Burn, ‘The Red Church’, Burn

Scott nicholson

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“Hold onto your pants, because Nicholson is about to scare them off.”–J.A. Konrath, Origin

For 13-year-old Ronnie Day, life is full of problems: Mom and Dad have separated, his brother Tim is a constant pest, Melanie Ward either loves him or hates him, and Jesus Christ won’t stay in his heart. Plus he has to walk past the red church every day, where the Bell Monster hides with its wings and claws and livers for eyes. But the biggest problem is that Archer McFall is the new preacher at the church, and Mom wants Ronnie to attend midnight services with her.

Sheriff Frank Littlefield hates the red church for a different reason. His little brother died in a freak accident at the church twenty years ago, and now Frank is starting to see his brother’s ghost. And the ghost keeps demanding, “Free me.” People are dying in Whispering Pines, and the murders coincide with McFall’s return.

The Days, the Littlefields, and the McFalls are descendants of the original families that settled the rural Appalachian community. Those old families share a secret of betrayal and guilt, and McFall wants his congregation to prove its faith. Because he believes he is the Second Son of God, and that the cleansing of sin must be done in blood.

“Sacrifice is the currency of God,” McFall preaches, and unless Frank and Ronnie stop him, everybody pays.
——-
Professionally formatted by Dellaster Design. A Stoker Award finalist and alternate selection of The Mystery Guild Book Club, my spiritual thriller “The Red Church” explores a boy’s struggle with faith when his mother attends a haunted church. Inspired by real-life legends in the Southern Appalachian Mountains where I live, the novel mirrors my own search for faith, love, and deeper mysteries. I hope you’ll try my other novels DRUMMER BOY, THE SKULL RING, and SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD. I invite you to contact me at hauntedcomputer@yahoo.com or at Amazon Central. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

The GOOD:

What a ride!,February 13, 2010

This review is from: The Red Church (Kindle Edition)

I’m going to say it, The Red Church is scary. I don’t want to go there. I want to stay far far away. What a tale Scott Nicholson weaves. I’m not saying that his writing style is the same as (because he has his own style that draws you in), but this story reminds me of some of the great horror writers: Dean Koontz, Stephen King, etc. That whole taking something that is so out there and turning it into a believable as you are reading it, don’t want to put it down type of book. Comparing him to those 2, you know this book is going to be awesome!

As your reading the book, you (take that as I) start wondering, really how far out there is this? I mean, the Bell Monster could be a representation of Satan, and you know the evil he is capable of would be similar to the evil that is feeding on this community. (You are reading a review written by someone raised Pentecostal, we were taught to fear Satan something awful, as it should be, not saying you shouldn’t. I still consider myself Penecostal, just a little more reserved than some.)

As your reading, you keep wondering if what Mama Bet is saying happened to her many years ago is true or does Scott Nicholson have another twist regarding that for us. Two virgin births just went against everything that is in my core. Everything I was raised to believe. Everything that I do believe. That helped up the fear for me.

And poor Ronnie. I think Ronnie is like every child that age. I know I was. Questioning religion, questioning what you’ve been taught to believe. Questioning do I only have to ask Jesus into my heart once and he stays there or do I have to ask him in every few weeks because I keep sinning? I always wondered that myself at his age. Also, Ronnie is able to give some forgiveness in this book that I don’t think I could ever bring myself to give. I think the anger that I would carry from what happened would quickly turn into hatred. He’s a strong boy.

(Let me put in that this not a religious book, not at all, you wouldn’t find this in the Christian section of your local book store, it’d be right up there with the other thrillers like this. But part (or all) of the fear factor revolves around this second son. The one who thinks that he will save the world. That Jesus the first son, more or less screwed everything up. May I not be struck down with lightening for even typing that.)

Another interesting thing about this book is that Scott didn’t write it from any one person’s angle. It goes from character to character, giving you a peek into the situation from other angles. Loved that!

I loved this book. I started it late one night and stayed up until 3 reading again. Then started back in on it the next day until I put it down, done. Kinda sad that I read so stinking fast because the good stories go by too quickly.

The BAD:

Disappointing,April 13, 2010

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This review is from: The Red Church (Kindle Edition)

After all the rave reviews for this book, I hate to be the spoiler, but I really didn’t care for this book. The premise sounded interesting, the reviews were great, and the price was right, so I tried it. As I read, I kept waiting for the ideas to come together in some sort of coherent whole, or at least resolve some of the ambiguities, but it never did.

This “horror” book that may have worked thirty years ago when readers were less sophisticated and less demanding, but it didn’t work for me now. The writing was almost lyrical at times when describing the countryside and the mood, but the plot was rambling and very unconvincing. After reading some of the descriptions, I thought, “O.K., now it’s going to get good,” but it didn’t. And it didn’t scare me either. It bored me.

I think this author has talent and may come up with some great writing in the future. But not now. At least, not in my opinion.

and The UGLY:

Couldn’t finish it….,May 27, 2011

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This review is from: The Red Church (Kindle Edition)

Based on the reviews i was expecting to have a good read – please folks. The book was so bad that i never even finished it which it totally out of character. The plot was hard to follow, the characters never developed and the editing left much to be desired !! Finally came to conclusion about halfway through that i didn’t even care what was going to happen. Don’t bother with this one – not sure about the others written by him as there seem to be many……..

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars horror or bible class?,February 18, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Red Church (Kindle Edition)

I was looking for a good horror story and read the reviews on this book. It was recommended judging from what I had been searching for on this site. I had been reading Dean Koontz with hits and misses. Most reviewers compared this to Stephen King. The reviews of this book seemed to be the exact thing I was looking for but it came across as preachy to me. I understand that it revolves around a church and religion would be part of it, which is what drew me to it, because it could be “believable”, but it just came across as preachy. It seems like the author used some horror (lightly used) and gave me a long drawn out sermon on the concept “Jesus Saves” which was mentioned over and over and over again. The ending did nothing for me. Once I finished, that was it. I didn’t think about the book any longer, which is what I love about books. The drawing me in and making me think long after I’ve finished. All this did was disappoint me.

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~ by MorbidbookS, Extreme Fiction Publisher. on September 10, 2011.

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