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Kill Creek

Written by: Scott Thomas
Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
4 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 33.54
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Publisher's Summary

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, is the Finch House. For years it has remained empty, overgrown, abandoned. Soon the door will be opened for the first time in decades. But something is waiting, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests....

When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country's most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won't be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

©2017 Scott Thomas (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"A slow-burn, skin-crawling haunted house novel that had me on the edge of my seat until the last page. This debut establishes Scott Thomas as a force to be reckoned with on the horror scene. " (Shane D. Keene, HorrorTalk)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

Absolutely loved this story. It is a bit slow moving at first, but trust me, it’s worth it. Voice acting was outstanding.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too many words...

Scott Thomas is a great writer, from a technical point of view - strong imagery and character build. His shortcoming, in my humble opinion, is that in Kill Creek he takes too long to get to the point of the story and, when he finally does, it all seems to fall apart. The ideas are there, but the substance that should hold them together is lacking. Because of this, I will probably not purchase another Scott Thomas book since I buy fiction - especially horror fiction - to be dazzled by the scares. If I want a drama, I would buy a drama. I must commend, however, Bernard Setaro Clark who is a captivating narrator.. .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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reminded me of Dean Koontz

I thoroughly enjoyed the story the plot twists and the characters it was very well read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Super Creepy

I loved this book. Stories about haunted houses are common, but this plot was very original. There are certain scenes that I could hardly listen to because it was so scary!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Better Than Expected

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The story itself held my attention. And you may think you know what's going on or what's going to happen, then a sharp curve smacks ya and something completely different goes on instead. I will admit, I wasn't sure about it at first. Another story about a haunted house with some unsuspecting people spending the night. But, I would be eager to see this as a film at some point. It was enjoyable. Worth the time and money, in my opinion.

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a page turner

Well done. I didn't think I would be able to get thru this book based on the subject matter, but it was a well put together story.

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  • Linda Likes to Learn
  • 2017-12-02

UNUSUAL PREMISE, COULDN'T STOP LISTENING

What did you love best about Kill Creek?

Four horror-story best-selling authors are offered a proposal they'd rather refuse: meeting at an obscure 'most haunted house' - for an interview. Dangled as bait: an absurd paycheck for a few day's travel, and the possible propulsion to world fame and money...mega-millions in book sales. But there was a twist: The interview would be 'live' - streamed as it happened to millions of people world-wide, by the billionaire owner of the internet media's prime trend-maker "WriteWire".

Three men and a woman are invited to the interview, then learn this will be a 'group interview' - a vying for 'best author to be promoted'. All four write 'horror' as differently as they appear: Sam, lean and writer-blocked, whose novels twist ordinary days into terror, while his own horrific past keeps flashing back - Daniel, a Christian doughboy who scares teens with philosophic endings - T.C. Moore, a hard Gothic diva whose novel covers of sex, blood and perversity are horrifying in themselves, especially when written by a woman - and the impeccable Sebastian Cole, the most prolific of the authors, whose prolific classic British horror had engaged fans who liked to 'think'.

Thoughtfully written with partial 'reveals' of each character's secrets, nudged along with dark references that slip into your subconscious, the book twists from the expected 'Ten Little Indians" format into that of an UN-haunted house - an infuriating joke made at the four writers' expense. Then it twists once again, and the real darkness creeps back in as the real story of 'the house' is revealed.

My professor in 'creative writing' used to tell me 'how to create a plot': "See that statue out there?", he'd say. "Turn it upside down, and write about what you discover." Always practical, I'd think in terms of bronze, concrete, steel, even the earth and the grass roots beneath it. "Nope", he'd grin, as he sucked on his pipe. "Try again, and use your imagination this time."

Scott Thomas' superb writing flips that statue multiple times, and with each landing , another plausability skews the story down an increasing, frightening scenario. Narration by Bernard Clark is 'right on' as he nails accents from the Midwest to the Eastern Europe. This is one of the VERY, VERY FEW novels that I will probably read again. I urge you to read it also!

162 of 167 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 2018-01-15

This book has all kinds of things going for it

This book has all kinds of things going for it but my absolute favourite was the characters - they're all incredibly complex and well written. They're all flawed individuals (as real-life human beings often are) and the ways they interact with each other is so interesting to listen to.

