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H is for HORROR – a “GRIM” review.. #atozchallenge

…errr a review of GRIM by Joseph Spencer



My horror story is struggling a bit due to my loss of gumption. How can one write an even more psychologically horrifying book without it being a transgressive horror? It takes talent and knowing when to draw the line in the blood.

Grim almost doesn’t make it to this blockade  There is a lot of gore and though I love reveling in it, I want a story to go with it. Anti-Heroes, villains with or without masks… take one of my favorite bad guy fights…



Case in point, Freddy VS. Jason..or the classic Godzilla vs Mothra


The cover is stunning and upon reading the authors site I found out this was a point of importance for him. I cannot agree more. Horror books need horrifying covers, but they also need to taunt you to take the chance, to open them up and just read. Grim is one of those books. The colors and the scared face is metaphoric on several different levels. Even the video games are getting in on the action. City of Villains, Kane and Lynch and my favorite? Knights of the Old Republic II as far as a story telling narrative goes, if you went straight out evil.

Video games with strong narratives are allowing you to play out your fantasies and be thee anti-hero. Let’s face it, you may not want to admit it but there is a part of you that gets off when the bad guys are oh so good at being bad…

I Love Villains! 

This book has ’em that is for sure! Villians you cheer for root for and cannot wait to see what diabolical and disastrous thing they will do next. But there is also a lot of inner conflict and dialogue going on. It can be a bit off setting if you are not a person who likes head hopping. I happen to like it and if the formula of the writing offsets me with a book like this I feel the psychological effects of the book are even more powerful. If you start it and get a bit confused at first with all the points of views and characters, give it a bit. Joseph has a way with developing a cadence when they are upfront allowing you to follow and know just who is on stage.


Masks are important, even those that are not tangible. But Heath wears three, two we can see. His scars itself take this story on a slight road trip on a dusty road into the brain of one messed up but yet deep individual. Is he a villain? Really? There are obvious ones, with Crysus who runs the local mafia and reigns control over Prairieville who will squash out anyone who opposes him and then of course Adam who’s only desperate desire is to solve the stream of murder which are being crammed into such a small area it would be like a t-1 line is streaming into your Commodore-64.  Each hide a darkness within, even the “White Knight”, Adam. It is an interesting dance to watch play out.

The tale dances back and forth like a superhero movie. I could see Dark Horse getting ahold of this and having a ball! My hats off to Joseph Spencer for a great read for my visceral and horror flavor of the week. Possible triggers with the violence and gore, as in all over the place gore. But on that note it was not to much over the top considering I just read Stranger Will! Dark tales with violence, suspense and gore. Definitely 18+. *


So personally, it is a winner. at 4/5 bloody finger prints. 

*It took a bit of time to get to the grit of it. His in depth descriptions were a bit much. He probably could have gotten the same effect without as much. It did not deter with the book after about 15-20% in.

Grim by Joseph Spencer

H is for HORROR - a "GRIM" review.. #atozchallenge

Grim is a complex, gritty, and often gory tale which follows a series of grisly murders in Prairieville. The blood trail leads to a reclusive millionaire Heath Grim, who wears a mask to hide his war scars from the world, but he harbors a darker secret on the inside. Virtuous detective Adam White almost always gets his man, but he’s haunted by the one case he’s never closed – his wife’s murder.

When White is pushed to the limits of his sanity from a rising body count and a criminal kingpin who has turned crooked cops and corrupt politicians against him, will he be able to collar the killer? Or will a plot to tarnish his image and the killer’s information on a common enemy turn White into the type of man he’s hunted throughout his law enforcement career?


The Storyteller’s Story

Joe Head Shot1

As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer. 

Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating with honors from Clinton (IL) High School in 1996 and summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations. 

Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from The Princess Bride, Rain Man, Bridesmaids, and Office Space.


H is for HORROR - a "GRIM" review.. #atozchallengeFor the rest of this month I will be blogging with the single prompt, the prompt of a letter. Each day (except for Sundays) I will be using A to Z and all of the letters in between. A lot of reviews using the prompt of the letter of the day. I guarantee it will be fun! A taste of my Camp NaNoWriMo project. Reviews, Interviews, Teasers, rants. You name it, I plan on doing it all using the #AtoZChallenge.

Join with me and pick a group of 5 to hop through from the #atozchallenge blog list & check out the almost 2000 blogs participating HERE. Oh… and show me some comment love too! I can admit I am a comment whore, it makes me feel really good when folks tell me they like my post!

H is for HORROR - a "GRIM" review.. #atozchallenge

H is for HORROR - a "GRIM" review.. #atozchallenge


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me. My publisher, Damnation Books, would like to offer readers of your blog a 28 percent discount with code 289snake. The next book in my Sons of Darkness series, Wrage, will be released June 1st. Email me at [email protected] for a free bookmark.

    • THANKS!!!

  2. Hi Kriss. I loved this book. I agree that it took a bit to get into it, but I could tell by his writing it was only going to get better.
    As usual, your review is fun and entertaining. I like the way you think girl! Visceral decribes it perfectly, wish I’d used that. I’m going to have to read Stranger Will!

    • Oh man..yes you will!! I have had a week of great reads!!

  3. Sounds truly Grimm- might be a bit too bloody for me, but great review!

    Ruby is participating in the A to Z Challenge
    Ruby Wilbur

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