy that kept you thinking. A lot of reviewers didn't like the fact that it was somewhat unbelievable. Hey, it's fantasy. Overall the book flowed well and had a good story line. IMO you wont make a mistake reading this one. ... Read more

17. Hellfire
by John Saul
Paperback: 384 Pages (1986-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553258648
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Builds Patiently Into A Riveting And Moving Horror Tale
It seems to be a John Saul defining characteristic to write in a plainer, simpler style than most of horror's other consistently good authors.It also seems to be a Saul trademark to tackle familiar, not especially original-sounding material, and to open it up in such a way as one quickly feels they know exactly where things are going.More notable, though, is Saul's ability to use that plain language, those simple premises, and the illusion that things will unfold predictably, to continually create intriguing, genuinely scary tales with characters one can care about, with ideas that one can really get into more and more as the book goes along, and with out-of-nowhere surprises and twists that start cropping up just when the novel feels like it's boxed itself into a corner and can't possibly move in any unforseen direction.

"Hellfire" is the story of an old mill with a dark history, that's about to be worked on for the first time into a century and converted into a shopping mall.The central character of the tale is Beth, a 13 year-old girl who moves in with her mother to the mansion belonging to her mother's new husband, (Beth's stepfather), and his daughter (slightly older than Beth), mother, and staff of servants.Inside the mill, someone or something is not happy with its being opened up, and Beth seems to develop a connection with that prescence.When you're working material like this, it can either come off feeling like you're treading cliched ground, or like you're treading classic ground.Classic ground turns out to be the case here, as "Hellfire" develops into a great addition to the realm of horror material involving haunted buildings and/or menacing prescences.In the early chapters, the novel builds up slowly, developing characters, taking some along lines where you really like, others along lines that you really start hating them; and slowly mounting an air of mystery and later, dread.Beth's new home is not happy, tormented by her nasty stepsister and under the disapproving glare of her snobbish grandmother, but one interesting twist is the situation with Beth's mother, her new stepfather, and her biological father.What's different is that Phillip Sturgess (the stepfather) and Alan Rogers (the father) are best friends and have stayed that way, and there's no great acrimony between Carolyn (Beth's mother) and Alan.Usually in novels with the divorce/remarriage angle present, there's a lot of angst and such, but in a refreshing twist, Beth's parents seem to have parted simply for the real-life reason that sometimes things don't work out.Having a likable core group like this becomes important to the tale as things around the protagonists start to turn darker, in both supernatural and more worldly ways.

The dark history of the mill - drawing a lot on real-life horrors and inequalities of the 1800s - is intertwined with the Sturgess family history, and both begin to be revealed simultaneously. I found that with this novel I could really feel in sync with the characters - it's like you can feel a portion of what they're feeling directly, not just from an observer's vantage point, and there are a couple of instances in which a character's discovery - such as a secret, or of the death of another of the book's characters - really packs an uncommon wallop.The tension and suspense really veer up in the last third of the book and make it hard to put down.The final chapters are jolting, moving, and left me wanting more."Hellfire" is definately a book horror readers - or mystery readers, for that matter - shouldn't pass up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
If you are a John Saul reader, you don't need a review. You already know how good he is. If you are not a reader already, then get this book and get started. You will be hooked like the rest of us already are.

3-0 out of 5 stars Creepy
This was among a friend's book collection that she gave me to read. And this one is just creepy ~~ not scary and not spooky, just creepy and malicious. I think I read it as a teenager when my sister had it ~~ so it's not that unforgetable.

This one has Carolyn Rogers who married Philip Sturgess, who inherited the mill. The mill holds a deep dark secret and as the book progresses, the secret is let out. Over a hundred years previous, several kids were trapped in the mill during a fire and was killed. Philip's older brother, Conrad Jr., was killed there when he was a child. Philip's daughter Tracy and Carolyn's daughter, Beth, are also main players in this novel. The secret reveals itself to Beth and Tracy, who hated her stepsister with a passion, did anything she could to drive her away. Somehow their stories are tied up with Amy's story of the day she died.

