cover image Ash Street

Ash Street

Lee Thomas. Sinister Grin (, $15.99 trade paper (464p)

Two years before the main action of this so-so present-day supernatural thriller from Stoker-winner Thomas (The Dust of Wonderland), Barnard, Tex., was rocked by a vicious killing spree carried out by the now incarcerated Selma Baxter and Derek Thomason, who tortured and killed 11 people. One of the victims was the wife of Detective Stuart Lancaster, whose loss was aggravated by guilt. As the primary on the investigation for more than a year, he could have caught the murderers before his wife was added to their butcher%E2%80%99s bill. The house on Ash Street used as their headquarters has just been torched by Alan Means, the grandfather of another victim. Meanwhile, the paranormal investigators from a reality TV show, The Haunt Club, enter the mix after getting a warning letter about an evil presence from Means. The lack of genuine scares is fatal to a plot dependent upon them. (Nov.)