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The Killing Room

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  1,013 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Once You Enter
Old houses have their secrets. The Young residence--a beautiful Maine mansion overlooking the Atlantic--is no exception. But the secrets here are different. They can kill...

The Only Way Out
Carolyn Cartwright, private detective and ex-FBI agent, has been hired by Howard Young to investigate a string of gruesome family deaths. The crimes are horrific, brutal, a
Paperback, 484 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Pinnacle (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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May 04, 2010 Donnajo marked it as to-read
Free book
Eighty years ago maid was killed in the Young mansion. A few days later the family lottery began…Every ten years the Young host a family reunion in the family mansion and every adult member is eligible to participate in the lottery. And each and every member of the family hopes he or she won’t be the winner.

Because the prize isn’t a million bucks or a shiny new car. The winner has to spend a night in the basement room when the maid was murdered. And no one has ever emerged from that room alive…U
Oct 05, 2010 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oct-10
The perfect read for October! Very creepy!
May 29, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2010 Liz rated it it was ok
read this over the last few weeks... certainly one that I could put down easily and almost didn't finish. Concept was pretty creepy...but way too predictable. I figured out "who done it" about 20 Kindle Clicks in...

scary for those of you with over-active imagintations who get scared easily by creep basements & ghost stories. so much.
Jun 11, 2010 Shannon rated it it was ok
Boy this has started out creepy - will be interesting to see where it goes.....

I got this book for free on B&N free ebook Fridays. It was a decent book - very readable and the story started out intriguingly. However, as it came to the end, it became more like a mediocre Cable movie of the week; culminating in a creepy, macabre, sappy and downright "Oh, no way" ending. The story involved 'supernatural' forces and while I'm not a total cynic, I think this story could've been a bit better in ho
Aug 22, 2010 Alicia rated it really liked it
This is a fun read with a premise that was new to me, but I only give it 4 stars because I figured out the ending and the "why is this happening?" while only halfway through the book. Some of the character's actions are cliched and do some "oh I've seen this before" things but really it's to be expected. It's 2010 so every character in a book or movie is bound to do or say something we've seen or heard before.

Overall a good book. It kept me entertained and earned its spot on my bookshelf.

Aug 31, 2010 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
An impressive horror thriller with a haunted house, a few ghosts. greedy rich people and one scary room. The author has the talent for piling on the thrills that Dean Koontz used to have. Mystery fans may be disappointed since who-dun-it and why becomes obvious early on. Yet the joy is in the ride and there are lots of goosebumps along the way. A good effort from a writer to watch out for.
Oct 09, 2011 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
First, anyone that says "if you like Dean Koontz, you'll like this one" is really doing Dean Koontz injustice. While John Manning's writing isn't that bad, Dean Koontz writes far better than he does. Perhaps I'm simply biased because Dean Koontz is my favorite author.

I have found John Manning's writing very accessible and, while his writing is anything but unique, he did well in keeping me interested. He kept the story moving. There were some sections that I wished he could have expanded such a
Jan 31, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
I downloaded this a free kindle book a few months ago and just got around to reading it last night. If you want something to read and you can grab it for free go for it. If you are going to have to pay $$ for the book feel free to skip it. It held my interest most of the way but I had to plow thru some parts. The "romance" between Douglass and Carolyn seemed very forced and unnecessary. Almost as if an editor thought it needed a romantic twist to keep readers interested and added it in right bef ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Recommended to Heather by: Bridget
Shelves: adult
I read this b/c I accidentally moved it to the home page of Bridget's Kindle (my phone app version) and therefore felt compelled to read it. I'm glad! It was cheesy-wonderful, to use a book club term. It was totally cliche in both content and style but I enjoyed the mystery and suspense anyway. This was not literature, but it was fun!

I would have preferred if the solution had turned out to be something that actually was not paranormal (I knew the old guy was up to something! - wish
Mar 26, 2011 Ryn rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
If I had known this had zombies, I probably wouldn't have read it. It had a good premise, I guess, but at the end of it all, you just wonder why the perpetrator didn't just give himself/herself the heck up to 'appease' the evil spirits.

Again, I kind of liked the backstory and the cover-up, although the source of the malignant spirit by the end of the novel was... almost funny. Maybe I'm messed up, but the ending killed any fear that the rising action of the novel had created.

And there wasn't mu
Aug 02, 2011 Laura added it
This is about the Young family and a family curse. Every ten years, the entire Young family must take part in a lottery. The person chosen must go to "the killing room" for one night. Only one person has survived. The time has now come for another lottery, and Carolyn is hired to try to end the curse. Along the way, she learns family secrets that are the real reason for the curse and the lottery...

This was a good book. The beginning caught my attention righ away, and I wanted to read more about
Jan 17, 2012 Paige rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I'm of two minds about this book. Because the first half of it, I thought it was spectacular. The sort of creeping kind of horror story that has a lot of suspense and some real mystery to it. Manning managed to even build one of those race against the clock parts to push the pace. And even though the writing's on the plain side, the characters were fairly engaging and the mystery of it was enough have me eager to get to the end. But after such a great beginning, everything at the end just kind o ...more
Mar 10, 2012 Ruby rated it liked it
Dreading your next family reunion? Wondering if your next lottery ticket just might be the big one? In need of a really good scare? Let me introduce you to The Killing Room... part mystery/part horror and all around ghost story.