This book is creepy and felt very unfinished. It dragged on several chapters and then rushed to the end. It's not my favorite of Saul's works. It is creepy enough though to make a good evening's reading under the blankets. But not creepy enough to make you recheck all the locked doors and windows. It's more sad than spooky.


5-0 out of 5 stars Saul At His Best
This was the second book I read by John Saul. In my opinion he is a genius. He knows how to get in your head and play with your emotions, and he has earned my respect, not that he needs it. Some of his newer works seem to repeat the story in some form, so it's better to buy anything he wrote up to The Second Child. Check out The Unwanted too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent horror
Carolyn Rogers marries Phillip Sturgess -- rich, eligible, successful bachelor with a heart of gold despite his snobbish breeding. Phillip, along with Carolyn's ex-husband, plan on reopening a mill where a group of the town's children burned to death in the late 1800s and has recently become the site of many mysterious accidents. And that's about all the Carolyn and Phillip have to do with the story.

The main focus of the story is Beth Rogers, Carolyn's daughter from her first marriage, and Tracey Sturgess, Phillip's daughter from his first marriage. Tracey goes out of her way to make Beth feel unwanted through any means necessary, and Beth finds herself miserable and lonely. Beth befriends a girl-child who died in the fire at the mill (not unlike the girl in Saul's Comes the Blind Fury) who becomes something of a best friend to Beth. Finally, this all comes to head in a "grand finale".

This was a good read, typical early-Saul fare. It shared many similarities with Comes the Blind Fury, but it was different enough to keep me reading. Saul has a way of really making you love and hate his characters. I sort of thought that the ending was a little rushed and the revealed "secret" a little weak, but an enjoyable read still. ... Read more

18. Suffer the Children
by John Saul
Paperback: 384 Pages (1986-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044018293X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
One hundred years ago in Port Arbello a pretty little girl began to scream. And struggle. And die. No one heard. No one saw. Just one man whose guilty heart burst in pain as he dashed himself to death in the sea. Now something peculiar is happening in Port Arbello. The children are disappearing, one by one. An evil history is repeating itself. And one strange, terrified child has ended her silence with a scream that began a hundred years ago. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Depressing, But Good! (WARNING: SPOILER!)
I'll start by saying that I did like this book. I had to push a bit to get into the first half of the story, but the second half had me pretty hooked. I was not pleased with the end, but then again, I guess it was alright not to see all the loose ends nicely tied up.....even though that's what I really wanted. At least for Sarah's sake.
There were aspects of the story that creeped me out, which is good because that seldom happens, and there were some rather grotesque scenes, nothing over the top but enough to make you cringe a tad.
I found Elizabeth's character, or rather Beth's character, to be repulsive. Despite the fact that 'Beth' and 'Elizabeth' were two different people, I found I couldn't stand Elizabeth's character throughout the enitire story. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for her to get caught.

I felt so terrible for Sarah's character. Here the poor girl was beat severely by her father, just to go on to be blamed for her sister's hideous acts. The only part of the story that really upset me was the ending. I felt for Sarah's character and it was nice to read that she had recovered from her psychosis.
I kept waiting, up until the last few pages, to read that Sarah had finally remembered the past and was able to hold her sister accountable. Well, once she did remember but was just thrown back into the same psychosis, unable to relay what she had remembered, I was annoyed. I wanted her character to prevail.

This book was good enough, but nothing great.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a reread
I ordered this book because I had read it before and wanted to read it again.That alone is pretty high praise.It's scary gruesome and macabre...everything I like in a book.What can I say?

