The Stage Mothers' Club
Johnny Jenkins was the child star of a controversial exorcism film, The Damned. After enduring the pain caused by a hovering stage mother, he escaped and enlisted in the Army. After being honorably discharged, Little Johnny Jenkins began to suffer from debilitating PTSD, and the only way he can keep his demons at bay is by writing.
As the cloistered, highly successful writer of feel-good novels about loving mother-son relationships, he has created a comfort zone for himself. But he is soon brought back to the epicenter of his nightmares, his role in the movie, discovering the horrifying backstory of The Damned along the way.
Pulpy and darkly smart, Ron Capshaw is a compulsively readable genre unto himself. I devoured The Stage Mother’s Club in a single sitting. Take two-measures of William Peter Blatty and add a dash of vintage James Ellroy. Season with the breakneck pace of 1980s-style adventure paperbacks and savor the wild banquet!
Edgar Award Finalist
Johnny Jenkins was the child star of the horror film “The Damned”. He was never allowed to watch the film but has horrific memories of its filming. Just what did happen to him on that film set? His overbearing mother pushed his career and on the set of a disco film “Roller Boogie” the director Hugh Jenkins gave him some cash and advised him to get away and save himself, which he did, changing his name to Chandler Davis. He joins the army and ends up in Special Forces. As a Green Beret he shows a natural flair until a flashback from the filmset produces a meltdown, a medal and an honourable discharge. Dependent on alcohol and tranquilizers he is renamed by the army as Whitney Grizzle and enrols at university where his life changes. His tutor recognises something in him and yet another name change sees him as Kern Robeson, the writer of feelgood novels about children and loving mothers. Finally life is good. That is, until the director of The Damned, Riley Mason, tracks him down and tries to persuade him to star in the sequel. Johnny politely declines (with the aid of a 9mm and a commando knife) and makes a decision - to kill all the people still living who forced him to do whatever hellish things he’d done on that film. Green Beret-style. No traces. Starting with Mom. First stop Hollywood but when following his mother he gets his first sighting of the Stage Mother’s Club and things take a horrifying turn as he gets more and more disturbing flashbacks to the filming. Discovering the real identify of Mason and learning about a satanic cult and a wicked priest, it seems he is not the only one seeking to destroy the past. He now knows there were more like him and there are many lives to avenge. He’s going at it like a man possessed but strangely, he appears to have a guardian angel by his side. Will he be able to rid himself of the nightmares at last?
This is one deliciously dark and highly gripping story featuring a very likeable main character. It is well written and leads the reader through a twisted tale with lots of action and shock surprises along the way. A combination of crime, thriller and horror, it’s full of righteous revenge and has a great ending where justice is well and truly served. 5*
This cover is so creepy, and is one of the first things that drew me into reading it! The Stage Mother’s Club by Ron Capshaw is the first book I’ve read by this author. I really enjoyed it!
This is a fantastically written horror novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. This is a Gothic horror crammed full of action, murder, blood, and gore. This is certainly not for the faint of heart and there is some sexual and child abuse situations that may trigger some people. However, none of that bothered me (I mean it did…but I’m a horror junky!)
It was very difficult for me to put this book down. It was easy to say, “one more chapter,” because the writing is very compelling. It’s told in first person through Johnny’s eyes. I really enjoyed this because it allowed me to really get to know him. I felt the rest of the characters were very well written as well.
Awesome horror read. If you’re a fan of action-packed, gruesome horror novels, this is one you should check out.
Thank you to Zooloo’s Book Tours for the free review copy and tour invite. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
Once it a while a cover passes your eyes that just shouts, “READ ME”. I’m a big fan of old school horror so the just reminded me instantly of those memories and enticed me in.
The tale follows Johnny a child horror movie star turned soldier. There’s something inside Johnny that’s just not quite right.. a hidden dark past.. torment. brutal suffering…but this makes him a proficient killer! Shoot first…
Ultimately Johnny is discharged, with a new identity, suffering from PTSD.. life is quiet… but only for a little while.
Johnny receives an offer that triggers him..He’s been offered a part in a movie… the sequel to The Damned.. but how did they find him?
What happens next is a roller-coaster ride through Johnny’s life, horrible flashbacks and blackouts as he tries to stop those involved, to stop the exploitation he himself suffered as a child.
Johnny is deeply troubled, he’s never quite in control of himself and he spirals ever deeper.. and there’s plenty of blood and gore!
The Stage Mother’s Club covers some deep topics and emotions which may upset some readers, child abuse for example so it’s not for the faint hearted.
The writing style was very easy on the eye, flowed well and kept me hooked.
For fans of horror and movies such as the original I Spit on Your Grave you’ll love this!
It’s real old school gothic horror at its best, deep and gut-wrenching events.
To sum this book up in one word would be INTENSE.. it’s one man’s life spiralling out of control.. but it was only a matter of time.
Honestly if you enjoy the genre, you’ll demolish this one!
A horror story with a cover and blurb that fits the book perfectly. So creepy that I just had to read it! An author new to me so, I just went in with an open mind and no expectations. I should have known it would be a great book, as it is from Dark Edge Press and I have only read fab books from them.
A well written story that grabs the reader immediately and doesn't let go until the final page of the book. So much action is packed into it, along with the murder, gore, blood, horror and loads more. If you are at all squeamish or faint hearted this is not a book for you. A Gothic Horror book that ticks all the boxes needed to be a perfect read. I found I got goose bumps at times with this book.
I must say that this is a book that has trigger warnings, child abuse, sexual abuse. So just be warned. We meet Johnny, the child star of an exorcism film called The Damned. He still gets flashbacks and experiences PTSD from the filming as an adult. He is contacted and asked to star in the sequel. It makes him want to exact his revenge on everyone in the original movie, which he does and as he does he learns more about himself along the way.
Told in first person by Johnny in a clever way that shows flashbacks as the story unfolds. I found it a fast moving read that has its fair share of violence but it fits with the story too.
If you want a gothic horror that has you on the edge of your seat with your heart In your mouth and goosebumps on your arms, then this is a book for you. I was gripped all the way through!
While I am a thriller junkie, I love to throw in a little horror to mix it up. This one is a little bit old school movie horror and an action film all rolled up into one. And I can’t help thinking of the line from The Shining, “Here’s Johnny” when we learn the child actor’s name. So no matter what happened in the book, I think of Jack Nicholson’s deranged character at the end of the movie as the main character.
We start out with a traumatized child actor who had a role in an Exorcist type movie who turns into an elite soldier until he snaps, who then turns writer who writes books that are the exact opposite of what his life has encompassed. When the actor who is deep undercover having changed his name each time his life morphed into a new phase is found by the director of his movie, it sets off a plan of revenge to stop all those who were involved in exploitation in the horror movies from his childhood. As he sets off on this spree, he keeps blacking out and isn’t sure if he is exacting revenge or if there is someone on his same path. He is the epitome of an unreliable narrator.
I won’t kid you, this isn’t for the faint of heart. Johnny is deeply off kilter and the author’s writing style plays this up perfectly. Anyone who was a fan of those old horror movies will really enjoy this one.
Blimey, I'm not even sure where to begin with this. The fairly innocuous title hides a very dark crime cum horror story featuring satanism, cults and so much more.
Johnny Jenkins is a child star, pushed by his mother until one day's he's given money and told to run, which he does. He joins the army and a darkness is spotted in him that they recognise will make him an efficient killer. He becomes a Green Beret and is successful until he gets a flashback one day and loses the plot.
He then takes up creative writing, with another identity and writes soppy stories where mum's love their sons.
All is OK until the director of the film The Damned has decided he wants to write a sequel and wants him to feature. Johnny thought he'd hidden his identity well enough never to be found, and scares the guy off with his gun and knife.
However he decides he has to go after everyone involved in that horrific period of his life. As he does he learns more about himself along the way.
This is told from the first person of Johnny, and is in short snappy sentences interspersed with flashbacks telling the side plot lines. Very clever and makes the whole book punchy and such a quick read.
It's absolutely brutal at times, but could have been much worse.
It's very tense, a proper horror novel, brilliant.
This was a freaky, scary novel. I would class it as a gothic horror, With everything genre going in it.
It took me a while to get into it and his style of writing, to me it was written like a script in some parts, which was very good.
The cover of the book, is the most scariest cover I have seen in a long time and it definitely represents the character extremely well.
I would definitely say it’s not suitable if you have any triggers and get scared easily.
Definitely not for the faint hearted.