The Young family has a secret. Every ten years they have a family reunion and every ten years a lottery. One member is drawn to spend the night in a room, a dark one in the old servant quarters... Doesn't sound too bad... except this room, well, it kills. And in ways no o
Apr 02, 2012 Jacko rated it really liked it
This book kept me reading with all the suspense. I just couldn't guess the ending and had to read on. Midway into the book, the story will start to unfold and the story will be told on how things became the way they were. The room just had so much suspense in it because the curse of the room was never really revealed until the end of the book. This was definitely a book that I couldn't let go until I had finished reading it.
Matt Schiariti
Nov 15, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it liked it
Based on reviews and the book's description I had high hopes for this book. A decades long curse haunting an entire family for over 80 years in which the only way to appease it is to hold a lottery where one person is essentially sacrificed every ten years? Going against the rules of the lottery unleashes wholesale slaughter on the other family members? Interesting and twisted. I wanted to like this book. I gave it a three based on the premise and a few gruesome passages. If it weren't for that ...more
Jul 28, 2013 Mackenzie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed, 2013
This novel was amazing and quite horrifying! I was hooked from the moment it began, trying to figure out what exactly was going on in the Young mansion. The novel was very well written and the ending was just as impressive as the rest of the novel. I'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys thriller and supernatural reads as The Killing Room was a real page turner!
Jul 26, 2016 Samantha rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I got this book as a free Kindle download and it sounded interesting enough. One by one the members of the family will die off when they enter a room in an old house. The main character's goal is to discover the curse and then find out how to stop it. At times the story felt slow and I feel the writing was not the best. Not bad for a free download though.
Nov 13, 2013 Johan rated it liked it
I got this book free on the Kindle a few months ago and it is only now that I’ve managed to get round to reading it. It is a very interesting story and basically looks at the curse faced by a family for several generations. As far as the horror genre goes, this book has the story beat of “ghosts of the past” and “sins of the parents” down pat… however that seems to be some of the only story beats in the book. Horror tends to be a very restrictive genre, but in this instance, it is coupled with r ...more
Jan 31, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Before I go into how remarkable this story was, I have to say that the description on the back of the book is honestly The Killing Room’s worst, and only, downfall. The summary on the back is very dramatic, a little too much so, reminding me of those old movies with the dramatic taglines that were supposed to draw their audiences in. Some of these phrases included, “Old houses have their secrets…but the secrets here are different. They can kill…” and “One by one, members of the Young family are ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Wow, was this book creepy, its been two years since I read it, but I wanted to write this review anyway. I still remember ever detail as if I had read it yesterday. There are a lot of ghost sightings in this book, the baby ghost is the creepiest one, literally had chills running down my spine over that one. There are at least 2 more ghosts.
The premise of the book is that in this family, every 10 years (if I remember correctly)the family gets together for a family reunion (if you miss trying to
Jul 16, 2014 Ben rated it did not like it
Ecch. Warning to readers of mystery/ crime/ thriller novels: this is not one of those, it is about zombies, ghosts, voodoo priests and the paranormal. And not very good.
This is a book nearly 400 pages long concerning -- guess what-- an old mansion in Maine haunted by murderous ghosts. ( Maine is a beautiful little state, so what is is that breeds horror writers? Too much lobster? Too many days in long underwear? Well, this author is not Steven King by a long shot. Not only is it 600 pages too fe
Feb 09, 2015 Rochelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I really liked this book. It was an investigative story following a family trying to end an 80 year old curse which slowly claimed the lives of its family members. The story was told in such a way that had me guessing right up to the end as I followed the characters along on their quest for the truth and then watched wode eyed as, in their last attempt to end the curse, they fought the evil forces which unleashed a slaughter on the family.

Most people hace a problem with the fact that a zombie w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theresa Raymer
Sep 09, 2015 Theresa Raymer rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything by this author before, let me begin by saying I will be reading more of his books. If you are a fan of Dean Koontz, Stephen King and John Saul you will enjoy this book. I'm just hoping the rest of his books are this good.

The Killing room grabbed me from the very first page and kept me hooked until the very end. I did kinda of guess some parts of the book but not all of them. I even had a nightmare from this book so I guess that can tell you how good it was.

I would hig
Matt Garcia
Jun 30, 2016 Matt Garcia rated it it was amazing
To start, I thought it was cool how we get to see the Young family tree before the book even begins. The novel has great writing. The story and history of the Young family is very interesting. I can see the Koontz comparison a little bit that the blurb on the front cover states. The mystery and horror aspects complement each other nicely and they are also very intriguing.There was such a nice balance that it made me not want to put the book down. I did guess about half of the mystery of the book ...more
This is a horror novel about a wealthy New England family living with a curse. Every 10 years, the Young family holds a lottery to decide who spends the night in a haunted room of the family's mansion. With very few exceptions, most people are dead by the following morning. This year, the family has decided to hire Carolyn, a paranormal investigator to see if she can prevent the death of one of their own. This story involves ghosts, a zombie, an unrequited love, and a curse. I am giving this boo ...more
Quick read, a bit awkward prose, but very predictable.

This is a great quick read. The characters are fairly well developed and the plot is intriguing. That said, this is one of the most predictable modern titles I have read. At about the 1/4 mark I knew the rest of the story. However, don't let that stop you from reading this mystery thriller, because there are some twists and turns that make getting to the story's end worthwhile.
Sep 10, 2016 Marian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down!

Five stars because this book gripped me from start to finish... I didn't want to put it down! Great story line, wonderfully written.
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John Manning lives in Boston and Los Angeles and several points in between. A connoisseur of horror films, he especially loves the great made-for-television movies of the 1970s, where the devil always seemed to be lurking around the corner of a college dormitory or a suburban mansion.
More about John Manning...

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