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The Red Church (Sheriff Frank Littlefield, #1)
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The Red Church (Sheriff Frank Littlefield #1)

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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,716 ratings  ·  207 reviews
The church was constructed in the 1860s under the guidance
of Reverend Wendell McFall. His sermons declared the existence of God s Second Son- whose mission is to undo all of Jesus work on Earth. McFall had the church painted red to summon the First Son to defeat the Second. But when he sacrificed a child to support his rantings, his congregation hung him from the rafters o
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ebook, 352 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Smashwords Edition (first published September 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ed
This tightly-plotted horror novel involves lots of religious facets, including the idea of a second son of God in addition to Jesus Christ. Nothing is controversial or offensive. This is just a vivid tale of the North Carolina mountains and its inhabitants spooked by "the red church." The intrepid sheriff is perhaps the most interesting of the cast of characters. Enjoyable read to kick off my summer with.
Misty Baker
I’m going to start this blog with a disclaimer: When you are about 5% from finishing this book, park yourself next to a church, and finish it in the parking lot. Just trust me on this, I have never finished a book and then felt an immediate need for prayer and repentance as I did when I finished “The Red Church.”

Back in 1993 the world was introduced to the cult world by a fairly psychotic man named David Koresh. (For those of you reading this that were born in the late 80′s just google him.) Civ
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William
Scott Nicholson's The Red Church is fast paced, scary, and damn good fun... everything a good horror novel should be. It's also more than that. It's insightful, thoughtful and sometimes downright poetic. The tale of a search for meaning, and the meaning of faith resonated with this lapsed Church of Scotland reader, and got me thinking about things I hadn't considered since my own teenage years. Scott's skillful use of several viewpoint characters, each with their own take on what is happening, o ...more
Charlie
The Red Church is everything a scary story should be! The characters believe with conviction what they see is real and never waver despite the implausibility. Their trust is contagious and because of this, the reader can rely on the accounts. The 'good' vs. 'evil' element is at the forefront, but what makes this theme unique is how it is presented. Is Jesus really the bad guy? Seems ridiculous to consider given America's deeply rooted Christian culture, but Nicholson is able to craft a story tha ...more
Charlene
I originally rated this 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3.

his is one of those generational tales where the family in the present has to pay for the sins of the family in the past. The character development was excellent, I thought. The plot was engaging and there is no doubt Mr. Nicholson has an excellent imagination.

The only thing that bothered me about this one is the fact that I think it got a little "churchy" at the end. A little more "churchy" and Christian themed than I normally would enjoy. Bu
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Christa
I am not exactly a "thriller" or "horror" fan, so when I came across The Red Church by Scott Nicholson I hesitated at first, thinking I probably wouldn't like it. After the first few pages into the book, I realized how limiting and inaccurate such labels really are. To be sure, there is plenty of blood-curdling and scary stuff in the novel. However, there is much more to the book than "blood and gore."

The heart of the story is a young boy, struggling with growing up, with his parents' estrangem
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Amy
This book was recommended to me, so I thought I'd try it, the horror fan that I am. I couldn't put it down, a fast-paced storyline where the Reverend Archer McFall is believed to be God's Second Son and Jesus a liar, creepy! The characters were not very complex, with the exception of Ronnie Day and Sheriff Frank Littlefield, the good guys, but that is to be expected with your average horror novel. Frank is haunted with guilt over the death of his little brother, a Halloween prank gone terribly w ...more
Kristin Walcott Figueroa
Just like the Red Church was forever lurking in the background of this small mountain town, this book has been lurking in my TBR pile for quite some time. Every time I finished book and was looking for my next great read, I’d always pause on this cover in my long list on Goodreads and think, “I really want to read this.” Then I’d continue perusing the rest of the list and for some reason always settle on something else. That is until now. I don’t know what I was waiting for, but its beckoning ha ...more
Matt Schiariti
It would be easy to say The Red Church is a horror novel. I guess at its core that's as good a label as any, but it's really a mixing of genres. Part ghost story, part thriller, part mystery, part psychological drama, part crisis-of-faith story.

I think the most frightening aspect of the story isn't the supernatural aspect of the 'false prophet' type villain. It's not the gore (while there is some, Nicholson uses it for effect, not for shock value..which is nice..it doesn't come off as a cheap th
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ExLibris_Kate
For twenty years the red church has been nothing but fodder for ghost stories and a place to store hay. No one in the small North Carolina mountain town likes to talk about its grisly past. When people start dying mysterious and horrific deaths , the Sherriff suspects that it has something to do with the return of Reverend McFall . McFall’s followers are willing to do whatever is needed, not matter how horrifying, to assure the return of the Second Son.
I don’t read a lot of books in the horror g
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Jarek
The works of Scott Nicholson are often compared to those of Stephen King. His debut novel - The Red Church - is indeed written in a style resembling the most mature of King's books, and is set in a small American town, like many of King's novels. The similarities end there however, because The Red Church is much more serious than King's horror stories.

The Red Church is a book about faith. It shows that what we believe is equally shaped by dogmata of our religion, our personal experiences, herita
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Nathan Henrion
4 1/2 stars...Run For The Hills!

I picked this up after following a forum link by the author and I am glad I did. The writing was excellent, and though the pace was a little slower than my personal taste leans toward, it allowed for a deeper exploration into the background and development of the characters. The opening scene sucks you in and I found myself burning a lot of the midnight oil just to see where this story was going.

