Thursday, January 9, 2014

809 Jacob Street - by Marty Young - Some genuine chills to be had

4 of 5 Stars    Review copy

In his debut novel Marty Young has created a creepy little town named Parkton, Oregon.  One of those towns with a past it would like to keep quiet.  No need for a nosey, fourteen year-old, newcomer trying to learn what happened at 809 Jacob Street.

The rumors of mass murder and disappearing kids vary greatly and Byron James just wants to know the truth.  Byron's not the only one drawn to the house, there are his new friends Iain and Hamish and a disturbed former bluesman, Joey Blue, all destined to find themselves at Parkton' s darkest address.

809 Jacob Street may be Marty Young's first published novel, but he's certainly paid his dues, both as an award winning editor and as the founding President of the Australian Horror Writers Association and one of the creative minds behind Midnight Echo Magazine.

Young' s talent is is clear, particularly his keen eye for descriptive text.  "Byron James glanced up from his contemplations and stared at his new friend.  Iain Cluson' tangled mop of hair and thick eyebrows made him look like a crazy cartoon character, a mad scientist in shorts and a Darth Vader t-shirt.  He was the oldest amongst them, closing in on fifteen. Four months older than Byron and five months more than the third member of their gang, Hamish Aidenson, who was a head taller than Iain and a whole world more silent than anyone Byron had met before.  Hamish was thin, too, so thin that a good gust of wind would fill his clothes like sails and take him far away from here.  His brown hair was long and shaggy, reminding Byron of Beaker, that poor muppet who had a perpetual look of fright on his face.  Guess that meant Iain was Dr. Bunsen Honeydew."

This is the first time in a long time that I actually got chills while reading a book.  The author managed to build tension slowly and brought it all to a brutal crescendo.

I also liked the cover design and beautiful interior illustrations from David Schembri.

All told, 809 Jacob Street is a wonderful first novel for Marty Young and first release for new Publisher, Black Beacon Books

As I'm finishing this review, I noticed 809 Jacob Street is available for FREE if you are an Amazon Prime member,as a part of the Kindle Lending Library.  Sweet deal.

Highly recommended.


  1. Many thanks for the time and effort you put into your reviews, Frank.