A remote summer camp becomes a lurid crime scene when the bodies of two teenagers are found in a bloody, real-life rendering of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Trapped in the wilderness, the remaining counsellors must follow a trail of dark children’s fables in order to outwit a psychopath and save the dwindling survivors before falling prey to their own gruesome endings.
Drawing on the grisly, uncensored details of history’s most famous fairy tales, Grimm Woods is a heart-pounding thriller about a deranged killer who uses traditional children’s stories as tropes in elaborate murders. Set against the backdrop of modern-day Michigan, it’s a journey through the mind of a dangerous zealot and a shocking glimpse into the bedtime stories you thought you knew.
About D. Melhoff
D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town that few people have heard of and
even fewer have visited. While most of his stories are for adults, he also enjoys terrifying younger audiences from time to time, as seen in his series of twisted picture books for children. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Stoker, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror. For more information, visit grimmwoods.com.
Follow the Grimm Woods tour HERE
July 7th, 5:44 a.m.
One hacksaw. One hammer, six boxes of nails. Twelve Mason jars, four hunting knives, two pairs of handcuffs. Fifteen gallons of gasoline divided evenly among three dented jerry cans.
A work glove hovered over the table where the objects were laid out side by side and began ticking the air as though marking off an invisible checklist. The chamber reeked of mildew, and the walls had no windows or electrical sockets—no lamps, no wires, no switch covers. A single red candle provided the only light, its crimson wax dripping down its shaft like blood.
The hand picked up a piece of paper from the table and slipped it into a blank envelope. Below, a beetle scuttled across the floorboards. The insect—its gangly antennae tuned to some foul frequency in the gloom—raced past the sole
of a giant boot just as a drop of liquid fell through the air and struck it dead center, engulfing its body in a hot, gelatinous blob that filled its orifices and burned it from the inside out. Another droplet tumbled from the candle, plopping onto the envelope this time, and then a brass stamp came down and pressed the wax into a hardened seal.
Drawing in heavier, raspier breaths, the figure held the envelope up to a corkboard that was bolted to the wall. More than a dozen pictures of young men and women were tacked to the panel by their throats and foreheads, smiling in the shadows.
The figure pinned the envelope to the board and stepped back to take in the room again.
The table and the switchblade.
The book of matches.
The iron rods, the hatchet, the .22 Smith & Wesson.
The smiling faces.
Now, the figure mused, watching the photographs flicker in the bloodred light. Who’s the nicest, who’s the worst, who wants to hear a story first?
Quick Reasons: well-rounded, complex, shady snark characters; SO MUCH BLOOD AND GORE I loved it!; horror that was actually horrifying; mix in a side of fairy tales for an interesting, unique tale; plot-focused novel that still manages to round out everything else; this read was intense!
Huge thanks to D. Melhoff, Bellwoods Publishing, and Worldwind Virtual Book Tours for sending me a free ecopy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
OH. MY. PENGUINS. If you’d told me, last week, that I’d be reading a book that mixed horror and fairy tales into one gruesome mess–and done so in an entertaining and awesome way–I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I’ve read a few books pegged as “horror” recently and overall been vastly disappointed, so when I picked up this book, I didn’t let my hopes get TOO high. But GOOOOOODNESS, I underestimated this read!
So let’s talk plot first this time, because oh my, this book is TOTALLY plot-centric and I absolutely adooooored that! It’s not often you find a book that’s focused on plot yet still manages to implement and introduce complex, well-rounded, awesome characters…but this book?! This book manages to make everything seamless. The plot is action-packed and SUPER intense, to boot. Like seriously, penguins–I was clenching my fists, sitting on the edge of my seat, terrified about what was still to come. And that doesn’t happen to me often these days–usually I can see where things are going and puzzle out what the major “plot twists” are. D. Melhoff? You caught me totally by surprise, SEVERAL times, and I love that you did!
Like I said, these characters are well-rounded and complex. I really enjoyed that we also get different varying perspectives from them (the better to watch you DIE, my dear!) It brought a fun and unique twist to the story, and helped to keep the air of mystery and drama at SUPER INTENSE instead of just chugging along like some other horror novels I’ve read. I really enjoyed the way this comes full-circle in a sense, too–and that ending! That ending will just…gah. It’s bound to haunt me, just as I’m sure it’s bound to haunt that specific character. GAAAAH! GAH! I need more horror novels like THIS, okay?! So…someone recommend me some maybe?
In the end, this was a super entertaining, gruesome, intensely satisfying read and I cannot wait to see what D. Melhoff does in the future! The plot is action-packed and blood-soaked, the characters are like balls of shady snark, and the read was SO so worth it! I recommend this to lovers of horror, murder mysteries, and varying points of view. If characters actually bled, this book would be dripping red–be sure to wear an apron while reading, and remember, even fairy tales have a dark side.
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