Ronnie was a solid character and there were parts of his story (when
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K.R. Bankston
Chose this book based on the wonderful synopsis and it began as a good read. It quickly lost luster for me however as the story became very convoluted and murky. There was far too much emphasis placed on the "anti religious" theme than necessary. It would seem the author went to great lengths to offend Christians/Christianity or ridicule their customs and beliefs. I thought the premise of the story was good, the writing was excellent, though the story being told from a 10-year old's POV didn't g ...more
Katy
Dec 16, 2011 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of horror
Shelves: ebook
A very creepy horror novel that explores ideas of faith, redemption, good vs. evil and how hard it is to tell the difference, and other such thoughts. This is my first Nicholson book and I'm quite impressed not only by his mastery of language but by his character development, plot development, and clean copy editing. Fans of horror and those fascinated by the eternal struggle to understand the human condition should enjoy this novel. Please keep an eye open for my review of the sequel, "Drummer ...more
Geoff North
I really enjoyed this book. Scott Nicholson's tale of unrelenting terror set in the Appalachians reminded me so much of some of the horror novels written back in the eighties - one of the really good ones. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. Excellent!
Matt
Overall The Red Church was an interesting story. I'm not big on religion stuff and this story had a lot of religious type talk (though a lot was the made up stuff for the Archer McFall character). I enjoyed the read for the most part either way.
Todd Russell
Some genuinely creepy moments in my first ever read of a Scott Nicholson book. It's also the first in the Sheriff Littlefield series. This one came by recommendation from several readers in a writing group I belong to. The writing style and story--particularly the town setting and children characters--reminded me of something a young John Saul might have written. An influence for the author, perhaps?

Anyway, this story of a haunted church and a creepy reverend that comes back to town and creates
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Harry Sahl
This was the first Scott Nicholson book I've read. I found him to be a wonderful storyteller and have some of his other books. All his books are very reasonable on amazon.
I liked that the star of the book is Archer McFall and he's not a good guy. The negative reviews seem to focus on wanting a "happy ending." This is a horror book with true horror. An old town in the backwoods of North Carolina has a dark history and characters with a horrid past. There are some scary scenes and the book drew m
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Juliet Davis
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 ...more
Naomi
This book started off creepy enough for me, but then it became pretty religious. I am not a heathen, but I do like to keep my religion and reading for entertainment seperate...I haven't figured out yet if this author is a Christian horror writer or if the religious references are just part of the story, so that is really distracting me...so therefore, the book has lost me. Now, I am just reading it to determine the "religion" question.

ETA(05/31/2011): I found out this is def. not a Christian hor
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Janet Hartman
I don't normally read horror, but Nicholson will be speaking to my writers group and I like to read an author's work before they come to our meeting. The creative plot elements kept my interest to the end. This is the first book of his I have read.

Part way through the book, you may think the book is anti-Christian, but in total I did not find it so. Religion plays a big part - after all, it is called The Red Church - showing how beliefs can turn a person or creature toward good or evil.

Chapters
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Mason Cole
A solid, fast-paced small-town horror novel. It's like one of those drugstore impulse buys you made in 1989, when the shelves were all KingKoontzKingKoontz and their assorted imitators/heirs to the throne, and horror readers NEVER had to look far for a new fix.

Released in 2002, it was among the last of that era in publishing. In fact, I believe Nicholson--who has made a name for himself since then and has quite a loyal following--was the last American paperback writer whose books were released u
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Michael Brookes
I like a decent horror story and this is a good one. The bare bones of the story is a familiar one of ancient evil pitted against a few locals.While at the core it might seem familiar there are enough nuances and ideas to make it feel fresh. I especially liked the idea of the two sons - it's a nice twist on the antichrist.

The flow of the story also works well, with key events from various times in the past providing the foundations of the show down. There's a good blend of perspectives from the
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Amanda
For most of the book, I felt that it was well-written horror but of a religious bent that isn’t for me. However, the ending doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the book.

At the beginning, the book feels like a horror story written by a Baptist person truly committed to their faith. The main antithesis to Archer’s cult is the Baptist church in town. At the core of the conflict are a married couple. The wife falls firmly under Archer’s spell while the husband stays true to the Baptist church. Thei
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Doreen
Not my favorite Scott Nicholson book, but still an entertaining read. Pay attention to all of the characters though, or you may find yourself confused as to who is who.
It amazes me how someone can basically brain wash so many people all at once.
Trish Doogan
Tedious, boring just tiresome.
Lauren
Slow start but it did get better.
Michelle
Amazing book from an Amazing Author!

This was the first novel I read by Scott Nicholson, I discovered quickly that he not only is a very talented author but I would definitely be reading his books for years to come. This book is a horror novel with an intriguing plot that holds your interest from the first chapter till the last. Scott Nicholson's writing reminds me of a mixture of Dean Koontz and Stephen King but he definitely makes it his own. Excellent book, would recommend!!
Darlyn
This is a brilliant horror story that I ever read. The story is very engaging and I was left wanting to know more. Honestly, I stop reading for a few days nearly at the middle of the read because I have to pull my guts to continue reading it. There's a lot of mysteries and supernatural horror incidents in the story, it really creeps me out a few times.

Apart from religion's faith and believes, I found the book very original and Scott's writing style is very good. He really did it very well to rel
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Haunted House Exp...: The Red Church 1 3 Aug 20, 2015 07:05PM  
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With more than 500,000 books sold worldwide, Scott Nicholson is an international bestselling thriller writer. He won the Writers of the Future Award in 1999 and was a Stoker Award finalist in 2003. His Fear series was published by Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint and 47North released the supernatural thriller McFALL.

He's also published a number of supernatural, paranormal, and fantasy books an
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More about Scott Nicholson...

Other Books in the Series

Sheriff Frank Littlefield (2 books)
  • Drummer Boy (Sheriff Frank Littlefield, #2)
Write Good or Die Speed Dating with the Dead After: The Shock (After, #1) Ashes After: First Light (After, #0.5)

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