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The Red Church (Sheriff Frank Littlefield #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  2,049 Ratings  ·  225 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
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Smashwords Edition (first published September 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 07, 2011 Ed rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2012 Misty Baker rated it really liked it
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
Dec 19, 2015 Latasha rated it liked it
cults? haunted churches? yes please!! I love the idea of this book but somehow it was just ok. it did get pretty religious in some parts and I guess I should've expected that but I was there for the scarier things. I will read more by this author, though. most of his books sound great.
Nov 05, 2010 Charlie rated it really liked it
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
May 16, 2012 Christa rated it it was amazing
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
May 18, 2010 William rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror-fiction
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
Jan 23, 2014 Char rated it really liked it
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
Nov 30, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 22, 2011 ExLibris_Kate rated it really liked it
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
Matt Schiariti
Nov 15, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it it was amazing
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 doesn't come off as a cheap th
Nov 28, 2012 Jarek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
Nathan Henrion
Apr 19, 2010 Nathan Henrion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Geoff North
Jun 30, 2011 Geoff North rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Oct 25, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
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
Jul 12, 2012 Todd Russell rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, ghost, religion
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
Title: The Red Church
Author: Scott Nicholson
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Series: Sheriff Frank Littlefield # 1]
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four

"The Red Church" by Scott Nicholson

My Thoughts....

I will say this isn't my favorite genre but I took it on and after a few chapters I will say this was a interesting horror story with some deep fantasy /paranormal and some suspenseful mystery. I was even kept reading because it seemed like a compelling story in this small town that will defin
Jan 10, 2011 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Nicholson's the Red Church starts promisingly but loses the way in a haze of characters and religious meanderings. I'm not exactly sure what and where it went wrong. Perhaps the authors asks us to suspend disbelief one time too often. There is a lot of good things about this novel. The two children have a Bradbury-like wonder about them and the author excels in descriptive writing. However the plot became somewhat automated as each character changes when the plot dictates it. Except for perhaps ...more
Janet Hartman
Jul 11, 2014 Janet Hartman rated it liked it
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.

Mar 10, 2014 Juliet rated it really liked it
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
Harry Sahl
Jul 04, 2014 Harry Sahl rated it it was amazing
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
May 31, 2011 Naomi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Mason Cole
Feb 12, 2014 Mason Cole rated it liked it
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
May 18, 2014 Dawna rated it it was amazing
The Red Church is the first Nicholson book I ever read, and it captivated me to the point where i went and bough everything he has written thats available on Amazon. His writing is That Good!! The Red Church is a coming of age ghost tale with some serious creepiness! If youve never read his work before, start with this one. then move on and read all his work. He is a masterful suspense writer where the supernatural is involved.
Karl Ketts
Sep 27, 2015 Karl Ketts rated it really liked it
The Red Church by Scott Nicholson is nicely paced, bloody scary, and guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. More than this though, It is thought provoking and beautifully written. If you're a lapsed church goer, or if you've never been a church goer, you may just find yourself rocking up the aisle after reading this.
I particularly liked the different and differing viewpoints of the many characters employed by the author, It worked well.
Feb 04, 2013 Doreen rated it liked it
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
Jan 31, 2014 Trish Doogan rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
Tedious, boring just tiresome.
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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
More about Scott Nicholson...

Other Books in the Series

Sheriff Frank Littlefield (2 books)
  • Drummer Boy (Sheriff Frank Littlefield, #2)

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