John C. Foster – The Isle Review

Genre: Horror
Length: 316 Pages
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Release date: December 4, 2018
Synopsis: A deadly menace threatens a remote island community and every man, woman and child is in peril. Sent to the isle to collect the remains of a dead fugitive, US Marshal Virgil Bone is trapped by torrential storms.

As the body count rises the community unravels, and Bone is thrust into the role of investigator. Aided by a local woman and the town pariah, he uncovers the island’s macabre past and its horrifying connection to the killings.

Some curses are best believed.
Sometimes the past is best left buried.
And some will kill to keep it so.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

I found the pace of The Isle slow, and it took some time to gain its footing. The story started out interesting, but had many chapters with more description than story, giving the feel of filler over substance. I had a tough time getting through the many uneasy interactions between Bone and the boat captain, Weeks. The story gained strength and some momentum at the discovery of Mr. Slocum and the scene at Hazel’s house. Again, the book now had my attention, but shortly after I was derailed by too many character back stories. The initial murder investigation was interesting, as was the second that Bone found himself having to solve. I would have loved to see more threads tied up and less left open or dangling.

Ahead are further thoughts and may contain spoilers.

I thought the cell phone and torch used in the well were both too convenient. The lack of explanation about the Leviathan that left the isle, only to return at the most opportune moment felt too easy. The dark substance in the hold of Leviathan as it approached The Isle, left me feeling short-changed. It was hard to believe that The Isle was just a community lost in time, that they were cannibals, and that something evil possessed this place. I would love to know others thoughts on these points, and if anyone else had similar feelings.

Link to purchase The Isle

John C. Foster, biography

John C. Foster is a New York City writer of thrillers and dark fiction whose stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Shock Totem MagazineDark CornersDeath’s Realm,Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror – Volume 2Under the Stairs and Big Book of New Short Horror among others. Foster’s first novel, Dead Men, was published in July 2015 and is the first in his Libros de Inferno trilogy. Mister White becomes his second long-fiction release when it is published in 2016 by Grey Matter Press. For more information, please visit


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