House of Blood by Bryan Smith

(House of Blood, #1)

Later, the ones left alive would agree they never should have turned off that dark stretch of Tennessee interstate. They were tired and tense, two guys and three girls arguing over a vacation gone bad. But things were about to get worse for the five young friends. Much, much worse. In fact, most of them would never see the highway again. — The woods were dark and forbidding, filled with unseen dangers and inhuman sounds. The light in the distance promised sanctuary from the grasping terrors. Instead, the light lured the travelers to the very heart of evil, a house at the entrance of Hell, a house that held only torture, depravity and--for the lucky ones--death.

When the front door closes, the screaming begins!

House of Blood is the debut novel of Brian Smith, but from the rich writing and the intriguing plot, you can't tell it's a first. The beginning got me hooked, the middle kept me there, and the ending was strong.


Smith uses a simple, straightforward manner to inject his poison in the reader’s bloodstream. His prose is pronounced, clear, and focused.

The pace starts off swift and strong, stays in the air the whole way through, keeps lifting higher and higher, never putting its feet down on the ground.

Some of the events are almost offensive they're so disturbing, and while on the surface this plot looks generic, it's certainly not.


Smith misses the mark with his characters. Dreamweaver comes off weak and whiny, Master is a good character but a bit confusing, Mrs. Wickman is too stereotypical to be believed, and all the really good characters were killed off too soon or not explored enough.

The dialogue worked sometimes, but other times it just...well, gee, golly, gosh, fizzled out.

Overall though, this gets a high marking. I recommend it to all horror fans - read this one when you get the chance, it's not for the birds.

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