Thomas clearly understands that true horror needs strong characters to really creep you out, which is something this book did over and over again. Not only did he deliver creepy haunted house horror, but he also delivered on personal horrors like dementia and losing a child.

When a group of horror writers is assembled for a media stunt at a haunted house, none of them knows what to expect but they're the perfect people to analyse the strange goings-on as they occur. They know their craft better than anyone, but they're also skeptical and keen to discuss ideas. Listening to a book about authors discussing writer's block and the nature of writing is always fun, you know that the author puts a lot of themselves into this part of the book and it gives you an insight into what makes them tick.
The book was thought-provoking and scary, a perfect read for fans of the horror genre - it's a breath of fresh air in the haunted house niche where everything can get a little samey.

Bernard Setaro Clark absolutely nailed the performance of this emotionally charged novel, from heartwrenching screams to Irish accents, I was impressed. He brought a bunch of very different characters to life and gave the book a whole new dimension to enjoy. Beware though, this is a helluva long audiobook and very intense so I did feel the need to split it up over a few weeks.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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49 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brandon Collins
  • 2017-11-28

Great book that had me wanting more.

I️ am a true horror fan and not easily scared, but this book had me looking in the back seat of my car while driving back and fourth from Utah to Montana. Scott Thomas did a great job telling a well put together story by providing enough detail on that long trail to the end without over doing it.

75 of 81 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Casey
  • 2018-03-27

Not what I expected, in a disappointing way

While I loved the voice of the narrator, that’s about the only good thing I can give this. I bought this because I thought I was going to get an edgy, subversive take on the haunted house story. And maybe that’s how the idea started but it certainly doesn’t finish.

There are four horror writers and one super horror fan, yet not a single one can tell where the story goes. You’d think there’d be some kind of Scream-esque meta storytelling going on. Each one acts like they’ve never even come across a haunting or evil spirit, I know they haven’t in actuality but it makes no sense for them to even try to guess. The choices they make are so formulaic and that’s the problem. I wanted something to shake up the formula. I wanted characters who could predict an outcome and then be subverted, not just go along for the ride.

It’s not a badly written story but it’s still a lackluster one. The scares don’t come from a psychological level, mostly degrading into possessions and blood. I wanted to be scared to pick up a book or scared to turn a corner in my own house, instead I’m wondering if the thing behind my closet door is a button up shirt or the bogeyman🙄

I’m tired of writers believing that horror and ghosts simply come from the grotesque. There are so many ways to make a house scary. A wonderful example is Mark Z Danielewski’s “House of Leaves,” which takes the primitive fear of “what’s waiting around the corner?” and plunged into it. Houses have so many unknown places to explore, unlike the outside it’s a contained area with many rooms and places locked away behind walls, doors and uncertainty. The house in this story just feels like a dragon for our heroes to fight. Not that it’s bad to personify things like that, but he could have gone so much farther with it by dumping the idea of ghosts earlier on.

All-in-all, if you like a haunted house story, I’d put this low on your list.

78 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 2017-11-15

Starts out pretty good, then goes downhill

What starts out as a psychological thriller, turns into a typical 'slasher' story in the second half of the book. I listened intently to the first part which was interesting and would keep you on the edge of your seat by scaring your mind. The second half however, turns into a bloodbath as ***POTENTIAL SPOILERS*** people start being systematically killed which is described in great detail.
I did more fast forwarding in the second half of the book than I think I've ever done w/ any book. Several rounds of skipping would be required to get past the detailed ways the people were dying.
First half of the book: 3.5 to 4 stars.
Second half of the book: 2 stars max.

50 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Hicks
  • 2018-06-16

An Impressive Haunted House Debut!

Scott Thomas makes one hell of a horror debut with his Stoker Award-nominated haunted house novel, Kill Creek - so strong a debut that I found it hard to believe he's a first-time author. Turns out, Thomas has a bit of a pedigree in television and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the R.L. Stine TV series, The Haunting Hour. While Kill Creek is his first novel, Thomas definitely knows his way around a horror story, and his work here carries a nicely cinematic style with more than a few movie-ready scenes and set pieces.

