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The Red Church
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The Red Church [Kindle Edition]

Scott Nicholson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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"A wonderful storyteller, he is at the top of his game in The Red Church." -- Author Sharyn McCrumb

"Like Stephen King, Nicholson has an eye and ear for the rhythms of rural America and summons serious scares." -- Bentley Little, author of The Association

"Like Stephen King, he has an eye and ear for the rhythms of rural America, and like King he knows how to summon serious scares." -- Author Bentley Little

"Nicholson writes with a mixture of H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, stirred with a dose of his own originality." -- Kevin J. Anderson, author of Hopscotch

"Readers will sense echoes of Stephen King's classic 'Castle Rock' tales, but there's a tasty strain of Lovecraft here, too." -- Author Stewart O'Nan

"Readers will sense echoes of Stephen King's classic Castle Rock tales in The Red Church. Scott Nicholson knows the territory." -- Stewart O'Nan, author of The Circus Fire

"Scott Nicholson explores a nightmare country that ends in Stephen King's yard. A wonderful storyteller." -- Sharyn McCrumb, author of the Ballad novels

"Scott Nicholson writes with a mixture of Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft and Manly Wade Wellman." -- Author Kevin J. Anderson

“Rarely does a story teller weave prose with the emotional energy and sheer gusto of Nicholson.” --, December 2000

Product Description

Stoker Award finalist with more than 100,000 copies sold, from the international bestselling author of McFALL and DRUMMER BOY. A boy and a sheriff must solve the mystery of a haunted Appalachian church when a strange preacher returns to town.

"Like Stephen King, he knows how to summon serious scares. My advice? Buy everything he writes." - Bentley Little, The Haunted

"Nobody thrills like Nicholson does. Nobody." -- J.A. Konrath, The List


For 13-year-old Ronnie Day, life is full of problems: Mom and Dad have separated, his brother Tim is a constant pest, Melanie Ward either loves him or hates him, and Jesus Christ won't stay in his heart. Plus he has to walk past the red church every day, where the Bell Monster hides with its wings and claws and livers for eyes. But the biggest problem is that Archer McFall is the new preacher at the church, and Mom wants Ronnie to attend midnight services with her.

Sheriff Frank Littlefield hates the red church for a different reason. His little brother died in a freak accident at the church twenty years ago, and now Frank is starting to see his brother's ghost. And the ghost keeps demanding, "Free me." People are dying in Whispering Pines, and the murders coincide with McFall's return.

The Days, the Littlefields, and the McFalls are descendants of the original families that settled the rural Appalachian community. Those old families share a secret of betrayal and guilt, and McFall wants his congregation to prove its faith. Because he believes he is the Second Son of God, and that the cleansing of sin must be done in blood.

"Sacrifice is the currency of God," McFall preaches, and unless Frank and Ronnie stop him, everybody pays.


Scott Nicholson is author of 20 thriller, including the AFTER series, THE HOME, LIQUID FEAR, and SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD.

"Scott Nicholson is the kind of writer who always thrills and always entertains." --Jonathan Maberry, Patient Zero

"Scott Nicholson understands that the best horror novels achieve primal fear through a combination of sustained atmosphere, richly drawn characters, and believable if uncanny evils that draw unholy power from everyday lives. The Red Church is a damn scary story well told." --Christopher Ransom, author of the international bestseller, The Birthing House

