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Safe at Home

C. Dennis Moore

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published : 2012

Copyright : C. Dennis Moore2012

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4783-0770-6
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4783-0770-9

Publisher's Write-Up

Horror author C. Dennis Moore (Revelations and The Man in the Window) takes a detour with this suspense novella in what is one of his most autobiographical works.

Early-twenties Jim and his high school girlfriend Monica have just moved into a third floor apartment in a secure building to start a life together. Everything’s going well at first, even though Jim finds adjusting to living with another person difficult. Then one night one of the residents in the building is murdered. With the security lock on the front door, and considering Jim was the only one in the building who couldn’t prove his whereabouts at the time, all fingers point to him. And when a few more bodies turn up in the building, all at times Jim can’t establish an alibi, things start to get a little tense at home. Jim is haunted by memories of an old 80s hair metal band he didn’t even like, meanwhile the tension between him and Monica gets stronger and stronger until Jim feels his mind is about to snap.

Moore crafts a taut thrill-ride wrapped in a blanket of nostalgia that doesn’t let off the gas until the exciting climax with a killer in the building and the police storming up the stairs. While his short stories in the horror genre have been creating dread and terror in readers for years, Safe at Home grabs them by the throat and thrashes them about until they’re left rattled and dazed wondering what just happened.

'Smart, sexy and witty as hell with some razor-edged suspense thrown in to keep you on edge throughout.'

Kealan Patrick Burke

'C. Dennis Moore shows us that no matter how hard we try to be safe and live a normal life in a normal world, there is always that one chaotic element that can send your otherwise mundane existence into a tailspin. Safe at Home is a quiet, subtle, terrifying snapshot of urban living and how your world can be turned inside out in a blink of an eye.'

David Barnett of Necro Publications
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (311216) Rating (9/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 9/10

C. Dennis Moore’s Safe at Home begins when twenty something Jim and his high school girlfriend Monica are just moved into a charming, third floor flat in a protected structure where they are anxious to begin their life together. Monica Ellen and Jim Bryson assure their parents that the building is safe, after all only those who have a key can get into the building. Although Jim finds adjusting to living with another person is a little more problematic than he had imagined; on the whole everything is going pretty well at first.

Monica works part-time while she also attends classes. Jim works at Burger King and often listens to music during the afternoon while he waits for Monica to come home. The pleasant, calm life the pair are fashioning for themselves will soon not remain quite so peaceable.

Fellow tenant, Roger Weinstein, is found dead, murdered, leading to police being called. Due to the fact that the security lock on the front door coupled with the fact that Jim was the only one in the edifice who couldn't verify his whereabouts at the time; leads others, especially the police, to wonder about him.

Police are called again when ageing Emma Shamburg is murdered next; and again Jim cannot establish an alibi. Jim is disheartened to find himself again the object of interest for a resolute homicide officer. And, as the investigation continues, tension begins to build between the two young people.

Spoiler Alert

Monica learns the heating vent carries conversation from one story to another. Jim is a tad startled when he realizes the door to a rearmost storage room cannot really be secured against uninvited interlopers. Adding to the growing angst is an almost concealed opening marked ‘basement,’ a haunting musical strain produced by Banded Boss, a none too popular group, in addition to a bizarre, unidentified, late night pillager who tosses Jim’s load of just washed clean clothes all over the laundry room. Wherever Jim turns the Bonded Bass refrain seems to be present. Jeopardy, perplexity and absolute lethal intent all dog the young man’s steps. Eventually Officer Grawbadger turns his attention elsewhere, the murders are solved, and, Jim and Monica move.

The young couple weds, welcome a baby Samuel and life is good. Time marches on, Jim’s new work situation is much better than was Burger King, and a new baby is on the way when Jim notices a green van parked in an alleyway. Four-year-old Samuel comes into the house humming a haunting refrain.

Safe At Home commences in a discreet, meandering manner. It is the account of youngsters growing up and beginning to take their place in the adult world. Novelist Moore sets his scene with an adroit choice of words.

Well drawn, credible characters come alive under the clever pen of this author. Nineteen-year-old Monica is a typical girl attending school and working part-time, while the somewhat older Bryson is a normal young man with a low-key job. This is one of the foremost draws of the book; most of the world is made up of rather average/normal people and the reader is hooked right into the account by identifying with the characters.

Main characters Jim and Monica are set against a framework of attractive settings, resonance, and associations in this gripping tale. Novella, Safe At Home, hooks the reader into the action from the inaugural lines and carries the reader along on a progressively risky ride right to the last paragraph. Spine tingling action, convincing dialog, agreeably mystifying anxiety all flourish in this chronicle shaped with clever skilfulness by writer Moore.

While I like mystery, when I first accepted this review request for a 21,000 word suspense novella, I wasn’t certain I would enjoy the read; writer Moore is a well-known writer of horror, and the book was presented as a horror. I don’t care much for the genre, even though I have reviewed some now and then. Writer Moore has created a nail biter of a read, while this reviewer considers this book to be more of a suspense-filled thriller than horror, and I can say I wholly enjoyed the read.

Writer Moore adds a bit of biographical information, a beginning script and other information regarding his work. I enjoyed reading how this book Safe At Home came about and look forward to reading more of his work so long as it leans more to thriller than horror per se. Safe At Home is not a work to be read on a dark and stormy night. The wise reader will watch for the curves and spins or you may come up surprised by the ending.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin (31st December 2016)

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