I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A Gulf War Veteran suffering from a string of bad luck and PTSD must investigate the mysterious creature that has begun stalking his neighborhood in author J.J. Alo’s “The Street Between the Pines”.
A strange creature lurks between the pines of Forest Street.
Since the deadly DUI that ruined his life, Curtis Reynolds has long since struggled with sleep deprivation, debt, a failing marriage, and, frankly, justifying his own existence. But when his elderly neighbor is murdered, the Gulf War Veteran returns home to Forest Street, where a dangerous encounter sends him spiraling.
Battling insomnia and PTSD induced visions, Curtis begins an investigation of a mysterious monster, falling down a rabbit hole of folk mythology, government conspiracy, and ghosts from his past that threaten to destroy his fragile psyche and, possibly, all he holds dear.
This was a truly rich and captivating horror thriller. The author found the perfect voice for this book’s overall atmosphere and tone, the writing really drawing the reader into the narrative as the small Connecticut town came to life on the page. The visceral nature of the creature’s attacks and the shocking realities of its origins are but two of the big mysteries the author is able to draw open in this book, and the imagery the author’s writing conjured for the reader left plenty of room for the reader’s imaginations to run wild while still providing an almost cinematic approach to the story.
For me, the core of this novel rested on the relatable character development and the chilling nature of the creature’s origins. The creature and the protagonist seemed to become the perfect mirror image of one another, showcasing the pitfalls of those who become ensured in the workings of the government machine, one a soldier left to pick up the pieces of his life, and the other a creature at war with the natural world for the failings of its creators. The web of conspiracies and haunting imagery combined to make the reader feel like they were delightfully lost in a classic X-Files-style creature feature.
Thrilling, entertaining, and mesmerizing, author J.J. Alo’s “The Street Between the Pines” is a must-read horror thriller of 2023, and a contender for top horror read of the year thus far. The way the author drew out each character’s arc in a natural way felt very Stephen King to me in style, while the government mixed with horror nature of the narrative felt like an ode to iconic Dean Koontz novels, and yet the author’s unique voice and tone shone through on every page. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
J.J. Alo is a commercial actor, writer, and author of the new novel THE STREET BETWEEN THE PINES.
As a lover of the macabre, J.J. has spent several years writing award-winning horror screenplays and novels creating his interconnected “New England Supernatural Universe” filled with inherently flawed, complex characters and antiheroes. His latest novel, MISERY PLAZA, will be released in the fall of 2023, six months after his debut THE STREET BETWEEN THE PINES in April 2023.
THE STREET BETWEEN THE PINES has placed in two novel competitions: Killer Nashville Claymore Award Competition Finalist and ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition Quarterfinalist. His screenplay has won numerous accolades in the Best Horror/Thriller categories in several screenwriting competitions, some of which include the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival, Fright Night Film Fest, and Zed Fest Film Festival & Screenplay Competition to name a few.
J.J. lives and works out of his Connecticut Shoreline home with six insane cats and spends his time visiting coffee shops, movie theaters, and concert venues. He is a lifelong pop culture nerd, ComicCon & cosplay fanatic, avid gym enthusiast, and subpar snowboarder. (he tries!) And he’ll never say no to a perfectly shaken dirty martini. Never.