Book Reviews,  Guest Reviews

{Guest Review by Maxine (Booklover Catlady)} The Litter by Kevin R. Doyle

by Kevin R. Doyle
Published by Night to Dawn Magazines & Books on February 13, 2015
Genres: Crime, Dark Fiction, Horror
Pages: 300
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Karen Bannister is coming off a really bad year. Estranged from her father and her fiancé dead, she finds solace in her work with the city’s indigent, destitute, and lost. Then something, something savage and brutal, appears and begins preying on those she works to save. Now, from the depths of her own personal tragedy, Karen has to find the strength to lift herself up and, with the help of an unexpected ally, fight back against the darkness that threatens to overwhelm those too weak to save themselves.

***The content of this review/article does not reflect the official opinion of Horror After Dark or its Team Members. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this review/article [therein] lies entirely with the author(s) who submitted the work. ~ HAD

Wow. I am still reeling a bit from finishing this book last night and finally getting the whole picture eventually from what was one hell of a journey and plot. One of the most interesting and surprising plots I have read for a while. Loved it!

The book is a blend of crime, dark fiction and horror, and it works SO well for this story. This book was really found it entertaining and intriguing with some really unique aspects to it.

‘They kept to the shadows so no one would know they existed, and preyed on the nameless who no one would miss. Where did they come from, and who was protecting them? In a city that had seen every kind of savagery, they were something new, something more than murderous. And one woman, who had thought she had lost everything there was to lose in life, would soon find that nothing could possibly prepare her for what would come when she entered their world.’

It’s the plot of this book that makes it so good, so different.

Very clever pacing and plotting as you getting bits of the story as it goes along. Opening up on a gruesome murder with more to come, but not just ordinary murders, there is something REALLY wrong with the way these vagrants died. The book being set in an area of the city called The Zone, where the homeless gather in the dark alleys and corners of the streets.

Basically something or someone is killing savagely and the police are at a loss as to what it going on. The forensic evidence and feedback is shocking and makes no sense as to helping them work out how to catch the killers, that kill in such a barbaric and primal way. I can’t tell you more, it would give away the whole plot.

The characters are excellently done, I was with them every step of the way in their hunt in The Zone. The main character – Karen works with the homeless and is determined to find out what is going on in an area she knows so well, even putting herself at risk herself. Much to the annoyance of her Father, who sits high up in the police force.

We first get a taste of the truth early in the book by by the time the full story and truth and twist is revealed I was fist-pumping the air for such a clever, brilliant plot. I felt so much for this book, you will understand when you read it too. This is where the true shocking horror element comes into it, but it’s not splatter gore stuff, it’s intelligent urban horror where the unbelievable becomes part of our society.

The lead up to the ending is just fantastic, I was flicking pages, loving every single part of it. Confused whether to feel disgust or pity, hatred or sorrow. It’s like that. The ending was spectacular and for those that like dark fiction/urban horror with a twist and likes some crime, police procedural and strong characters thrown in, this is the one for you.

You will never guess the actual truth until it hits you. I so want to give more away, as I feel like I am not doing this book justice. I am giving this one five stars as it’s entertaining from start to finish, it’s imaginative and the writing has improved hugely from the last book I read from Kevin. I would have loved a follow on to this book too.

If this was written by Stephen King it would be a best seller. Don’t forget, a lot of independent authors have good books written, so if you are scared to try lesser known authors, then don’t be. I recommend this one to anyone that likes something a bit different, likes a twist, likes a bit of the unusual and loves a surprise ending.

About Kevin R. Doyle

A high school teacher and college instructor living in central Missouri, Kevin Doyle has seen his short stories, mainly in the horror and suspense fields, published in over twenty small press magazines, both print and online. Last year his first e-book, a mainstream novelette, titled “One Helluva Gig,” was published by Vagabondage Press.

Doyle earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in communications from Wichita State University. He teaches English and public speaking at a high school in rural Missouri and has taught English, journalism and Spanish at a number of community colleges in both Kansas and Missouri.

In January of 2014, Barbarian Books released “The Group,” his first suspense novel, and February of 2015 saw the release of “The Litter,” a horror/suspense novel.

Recently, he has signed with MuseItUp Publishing for a reissue of The Group.


Scary books make everything so much better! I've been reading them since I was a wee, weird little thing and grew up with a steady diet of King, Koontz, Barker, and Brite and will read and watch just about anything with a hint of darkness.

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