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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  510 ratings  ·  86 reviews
The Hooker. The Madam. The Driver. All on a collision course to a place where madness holds sway.

After four years working in a New York brothel to pay off a debt to the mob, Nina is nearly paid up and ready to go home. She just needs to see one more client, a recluse who always pays a half-million in cash for a night with the brothel's best girls, but this last trick soon
Paperback, Second, 306 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by Local Hero Press (first published October 24th 2013)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  510 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Carla ☺Did I Say That☺
**3 Stars**
"The gif below totally summed up my reading experience..

Don't get me wrong this book was awesome's just the ending didn't quite do it for me...
***Review to Come...Hopefully***
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
** 3.0 -3.5 " Cut my strings" STARS**

I'm going to keep this review short &sweet...

This was Carla and I ...

... until this happened..

... Any questions?
... The skillful writing had me spellbound throughout the majority of the story, but in MY humble opinion the ending lacked its final WTF hurrah . . . and yes, I did grasp the symbolism. I don't particularly read horror novels to make me a better person but maybe other readers do. I'm not judging.

Please don't let my finicky opinion deter you
Jamie ♡♡ submits to books ♡♡
**** 4.5 Daddy Likes Meat Stars ****

Well....this book really is something. Not sure I can put into words how fucked up this book really is. Crazy thing...I LOVED EVERY DAMN WORD OF IT!!!

This was me at the start of this book....

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The books starts off with Mr Hank Ballis. He is one strange duck. Hell, a strange duck has nothing on Hank. He barricades himself in his office. Says the world is out to infect him with all of its germs. His wife has gotten used to his behavior as the episodes happen a
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads, horror
I read this book in May. It's currently July 11th and I just had to order a nightlight. This book HAUNTS ME. Scenes pop into my mind every single time I wake up in the middle of the night and walk to the bathroom in the dark. Because of this book, I AM FREAKED OUT EVERY SINGLE NIGHT OF MY LIFE. Clearly, Alison Dickson is doing something right. On the plus side, the nightlight is a unicorn. So, ya know, I have that going for me. /shame

It's like a delicious King, Palahniuk, Coen Bros Burrito.

A terrifying roller-coaster of a story. The author does not hold back when it comes to pulling the curtain back on some of our worst fears, but despite the depravity, she also doesn't linger gratuitously. While I was reading I couldn't help but think of Palahniuk's novel Invisible Monsters, or Aronofsky's film Requiem for a Dream - this novel has moments that I'd rather not experience again, but they are moments within a masterfully-told,
Caroline Gebbie
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-kinda-horror
Strings Gruesomely Magnificent

I'am so far behind on my reviewing, but this book has really stuck in my mind it is just brilliant

Strings is one of those books that grabs you by the throat and pulls you into the story not letting go until the magnificent end that wraps up all the lines nicely but leaves you wanting more from this brilliant author.

Strings is a proper horror full of visceral terrors, great characters and interlocking stories that weave together to make a satisfying whole. It is a st
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2013
I received this ARC to give an honest review.
You ever read a book and go OMG this book so freaking awesome, and freaky at the same time? Yeah well this is one of those books. I think Allison is my new fav. horror author. I was hooked into this book from the beginning I mean you have this Hank man who is just weird. I mean he stays in his his den for days or weeks with his spells. And his poor pregnant wife has to deal with it. But all that changes within a split second. Not only are you dealing
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, horror
You know that feeling of overwhelming gratitude after realizing your nightmare wasn't real and you wake up safely in your own bed? That's how I felt when I finished this book. Mix up the talents of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King, Mario Puzo, Thomas Harris and Alfred Hitchcock. Then, add lighter fluid and run for your life. Or just read Allison Dickson.
This was the type of horror that flings the reader around like a rag doll and just doesn't stop with the macabre twists and turns. I recall a h
Dec 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never review books and the only reason I am writing this is to counter-balance all the five-star reviews.

This is the worst book I have read all year: the only thing the author has to offer was the ability to gross out the reader. Every chapter did try to out-gross the previous one, but once you read about reeking urine and feces and about bloody bodies, or popping eyeballs, how much can the next mention affect you? I am usually very good as suspending belief and enjoying a good story but was u
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strings by Allison M. Dickson is a Hobbes End Publication, released in October 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review.

Nina was a druggie that made the mistake of crossing the wrong people. Now she is working off her debt by being a prostitute for "Madam". Once her debt is paid, she wants out. But, that doesn't please Madam. But, a deal is a deal. So, Madam arranges for Nina to service one more client. An eccentric billionaire. The payoff w
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly don’t read a lot of horror novels because I had my fill of King, Koontz, etc when I was much younger. But after reading the summary for Strings I was intrigued. Strings is intense, gritty, and utterly horrific. Allison Dickson pulls you into nightmares you could not possibly fathom.