2-0 out of 5 stars Page Turner with Underdeveloped, Disturbing Plot
Suffer the Children, like some of Saul's other books, had tremendous potential but fell short because several aspects of the plot were never fully developed and fleshed out.Character development is also virtually non-existent.In short, this book needed to be a couple hundred pages longer to read more like a novel and less like a movie script (where parts are left out or assumptions are made due to time constraints).The plot is certainly disturbing and is not for a reader easily upset by sadistic violence and cruelty (all involving younger children).It was also frustrating to read what I thought were really messed up relationship situations that were so unrealistic, it was difficult to suspend disbelief.A father viciously beats his daughter in the woods, nearly to death, suggests he wanted to rape her, and still sleeps in the same bed as wife, who, though struggling with her relationship with him, still tries to have sex with him and repair their damaged life.Huh?While I wouldn't necessarily doubt a family trying to put itself back together a la "The Shining", this is totally ridiculous.They have a traumatized daughter (the one beaten) who is now diagnosed as schizophrenic, but might recover.Not only does that not make sense as schizophrenia is not the result of trauma or something that necessarily heals, but there is no evidence whatever that she is schizophrenic from the novel itself.I know, it's just a novel, but authors such as Stephen King give some effort to make the horrible and fantastic somewhat plausible in the real world.The book is still a page turner as one wants to know what's going to happen next, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it or laud it.Read it if it's free or nearly free to get and you're sick in bed or something.

4-0 out of 5 stars A book so horrifying you must read it to experience it...
I can't even decide where to start with this book.I just barely finished reading it, and my mind is completely numb, and I don't dare go to bed for fear that an evil child holding a knife in one hand and a headless dead cat or a severed arm in the other will appear at the foot of my bed.I have never in my life read a book like this one, and that is very tough for me to say.When it comes to my preferred genre of books, I usually tend to gear towards splatterpunk horror, or extreme horror books.The more disturbing a book is, the better, and I have been told that I have a stomach of steel.

I had heard about this book from an online forum discussing the scariest, most disturbing novels they have ever read and decided to go pick it up at my local paperback book exchange store.I really didn't expect much after the last novel I read (Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite, best horror novel I've read to date), and almost put the book down after reading the first 50 pages.I'm glad, and regretful at the same time, that I decided to continue on reading.

As far as extreme goes, this book is extreme...in some sort of disturbingly sick and vicious way.From the get-go Saul presents you with a delicate, yet simple prose, and although he didn't describe Port Arbello as well as Stephen King or Poppy Brite would have, you still felt like you were there in that sad little dreary town.The story line is very detailed and well thought out, and it almost beckons you to keep going until the end.

Now for the content.Oh boy.What can I say?It was not what I expected.There isn't that much gore in this book as you think there is, but then again, there is a lot of guts and grue.Saul vaguely describes the gruesome scenes while still making them nightmarish and disturbing.I've always found that holding back on gruesome detail is more effective when it comes to horror.And WOW, was it effective.I'm not easily scared, and consider my "stomach of steel" comment as well.Despite those two things, I often found myself cringing and nearly vomiting while reading this book, and that's saying a lot.This book is so dark and disturbing, it is unbelievable, so unbelievable that you have to read it to really know what I'm talking about.This book made me never want to have kids, EVER.I think the scariest part was that it involved small children, and Saul was very brave to include the subject of psychotic youth as a center for the plot.I believe not many authors do that because it is often times to disturbing for the reader.But Saul grasped the concept, and threw it in your face, making you struggle not to throw the book against the wall.

Lastly, I gave this book 4 stars because of (drum roll) the awful ending.I didn't feel like it was necessarily rushed, I just felt like it was unnecessary, and left a lot of lose ends to still be tied up.But, I guess I'm just used to happy, "Pollyanna" endings, and I guess it was Saul's mission to leave it open, which is in some sense more effective.It still pissed me off though.Overall this book was brutal, dark, disturbing, and insanely interesting.WORD OF WARNING:DEFINITELY not for the faint of heart.Although the gore and grue factor isn't necessarily hyped up, the disturbing aspect is, and this book will stay with you FOREVER.I know it will stay with me. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.Now to figure out how to get to sleep tonight.

