Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Slow Trip Into Madness


TITLE: Their Hearses
AUTHOR: E.L. Giles
PUBLISHER: Horrorsmith Publishing
PUBLISHING DATE: April 1, 2024
PAGES: 125   
SOURCE: From Publisher

FROM GOODREADS: Years ago, John Berryman was responsible for the deaths of his two children and their nanny. But John Berryman was never seen or heard from again. He simply...vanished.
Now, decades later, someone has finally purchased John Berryman's rambling old house. Marc Larose is no stranger to loss. He hopes to bring the decaying structure to its former glory, a warm place where his family can heal and begin anew, but if these walls could talk, they'd speak of death. Only, Marc isn't listening. 
Something vengeful still lingers in the shadows of the old willow, and it has its eyes set on Marc. It isn't long before he is caught in the tangles of mystery, fear, and deceit, where forces beyond his control are vying for his very soul. Will Marc figure out who...or what...is haunting his new home before he becomes its next victim?

MY THOUGHTS: I guess I have discovered that I may not be that big of a fan of grief horror.  However, I do not think that should reflect negatively on this book or the author as Giles has done a great job with his latest book.  This book filled me with sadness, an overwhelming feeling of dread, and anxiety - not bad for 125 pages!

Marc lost his son to a tragic accident over a year ago.  Since then, he has distanced himself from his wife and daughters.  Hoping to rebuild his family, he has purchased a fixer-upper in a local town.  Marc starts to work on the place and as he does, learns that maybe has has made a mistake.  The home is the location of a triple homicide, with two victims being young children, similar in age to his children.  Marc starts to become obsessed with a particular location under a weeping willow on the property, and also with the spirit telling him how he can be reunified with his lost son.

This novella is technically a sequel to Giles' book Will-o the Wis but the publisher is clear it can also be read as a standalone. However, as a completist, I did pick up the other book first and I think it made reading Their Hearses that much more intense.  Marc is full of grief and Giles makes the reader experience his grief alongside Marc. It didn't take long before I felt like I was falling into the same despair as the main character.  

My main problem with this book was basically that I may have read it too closely to a recent death of a family member, so it only intensified an already present feeling of dread and depression.  So, as I said, I found Their Hearses to be well-written and quite interesting, but I will probably be staying away from grief horror for a while.  If you enjoy this subgenre of horror though, this is definitely a book you will want to grab. 



  1. It sounds like the author did an amazing job with the emotional parts of his story, maybe a little too good of a job!

  2. Review well done. It wouldn't be for me either, but it sounds as if it was well written. Thanks for sharing your review.

  3. I have to be in the right place mentally & emotionally for a book like this, but I'm keeping this author in mind come the fall.

  4. Sounds like a good book, but I can totally see how things going on in your life could affect how you feel about something as you read it. Great review though!
    Lisa Loves Literature