The House of Dread

John W. Cottrell
Outskirts Press (2015)
ISBN 9781478761242
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (5/17)

In “The House of Dread” by John W. Cottrell, there is an abandoned house located in a place called Kayo Village. While the house is not very old, it is in a state of disrepair. Shadows of a man are often sighted in the broken-out windows of this house. It is not uncommon to hear gunshots coming from within, even though the house is empty. The neighbors try to pretend like there is nothing going on because they don’t want to deal with it. When their teen-aged children start disappearing, they don’t have a choice. 

There are a lot of aspects to this story that drew me in. The first thing I noticed was the intriguing cover. The house itself has several mysterious elements, including the reason why it was abandoned by the owner before they even lived in it. Why the local teens are drawn to it, like moths to a flame adds to the mystery. It goes beyond just wanting a place to party or play in private. When the murderous specter Flannel Man starts making an appearance in the house, it makes the reader wonder where he came from and what happened to cause him to evolve into this form. 

The author does an excellent job of building a suspenseful story. Knowing that he got the idea from a real house makes it even more interesting. Unfortunately, there are so many grammatical errors in the book, it detracts from what I think would be a great horror story. The incomplete sentences, run on sentences, misspellings and incorrect punctuation cause a huge problem with trying to follow the storyline.

If “The House of Dread” by John W. Cottrell was professionally edited, I think it would be an awesome read. I truly hope that there will be an edited version released because I think it would be a huge hit, for both teen readers and adult fans of horror novels.

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