5-0 out of 5 stars IT RUINT ME
WHen I was not even 10 I somehow ended up with this CRAZY trash book about some children who were being posessed by the spirits of these kids from the past who had been BUTCHERED by somebody unknown. I cant remember much of it save the scene where it got bloody again
and it was MESSED UP and somebody was a'HACKIN away.
It was profoundly gory.
and traumatic.


Who the HALE gave me that thing...I LIVED IN A HAUNTED HOUSE AT THE TIME
Im totally not playin. I not PLAYIN, PLAYA.

I just remember being so aghast. That might have been the single most traumatic thing Ive ever experienced in a way. I think the killer ended up being like this 8 year old girl'
it was so so so so scareeey I remember feeling sick and shivery and SOILED.

Oh my God!
THat might have been the end of my innocence!
Can anybody TELL ME?? ... Read more

19. The Blackstone Chronicles: The Serial Thriller Complete in One Volume
by John Saul
Paperback: 544 Pages (1998-02-10)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$4.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044900192X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Now, for the first time, the New York Times bestselling serial thriller is complete in one terrifying volume. John Saul, the master of supernatural suspense, John Saul, brings to chilling life the small New England town of Blackstone--and the secrets and sins that lay buried there. . . .

From atop Blackstone's highest hill, the old Asylum casts its shadow over the village. Built in the 1890s to house the insane, the Asylum has stood vacant for decades. But now, the wrecker's ball is about to strike--and unleash an ominous evil. Strange gifts begin to appear on the doorsteps of Blackstone's finest citizens.

Each bears a mysterious history.

Each brings a horrifying power to harm.

Each reveals another thread in the suspensefully woven web of . . .


Part I--An Eye for an Eye: The Doll
Part II--Twist of Fate: The Locket
Part III--Ashes to Ashes: The Dragon's Flame
Part IV--In the Shadow of Evil: The Handkerchief
Part V--Day of Reckoning: The Stereoscope
Part VI--Asylum ... Read more

Customer Reviews (67)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great Story, Bad Ending
I love horror fiction and for me the ending will make or break the book. Unfortunately this is an example of breaking it. The story was really, really good and creepy but the ending felt flat and rushed. It might have been how the author wanted it but I was disappointed with how it ended and for me that is how the end result was.

3-0 out of 5 stars No horror here
The Blackstone Chronicles is a serial novel in 6 parts. The story has a lot of potential that is never developed. This may be a method that is too constricting on the author and which does not allow him the space he needs to develop the characters and the story.

Each of the six parts deals with a different family: the Hartwicks, Beckers, Wagners, McGuires, Wards and Metcalf/Connally. Each of these families has strong ties in Blackstone as they have lived there several generations. Also in Blackstone is an Asylum (soon to be turned into a commercial center), and each of the families mentioned has had some connection to the asylum, be it family or staff. The Asylum was run by Dr. Malcolm Metcalf, Oliver Metcalf's father. In each of the books a gift finds its way into the homes of each of these families and it brings havoc and destruction. Each object brings out evil and people either go mad and do unconscionable things or "accidents" happen. The items are delivered, or strategically placed, by a dark figure that moves around the Asylum as if it were his home.

The characters in these books are barely explored and thus we never get to fell a connection nor empathy with any of them (well, maybe Rebecca). We are provided with mere glimpses of who these people. The stories themselves are a bit too quick to conclude providing barely any climax to any of the 6 books. In fact, the end climax for me felt fickle, non-climactic and way to quick to end.

For a horror story, the book has very little horror to it, save for tons of mentions of evil lurking somewhere, dark shadows and ....that's it actually. The villain of this story was far too predictable which made me lose a lot of the interest in the book. This was one of the most predictable books I have read.

