“Kill Creek” by Scott Thomas Review

Horror comes in many forms and they all will come for you at Kill Creek. As intricately as Scott Thomas weaves together multiple styles of horror, from blood-soaked gore to the slow and unnerving dance of psychological terror, you will be hard-pressed to believe that "Kill Creek" is his debut novel.

At first glance one may want to write off this book as just another haunted house thriller, but that thought is quickly dispelled as you delve deeper into the events at the old Finch house on Kill Creek. There are no overt ghosts, no blatant dark entities seeking to draw one’s soul to Hell. Even the original builder’s death and the passing of the two sisters that lived there were not the traumatic creations of doom from beyond; their only strange wish was that whoever lived there after them leave everything as it was when they passed. Still, rumor and conjecture cast their pall over this old house till people come to believe it is certainly spirit-laden.

The plot thickens when a media mogul entices four horror writers from very disparate areas of the genre to spend a single Halloween night there. Beginning with the use of very common tropes to tell the story, Thomas quickly takes these familiar themes to dissect the very essence of horror in entirely new ways. By using the familiar, the author connects the writers as they seek to explain and justify their art then leads them inevitably into the darkness echoing from their own writing styles.

Yes, their presence does seem to have awakened something in the house but it is not necessarily from the house. The ambiguity of the force that exposes the inner thoughts and fears of the characters to their pasts and deep-hidden traumas makes the unspooling of the tale that much more delicious. That force follows no known trope that allows its victims to come to terms with it.

If you understand horror as well as Scott Thomas seems to, then you will find yourself on an excursion of horrified awakenings right along with the characters. The plot is a twisted confection that takes its many styles and threads and weaves them into an intimate construct that in the end will leave you with new scars on your own psyche.

While this is Thomas’ first novel, he is no stranger to the genre, having previously written extensively for such diverse networks as MTV, the CW, CMT, Nickelodeon, and ABC Family. He co-wrote MTV’s “My Super Psycho Sweet 16” and his work on R.L. Stine’s “The Haunting Hour” has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. As gripping as “Kill Creek” is, readers can expect many and even greater things from this young maestro of the macabre.

As a mirror in which horror terrifies itself, "Kill Creek" is worthy of a solid 10 rating.

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