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(Milk-Blood Trilogy #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can't stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.

For her mot
Paperback, 157 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Wicked Run Press (first published June 23rd 2014)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A disturbing reading... in a good sense!

The author contacted me and I received a copy of the book in exchange of a honest review.


This novel is exceptionally well written developing interesting characters in a raw scenario where anything can happens.

It's a story merging several genres where horror is the leading one but also you can found family drama, some bizarre romance, using paranormal elements, even adding brutally real stuff like drug use, home violence, etc...

This is n
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
this is a very unsettling novella, which takes the horror of drug addiction, child neglect, and domestic abuse and then heaps a supernatural horror on top of it, in case it's just not devastating enough on its own. this becomes an allegory of the cycle of addiction, which is not to diminish or underplay the harsh realities of these kinds of situations; instead it brings a fresh immediacy to a social problem that is such a familiar headline, there's a danger of desensitization. this story makes s ...more
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly well written novella that takes the reader into the darkest side of life, both real and imagined.

This is not for the faint of heart...This journey smacks you in the face right from chapter one. There is drug abuse, child abuse, rape, murder. With characters so deep in addiction that they no longer care to find out if the voices in their head are real or just another part of their madness.

Amazingly, thrown in to this dark mix is the beautifully depicted Lilly. A child born into this de
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Urban Horror

This is a serious as shit, no holds barred, urban horror story. It was difficult to read at times and I've read a lot of horror books. Trust me on this.

Being an addiction counselor, Mark Matthews knows what he is talking about when it comes to drug addictions. There are scenes here where characters are using drugs and the things they do-the things they put their bodies through- they're hard to stomach. Really hard.

When these scenes involve children, it's even worse. Somehow though, he reels the
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Don't do drugs kids...just don't

This book. It's going to take a bit to get it out of my head. Not for the fainthearted at all!!!

Don't do drugs

I received an copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Milk Blood is blood taken from a drug addict who has heroin in their system to be injected into the taker. Horrendous concept, but it's happening. Described as suburban horror, this is writing at it's finest. Stunning.

Clever, clever writing Mark Matthews! This is an astonishing book that had me fixated, unable to let go. I could feel the tension in my body whilst reading this book, the range of emotions stirred up from hope to disgust and shock. Absolutely brilliant fiction. I can't rave enough.
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
Milk blood is a bleak, unflinching look at people in desperate situations. When I say bleak, I am not exaggerating. These people are more than down on their luck, they have hit rock bottom. It’s a gripping mix of the horror show that is drug addiction and otherworldly horror that feels so natural your skin may crawl. It’s descriptive and gut-wrenching and some truly terrible things happen to an innocent young girl. You might want to have something upbeat nearby because some of these scenes may w ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it
If you like to read tales disturbing and unsettling, if you aren't afraid to boldly stride over to the dark side, you may want to make Lilly's acquaintance. Her name has dual meanings - 'a flower of death, and new beginnings'. In a crumbling section of Detroit, there is a house that has been fire-bombed. It sits there, malevolent, rotting and reeking, but not altogether abandoned.

A horror story of family and hardcore addiction, this one promises/threatens to stick (pun more or less intended) wi
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
MILK-BLOOD: A Tale of Urban Horror is an amazing book. Take -

One child, who should never have been born and certainly never should have survived.

Her mother, who was impregnated by one father, and wanted the other to kill the child.

Two fathers, one who is doing his drug-addled best to care for Lily, the other who simply wants her back.

Then there is Uncle Nelson who introduces Lily to his "medicine" which won't make her better, but makes her feel better.

And the derelict house across the road to wh
Rachel the Book Harlot
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The house was like me. Burnt up with enough holes that you could see its insides."

There is so much to like here. First, "A Tale of Urban Horror" could not be more appropriate to describe this story. In addition to the supernatural horror element, there is also a vivid depiction of the real life horror faced by some whose lives are touched by extreme poverty and violence. Of course, that's not to say that everyone who faces poverty also faces certain aspects particular to Lilly's story. But
Adam Light
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, own-it
Mr. Matthews was gracious enough to give me the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. Thanks, man!
What a dark, twisted and bizarre book this was. I knew going into it that it dealt with heroin addiction (I am a big fan of Neil Young) so I was prepared for some gritty, urban fare. I had recently read the short story THE DAMAGE DONE, which was a tie-in to the novel, so I was also familiar with the character Jervis already.
What I did not see coming was the unique, captivating tale in wh
Mark Matthews
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This story was injected into my veins long ago. It has finally bled out onto the page, but it will always be a part of me and I am quite fond of it.
Janie C.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. It is the story of broken spirits and damaged hearts, and the perseverance to endure both life and death. Told from several points of view, it is the story of drug addiction, mental illness, violence and frustration. It's also the story of those who observe what is going on around them. Some people observe the characters' hardships through jaded eyes and do not get involved enough to help. But one observer gets involved in a different way. He empathizes with the c ...more
Jason Parent
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Milk Blood - the concept alone is disturbing. Matthews takes it 1800 steps further.

The story follows a 10-year-old girl with cyanosis - per Wikipedia (yeah I had to fucking look it up, back the fuck off - um I apologize for the hostility and the treatment of Wikipedia as a legitimate reference source) "a bluish discoloration, especially of the skin and mucous membranes, due to excessive concentration of deoxyhemoglobin in the blood caused by deoxygenation" (what??? um, now that that's perfectly
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review.

I can imagine that this book would possibly not be as entertaining to someone who lives in and is one with the ghetto. I live in what is pretty close to a ghetto, but I am far from being able to call myself part of it. I am not sure if that is something anyone would want to be able to do or not, but it is what it is. That being said, I live my life seeing things without being on the inside.

Reading this novel took me to the in
Andi Rawson
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

"This is how it's going to be."
How do you measure horror? It depends on where you're from. For 10 year old Lilly, who has never known anything else, it would probably be measured in the sum of her years. Born in the slums of Detroit, with a defective heart and almost zero chance of survival, the least of Lilly's concerns is the street she lives on. She knows this street and the street knows her... better than she could possibly know.
"You do the best with what you got. That's what we
Ashton Jade Gibbs
Milk-Blood – Mark Matthews

I will start with a big thank you to Mark Matthews who kindly sent me an electronic copy of Milk-Blood in exchange for an honest review! This is not the sort of book I would normally pick up otherwise and I’m so so glad I got the opportunity to read it.

Milk-blood: The act of extracting heroin-laden blood, for reinjection at a later time. It usually is one's own blood, but could also be the blood of someone who has just overdosed.. It is done as "insurance" in case
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am still trying to digest reading the last 2/3 of this book in one sitting! This book was so intense, it will get under your skin in no time at all (no pun intended!)

I read the "prequel" of sorts to this, THE DAMAGE DONE, and immediately had to delve into this book. The voice of the characters really rang with conviction throughout the entire novel--these people virtually came alive on the page. Mark Matthews has created an extremely haunting tale that is not for those easily disturbed.

First, I was contacted by the author after I entered a give away of his book through Goodreads, to see if I was interested in getting a free digital copy. Hell ya!!

Whoa! I have never read a story that was like this deep into this story matter. I literally had a dream about it last night after I finished it. With that said this book is not for the faint of heart. Great story line. Excellent details. Written very well. This book will definitely stay with you for awhile after you read it.
Thomas Strömquist
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
There was definitely something dragging me into this story, or at least the first half of it. Truth be told, the reason I finished the second half was because it's a short one. Parts of the writing are good and parts feels very much like a sophomore effort (and maybe it is, I'm not sure of the order of the books). Some grips - like the incessant repetition of being a social worker and 'been there - done this - seen that' and the strange repetition of chapter 1 from another character's perspectiv ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't think I'm out of line calling this book Ketchumesque. Fan's of Jack Ketchum probably know what I'm talking about but for the rest of you - both authors write about things that can be found in the newspaper on any given day. There are no zombies or vampires. Those are the things we read about when we want to escape the realities of the 'no-shit-this-is-happening-right-now' horror.

Milk-Blood is newspaper horror. It has no need for such fantastical creatures. This is one of the most powerfu
An uncompromising glimpse into a world that most would prefer not to think about but which is sadly all too common in this day and age, Mark Matthew's Milk-Blood is both bleak and brutal. It is also very sad, and I would be surprised to learn anyone could have a good time with this. That's not say to say it can't be enjoyed - because it is very effective at what it sets out to do - but if you're looking for something light and fluffy, Milk-Blood would be the equivalent of choosing to see Dead Ma ...more
Andi Rawson
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

"This is how it's going to be."

How do you measure horror? It depends on where you're from. For 10 year old Lilly, who has never known anything else, it would probably be measured in the sum of her years. Born in the slums of Detroit, with a defective heart and almost zero chance of survival, the least of Lilly's concerns is the street she lives on. She knows this street and the street knows her... better than she could possibly know.

"You do the best with what you got. That's what we d
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I guess I should get the disclaimers out of the way, I was a beta-reader for this book and the author sent me a free copy, so if you have a problem with me reviewing this book then move right along, no further reading necessary.

This is a tale of urban decay, drug addiction and a family. The majority of the story is spent in the real world but slips into the supernatural from time to time. The main character, Lilly seems doomed from the very beginning with her, shall we say, strange conception an
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Addiction, betrayal, poverty, despair, and survival.

This one is pretty disturbing and creepy. At times, brutal. At times, heartbreaking. Lilly was born with a rare heart disorder. Born to junkie parents. Born of ashes. She lives in constant pain. She is looking for someone or something to take the pain away. The ghosts of the past are all around her and they desperately want her become one of them.

This is a pretty dark tale from Mr. Matthews. He does not pull any punches when it comes to the u
Andrew Lennon
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
That was really good!
This book had me gripped from the very start. The story itself is brilliant and very believable. The writing was quite simple, but that's what made it work I think? It felt like I was genuinely listening to the story being told by the characters.
This book is a definite little gem and I'm really happy I found it. The ending went a tiny bit off, but not enough to ruin it or anything. I just think maybe I would have finished it a little bit differently.
Overall I say four out o
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
H is for hero(in)

Quick word association I say horror and you think
Vampire- nope none of those here, not even the non sparkly kind
Werewolf- nope they aren't here either
Zombies- again nugatory, and really seems market is a little saturated anyhow
Ghosts or hauntings- aha bingo but only a subtle hint and even then the ghosts may be results of people's dope laden imaginations.
What other am trying to express is a novel doesn't need a supernatural element to be classified as horror. matthews seems t
Nev Murray
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, 100-200-read
This review of Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews is the result of a copy sent to Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review.

As I like to do with review requests coming into Ginger Nuts, this is the first time I have read Mark Matthews. It won’t be the last but this one has left me, eh, disturbed is probably the best description.

Lilly is 10 years old. She has cyanosis. It basically makes her skin a bit blue and a bit see through. Her mom has gone. She doesn’t know where to. She doesn’t know
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In a review I often say that I enjoyed reading a book, however, this was definitely not the case with MILK-BLOOD. I've never before felt that uncomfortable and queasy while reading a book. Not only was the story a thunderous blow to the mind, it also affected me physically: my muscles seemed to tighten and draw together, like I do when I'm really cold or as if to pull away and hide from some kind of attack. There were several scenes, especially those with needle pricking, that made my skin crawl ...more
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was given a copy of this excellent novel to read and review by the author Mark Matthews. A very gritty story about drug addiction that is not your normal horror story. It is not the normal type of book that I read but I am always willing to try and stretch my genre's. Also the book was recommended to me by one of my Goodreads friends who rarely gets it wrong.
This book is definitely not for the feint hearted and some readers may find it disturbing and too graphic but that's the strength of this
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Mark Matthews is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a licensed professional counselor who has worked in behavioral health for over 20 years. He is the author of On the Lips of Children, All Smoke Rises, and Milk-Blood, as well as the editor of Lullabies for Suffering and Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror. His new novel, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, will be available in Feb, 2 ...more

Other books in the series

Milk-Blood Trilogy (3 books)
  • All Smoke Rises: Milk-Blood Redux
  • The Damage Done

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