"A master of atmospheric suspense." --Eric Wilson, NY Times bestselling novelist

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3716 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Haunted Computer Books (March 23 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0032FPYD8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,631 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Ummm..... Really wanted to like this one. April 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Call me old-fashioned, but I feel that a horror novel should at least:
1)approach scaring the reader.
2)have characters that the reader _wants_ to form some kind of attachment to.
3)provide a story that is both 'unique' and exciting.
4)have an ending that leaves the reader at least nodding with a 'not bad old-timer' look on the face.
5)ummm... Whatever
This book failed on every count... Though it was a quick/fun read (hence the star) I feel that episodes of 'Trading Spaces' have scared and compelled me more. This will not stop me from picking up the author's second book. I feel that his writing style is easy on the eyes and moves along quite well.
One other note: I really feel that 'The Red Church' hints at some reservations about oragnized religion on the author's part. Certain exchanges in the book felt more like a 'let's see if I can be critical of religion and shock the reader' ploy, which come out looking more like high school angst against going to church... As a fan of Lovecraftian writing and a 'scholar' of world religions I really wanted to like this book but was quite let down. Just my 2 cents
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth picking up. I loved it! May 12 2003
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the 1860's Reverend Wendell McFall had a church built in Whispering Pines. It was painted red to summon the First Son to defeat the Second Son. When Wendell sacrificed a child his congregation hung him from the rafters of his own sanctuary.
The red church stood empty for twenty years. It was going to ruin until Archer McFall purchased it. It was called the Temple of the Two Sons and most of the town's residents quickly joined, as their ancestors had before. The zealous worshipers had no idea that they would be simply pawns and sacrifices as the demonic Archer exercised his revenge!
***** W - O - W! Now here is a novel that will send chills up your spine. I often found myself repelled and attracted at the same time as the grizzly plot unfolded. Fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz will LOVE this talented author! I am eager for Nicholson's next release. *****
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story March 16 2004
By Donna
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Red Church is about supernatural happenings centered around a religious cult in the mountains of North Carolina. The concept is pretty original, and I like Nicholson's writing style. I'm not crazy about all of the characterization, though. Some of the characters show a surprising lack of common sense when it's convenient to the plot, and at times Ronnie, a young boy, seems much older than he's supposed to be.
There are some very good scares in this book, and the plot kept my interest. The only thing I really disliked about the story was the very end of the book. There are a few tacked-on paragraphs after the story is wrapped up that are at best pointless and at worst a bit of a cop out. But I'm definately looking forward to reading more from this writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Keep the lights on for this one Feb. 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this while vacationing on the Disney Cruise Line. Even surrounded by Mickey and all his friends, I was absolutely creeped out.
Nicholson's imagery through words will have you taking a second glance at every old church you pass. A chilling read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and Thought Provoking Dec 1 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have long ago become immune to scary stories actually scaring me but this one holds a disturbing theme that reminds me of every religious fanatic out there. I was often reminded of Jim Jones and the Heaven's Gate cult when I read this story. Some people can become so consumed with their religion that they would result to... well I don't want to spoil the story. Scott weaves a very frightening tale of how a group of people are taken in by a sinister preacher. They attend his services out of guilt, religious fervor, or whatever. Some people and see through this and try to stop things and that is what makes the story so good. You get inside the heads of each character and why they believe the way they do. A very good tale for a rainy day!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rural gothic that chills the bones Oct. 16 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am always searching for fresh new faces in the horror field. Scott Nicholson has received quite a lot of attention since the publication of The Red Church, his first novel. What attracted me most to this novel was its summary at the back, which seemed original and quite elaborate for the plot of a horror paperback . Just like you would never recommend a deeply religious person to sit through The Exorcist, you would definitely not want such a person to read The Red Church either. This novel takes religious fanaticism to morbid extremes.
In the 1800's, reverend Wendell McFall' sermons declared the existence of the second son of God, whose mission it is to destroy the work and the existence of Jesus, God's first son. McFall had his church painted red to summon the first son to defeat the second. But when he sacrificed a newborn child to support his rantings, his congregation hung him from the rafters of the church.
Fast forward to present time. The Red Church still stands but has long been abandoned, used only as a site for Hallowen pranks and as a place for the young to drink and fornicate. When a mutilated body is discovered on the grounds of The Red Church by 13-year-old Ronnie and his young brother Tim, it shocks the townfolk and law enforcement officials of this peaceful and sleepy mountain community. When a second and third body are discovered, Sheriff frank Littlefield senses that these murders are not being committed by a raving lunatic or a serial killer but that The Red Church is in some way responsible. Frank doesn't think it to be a mere coincidence that theses murders started occuring when Archer McFall, a descendant of the hung preacher, returns to town and purchases The Red Church in an effort to restore it to its past glory.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Campy, Old-School Horror
Fans of early King and Barker will dig this. Nicholson may do to backwood North Carolina what King did to rural Maine. Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2003 by S. Sommerville
4.0 out of 5 stars Place, atmosphere, and a concern for detailed portraiture...
THE RED CHURCH is an impressive first novel by a young horror writer who's sure to make a name for himself if he continues to produce work of this caliber. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2003 by C. Fletcher
4.0 out of 5 stars A Reader's Opinion
As an unpublished writer, my opinion on writing styles and formats and first books is probably not worth a grain of salt to anyone reading this review. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2003 by Donna O.
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid First Novel
This Bram Stoker nominee for first novel is stronger than it's competition ("Atmosphere" by Michael Laimo, etc.). Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2003 by William M Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good novel with a new premise.
This book was alot better than i had expected it to be. The writer is very good at bulding suspense and make's the story very creepy and unsettling. Read more
Published on July 18 2003 by Jim
4.0 out of 5 stars A Promising Start
Whispering Pines, North Carolina has a grim secret in its past. During the painful throes of the American Civil War, local preacher Wendell McFall went stark raving mad. Read more
Published on June 17 2003 by Jeffrey Leach
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Original
This book is unlike any horror novel I've read thus far. It has an original flavor to it. Over 100 years ago a minister (Wendell McFall), who preached that God had a second son... Read more
Published on June 5 2003 by Katherine H. Youngblood
5.0 out of 5 stars Love/hate
Some people seem to really hate this book. Maybe because "horror" gives people different types of expectations. I loved this book. Read more
Published on May 12 2003
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Essay: Heres The Church, Heres The People &quote;
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The good thing about the past was that you left it farther and farther behind each day. &quote;
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