After being duped into agreeing to an interview by an Internet website mogul, four authors find themselves unwittingly gathered together for an overnight stay at the abandoned and decrepit Finch House. For the wealthy Wainwright, this is a chance to speak to his idols, the modern masters of horror, and rake in lots of lucrative web-clicks. For the authors, it's a gimmicky way to promote their work, score some quick cash, and waste a night in a supposedly haunted house before returning to their lives, check in hand. If you know your way around a haunted house story, I don't have to tell you that things don't go quite according to plan...

Thankfully, Thomas throws in a few juicy curveballs here and there, slowly inching his narrative toward a finale of all-consuming madness that chills in all the best and brutal ways. Thomas, however, knows that he has to earn the premise's payoff, and he spends a lot of time building up his central cast. While the focus is on Sam McGarver, the most Everyman horror author of the bunch, characters like TC Moore, Sebastian Cole, and Daniel Slaughter - a horror-ready name if ever there was one - carry enough personality and intrigue to keep this slow-burn narrative hustling along. Moore, in fact, was my favorite character in this story - a brash, take-no-prisoners attitude, whiskey swilling, tough gal are always right up my alley narratively-speaking, and her introduction immediately captivated me.

Although it's become rather cliche to have a horror author as the protagonist of a horror novel, it works surprisingly well here. Usually the protag's occupation is ancillary, but in Kill Creek it's a primary focus and a linchpin for the work itself. Thomas is clearly well-versed in horror and genre tropes, as well as the career of writing and some of its more self-depreciating aspects. At one point, McGarver jokes that he's a writer, which means he spends most of his time procrastinating on the Internet. But it's his introduction as a college lecturer, wherein he delivers a presentation on gothic literature to his students, that makes a solid argument toward the credibility of not only McGarver's skill as an author, but Thomas's as well. The fact that Thomas creates this band of authors is one thing; the fact that he created them with such attention toward their pedigree and bibliographies is another. It's common to see horror authors experiencing a real-life horror event in fiction, but this is probably the first time I've wanted to actually read these fictional author's works. I wish I could buy a TC Moore book for my Kindle right now, or dig into a Sebastian Cole book next, and that alone should speak volumes to how much I appreciated Thomas's character work here.

Narrating Kill Creek is Bernard Setaro Clark, and hot damn, he's a fine reader. While much of his delivery is direct, Clark has a few aural tricks up his sleeve that really impressed me. Clark knows when to act up the material a bit, changing tones and pitch, and sometimes flat-out shouting, when needed. He also pulls this nifty trick of creating spatial distance between characters by turning away from the microphone at certain points. Say a character is shouting from across the room - rather than speaking directly into the mike as he would for our POV character, Clark turns away slightly, giving a sense of depth to sell the impression that there really is a character yelling from across the rom. It's such a simple thing, but so well executed, and not something I've often heard in other audiobooks. Of course, it's also possible I'm easily impressed, but I appreciated these moments a heck of a lot when they occurred. Clark's narrative skills certainly get a workout in the book's climax, as McGarver and company are forced to contend with the threats lurking within the Finch House once and for all.

Kill Creek isn't just a mighty fine haunted house novel, but a wickedly impressive debut for its author, who manages to wring the story for all its worth and deliver some pleasantly shocking twists along the way. This sucker builds like a roller coaster, slowly ratcheting its way to the top, and then violently dropping readers down a twisting thrill-ride that pulls their stomach up their throats. To put it mildly and succinctly, Kill Creek freaking rocks.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Hardin
  • 2018-02-15

Largely a fun book, but drags...

It almost feels like territory we've all covered before. Ending twist was not surprising at all. Lost a star for the last three or so chapters.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Pelham
  • 2017-12-08

Bernard Setaro Clark is amazing!

The story was good. The character development was great. The narration was off the charts!

There were a couple spots where it slowed down a little but overall glad I listened to it.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew Pickell
  • 2018-03-28

narrator made it almost tolerable.

extensive waiting for something to happen. quit half way through, could not keep my attention.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • T.Evans
  • 2018-01-07

Not great

I would compare this book to a B-horror movie on Netflix, you’ll put it on, loose interest, yet keep it going because you invested so much time in it already. I have a couple hundred Audible books in my collection, I listen to many a second or third time, this will be discarded and never brought back.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful