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Friday, February 6, 2015

WiHM Author Spotlight on Sarah Pinborough

One of my favorite female horror writers is Sarah Pinborough.

In the early 2000s, Pinborough was writing what I would consider the scariest pulp horror of any female writer...anywhere.  Here are two annotations of her books which I included in my book as must reads:

Pinborough, Sarah.  Breeding Ground.    
In a small English town, the women are behaving strangely and no one can figure out why.  Soon our hero learns the truth as he sees his girlfriend give birth to man-eating spiders.  A small band of survivors escapes to a military base where they begin to hear rumors of other invasions all over the world.  Pinborough feeds off of the common human fear of spiders, but takes the terror to a whole new, bloody level.  In the sequel, Feeding Ground (2009), the murderous spiders reach London.  Both are solid choices for fans of animals of terror or apocalyptic horror. 

Pinborough, Sarah.  Tower Hill 
Two criminals, one pretending to be a priest, plot to take over a small Maine town by using the power in the artifacts they have uncovered to slowly possess every resident.  Two college students are wary of the new priest and lead a group who are trying to figure out what is going on.  Pinborough uses an overwhelming sense of dread rather than violence to propel this tale.

I mention Pinborough a few more times in the book, but these two titles are a good example of her work.  During these years she also worked heavily on BBC fantasy and science fiction television shows.

She has also written some very dark and sexy retellings of classic fairy tales in her Tales from the Kingdoms series.

But right now, her newest series is really drawing in readers. It’s known as the Dr. Thomas Bond series.  From the Publisher’s Weekly review (citation included below, accessed via NoveList):
/* Starred Review */ Rather than offer the umpteenth fictional take on Jack the Ripper, Pinborough (The Hidden) cleverly uses the so-called Thames Torso murders, a lesser-known series of crimes in late-1880s London, as the starting point for this terrifying novel. Most of the tale is told from the perspective of Dr. Thomas Bond, a historical figure who assisted the police with both sets of killings. Bond responds to the carnage he sees by ever-more-frequent visits to an opium den. His search for the man leaving parts of women strewn around the city, including in the basement of the new location for Scotland Yard, leads him to team with some unusual allies—and to a truth about the crimes and their connection to a Polish legend that he finds almost impossible to believe. In this chilling exploration of madness and evil, Pinborough excels at summoning up the bleak spirit of Victorian London’s mean streets and those forced to fight for survival there. Agent: Veronique Baxter, David Higham Associates (U.K.). (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed November 11, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 45, p)
 The newest book in the series (#2) is called Murder, and it also got a starred review!

These novels are the perfect blend of history and horror. Pinborough has a macabre masterpiece on her hands. As much as I loved the earlier pulp novels, I think this new series will make her a household name.

Back Wednesday with another Woman in Horror.

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