I was very disappointed by these series, especially the end. It was unsatisfying and unresolved. I would not have changed the end result though, but it should have been better presented. And, can someone explain to me what was the purpose of the end scene with Edna Burham?!

A quick read nevertheless, buy if you like John Saul.

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining But Does Not Live Up To Its Potential!
Saul does a good job in bringing to life the small New England town of Blackstone, and of the secrets and sins that lay buried there. For almost two-thirds of the book I was engrossed in the horrors that were taking place and was involved in trying to figure out who was responsible for what was going on. However, my interest in the surviving characters, which were at best superficially developed, started to rapidly wain during the last third of The Blackstone Chronicles; and the finale left me disappointed as I was able to figure out much of the ending earlier on. All in all, reading The Blackstone Chronicles for me was like chewing a piece of bubble gum. It's mildly enjoyable while going through the process but very forgettable soon after finishing it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read ...(Spoilers possible)
I've been reading Saul a long time now.I'm just reading The Blackstone Chronicles because I'd gotten into reading a few other new to me authors and hadn't cycled back around to Saul's work in a while.I'm glad I've picked him up again.

This story was wonderful.Set against the backdrop of insanity and an old asylum, you just can't stop reading it.

As each character receives his or her 'gift', the small town of Blackstone comes more and more unravelled.As more and more deaths ensue, the air of mistrust and suspicion grow.What is happening?Who or what is responsible?The answer is there, between the covers of John Saul's The Blackstone Chronicles. Take a chilling ride into the town, and prepare to shiver!

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best books I ever read
I read this when it first came out.It was broken down into six short storys that came out about a month apart.I loved the characters in this especially Oliver Medcalf and Rebbeca.It was scary and had alot of mystery in it ... Read more

20. Faces of Fear: A Novel
by John Saul
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2008-08-12)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$4.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002PJ4LAO
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
New York Times bestselling author John Saul is a master at writing novels that chill the bones, curdle the blood, and tap into our darkest fears. He creates characters so real that you’ll feel as if they’re friends or family, and throws them into situations so terrifying that you won’t be able to look away until you turn the final page. Now, in Faces of Fear, Saul proves that there’s a fine line between perfection and madness.

Fifteen-year-old Alison Shaw may not be beautiful, but she doesn’t really care: She’d much rather read a good book than primp in front of a mirror anyway. But Alison’s gorgeous mother, Risa, knows that beauty can be a key to success and wishes only the best for her daughter, especially when Risa marries a widowed plastic surgeon and moves Alison from Santa Monica to Bel Air. Beauty may be only skin deep, but to the denizens of Bel Air it means the world. Everywhere mother and daughter look, they are surrounded by beautiful people, many of whom have benefited from the skills of Alison’s new stepfather, the charismatic Peter Dunn. Peter is certain he can turn Alison into a vision of loveliness, and Risa–drawn in by his cool confidence–is delighted. Reluctantly, Alison agrees to undergo the first procedure, and her transformation begins.

But soon Alison discovers a picture of Peter’s first wife. To Alison’s horror, she notices a resemblance between the image in the photo and the work her stepfather is doing on her. Though Risa refuses to acknowledge the strange similarity, Alison becomes increasingly frightened. Digging further into her stepfather’s murky past, Alison uncovers dark secrets–and even darker motives–and realizes that her worst fears are fast becoming her reality. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars Where's the supernatural?
The Story:
Allison Shaw's parents have just split, feeling torn in allegiance between the two. Her mother Risa wants to be loved and have the very best for Allison. When recent widow Conrad Dunn, famous plastic surgeon, takes interest in Risa her better judgment takes a back seat.There is a murderer on the loose that has been killing women and stealing their body parts-nose, eyebrows, lips, ears, and glands. Allisons father runs a tv news station, one of his reporters is leading the research on the murders. Allison lives with her mom and Conrad; staying despite feeling he is creepy. When Allison starts a new school, where every girl has had multiple plastic surgery procedures. Allison and Risa's new friends talk them into needing plastic surgery, pointing out every blemish in their opinion. Risa and Conrad finish talking Allison into surgery. The further along the story goes the more we learn about the serial murder running around and Conrad's sordid past.

This was a good thriller/suspense novel. All that was missing was the signature supernatural aspect. That is what is so appealing about John Saul. Supernatural Thrillers are his specialty, so understandably I was a little disappointed. It wasn't as suspenseful as usual either. Faces of Fear did have a fast pace though. It is well written with different points of view. Allison and her family go through quite the developments, Allison grows up throughout the book. It was all together good, but because the disappointments I wouldn't keep it or read it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like the book but.....
Unless you cant buy this at your local bookstore and need to have it shipped, it would be much cheaper overall to just buy it there. A used copy plus shipping cost more than a new copy out of the bookstore.

1-0 out of 5 stars Predicatble and unimaginative
Many years ago I was an avid fan of John Saul because his books were taut, eerie and enthralling.

I happened to be on holiday in South America and someone had left this one behind at a hotel I was staying in. So, as I needed something to read while travelling, I picked it up and read it.

I don't know what has happened to Mr Saul over the years, but this is flat out terrible. From the very first page you pretty well know what is going to happen. And from the point he introduces each new character, you can be 90% certain you know what they are going to do. It made me think of 'Dawson's Creek' or 'The Bold and the Beautiful' with a dose of horror thrown in. Add to that, the writing is about as sophisticated as an article in People magazine., and you are left feeling a formerley great horror writer is running on empty.

If you want a good John Saul book, my advice is that you read something from his early career, like 'Suffer the Children', 'Cry for the Stangers', 'Punish the Sinners' or 'The God Project'. This is trash. Steer well clear of it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Reviewed for Midwest Book Review
15-year-old Alison Shaw enjoys her middle-class life with her parents, a real estate agent and a TV production manager. However, her world is turned upside down when her parents' marriage dissolves after her father reveals he is gay. Alison's mother marries acclaimed plastic surgeon Conrad Dunn, whose wife committed suicide after a boating accident left her perfect (albeit surgery-enhanced) face permanently scarred. Alison moves with her mother to Dunn's mansion and has trouble adjusting to an affluent lifestyle with friends who think nothing of paying thousands of dollars for clothes and indulging in plastic surgery to fix perceived flaws. Meanwhile, a demented murderer named the Frankenstein Killer is harvesting parts of women's faces, as well as their adrenal and thymus glands, leaving behind mutilated corpses. As the killer picks up the pace, Alison and her mother are peripherally aware of the frantic search by the police, although unaware that Alison may be the motive behind the killings.

Faces of Fear, Saul's 35th novel, has mystery, suspense, characters wholesome and likable and those adroitly portrayed as evil and maniacal. Although slow to start, the book does pick up speed, yet savvy readers will figure out the mystery well before it is revealed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Storylines right out of current events.
Avid reader of John Saul found this book to be among the best of his modern works, Yes, sometimes predictable but is still enjoyable. Gore hounds will probably love it.I've read some very bigoted reviews regarding a few gay characters, such as, "pushing the homosexual agenda" (?!?)Some of these "reviewers" (bigots) actually try to insult Mr. Saul by claiming he must be "coming out". Well NEWS FLASH... JOHN SAUL IS GAY.To claim he's "pushing an agenda", is idiotic.The man has written over 30 novels and this contains his first true gay characters. So lets move on.This book also contains some great political shots which also are rare in a Saul novel, there a great subtle one regarding FOX news.To me this book seemed that Saul was finally feeling courageous enough to throw a little personal points of view into his work.I would not recomend this to a first time Saul reader, for that it would be "THE UNLOVED", "SECOND CHILD",SUFFER THE CHILDREN","NATHANIEL".But a fun read none the less. ... Read more

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