There is plenty of back ground story for the main characters, the hooker, the driver, and the madame. Strings intertwines the mob, prostitution, greed, eccentricity, and “other” abominations into a complex
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon, kindle, fiction
This was not what I had expected at all. I do not shy away from gore or torture scenes, but this one had some pretty gruesome parts. I almost got to the point of not finishing the e-book. Which is something I rarely do, but something kept pulling me back in. The book was very hard to put down. I have to admit I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The characters really played a big part in it, the Madam with a hard heart and her mobbed up family. Ms. Dickson has one heck of an imagination tha ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I loved this story. I was fortunate enough to be an early beta and I have to say these characters have stayed with me. This book goes there, checks out the scenery and then keeps on going. I like that in a horror novel!
Shanna Cushing
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I normally don't gravitate towards dark novels like this, but I couldn't put this book down. Allison Dickson is an amazing writer. The characters are memorable and very well described. Terrific story!
Vincent Hobbes
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best horror novels I've read in a decade!
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel got it's start as a short story which I enjoyed very much. The amount of horror that Allison M. Dickson was able to put into the story made me love it and then to find out that she extended that story into a novel excited me very much. She did more than give the characters more life and depth but she gave the horror a life of it's on as well.

There are 4 main characters in this novel and each has their own story within the pages. The fear, hate, pain and horror that leak from the pages
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extended from the The Good Girls short story this starts off with a great bit of back history, but does not fully explain everything, leaving lots to the imagination and hopefully a prequel, beg beg.

The strange mix of Mob, house spider, torture, prostitutes and a weird Nurse wrapped in red is beyond gripping. The suspense builds with each chapter, the rotating stories really allow for some suspense filled moments.

The intricate dual plot lines are fantastic, coming to an inspired climax. The char
Leigh Lane
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel was a bit gory but well written. The pacing was excellent, with enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the read. The use of language was lovely, nearly flawless, the dialog was smooth and natural, and the characters were well developed. Not for the faint of heart, but a good, twisted read for those who don't mind a little blood and guts with their thrillers.
Zoe's Human
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graphic and intense.

Again I find myself impressed by this author's gift for description. Not only can I clearly visualize the story, there are moments where I can smell and feel the action.

I found myself sometimes holding my breath and leaning forward with my heart racing and other times hissing air through my teeth while wincing from imagined pain.

This has all the darkness of a Hubert Selby Jr novel combined with the pacing and character relatability of a Stephen King tale.
Christina Brown
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent thriller, so unexpected and twisted!!!! Non stop read!

From the beginning, I couldn't put it down. the twists and turns, the highs and lows were marvelous!!! not what I was expecting and loved it every minute! Thank you!
Christopher  Nelson
"Mouth partway open, C-Zone busting, Bioshock"

It's like an extremely disturbing game of Bioshock… against Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk… in the gloom of Leatherface Hewitt's living room. Norman Bates' tittering cackle ventrilo-dripping from ceiling shadows while he serves ladyfingers—JESUS! Allison Dickson gets into your head and there's no turning back no matter how much you squirm. Totally busted my comfort zone.

Let's get the basics out of the way first and then we'll start this train. The
Stacy Overman Morrison
I pre-ordered STRINGS and have been waiting for the perfect time to creep myself out. Like Nina, I had an inkling of what I was in for as Ms. Dickson has done a wonderful job of promotion on this book. Also like Nina, on a much smaller scale, I feel psychologically battered after finishing this brutal tale.

As for the mechanics of the craft, I found the pace and plot spot on. The suspense and horror saturated the entire novel. The characters were prickly, flawed, terrible, and largely unlovable.
John Hancock
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is one of those books, where even if you don't want to go there, you get dragged along anywhere by fantastic, well chiseled writing. By not wanting to "go there" I mean there are some very very disturbing images and situations in this book, which is what kind of story is being spun. But you just can't look away, like a horrific auto accident.
But don't get me wrong, that's misleading. This is one great story, with characters that have believable and interesting back stories, that have motiva
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A young woman makes a big mistake and ends up owing to the mob. The only way she can pay off the debt is hooking...When she's just about paid up, The Madam makes her an offer she can't refuse...

Strings will have your brain all tied up while you're reading and it'll leave you haunted afterward. Dickson is going to be a strong voice in horror -- and if you are a fan of creepy psychological fiction, you need to give this book a read.
Brittney Martinez
This book was amazing. If you are a fan of horror then you will not be disappointed. There was actually a point where I couldn't eat while I was reading. The reactions the author provokes are so visceral. The kind of writing gives me hope for the future of the horror genre.
Cindy Wells
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite lines: "He looked around at her then, and another chunk of her eroding cliff of sanity fell away."

Be prepared to be grossed out.

More like 4.5 stars
Sarah Mck
...Wow. That's pretty much what I said as I sat there in stunned silence as I turned the last page of the book. In fact most of the book had me uttering this, especially the beginning! Strings isn't one of these books that take a lot to get into, it pretty much slaps you in the face in the first 5 pages. It may seem harsh, but considering the content of the remainder of the book its vital and is if anything to the reader a favor by giving out early warning signs.
I still cant decide how I feel a
David Duncan
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
Shelves: first-reads
This is my forty-first book that I have received and read from Goodreads. Strings by Allison M. Dickson, is my first horror that I have read. When I received this book I didn't know if I would enjoy reading it, but I found myself sitting on the edge of my chair throughout the story. You talk about an author that does a really great job of developing the characters and plot. As you are reading this book you have know problem visualizing the characters
As you are reading this story, Nina a prostitu
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know when you see a movie or a television show that isn't like anything that came before? This book is exciting like that. If I HAD to compare it, I'd say it's a mix of of The Godfather (but grittier and less laden) and the meaningful abasement the Coen brothers or Chuck Palahniuk do so well (but less slick, less stylized).

The story is told from the perspective of three main characters: Nina, the whore, sent to her last, worst trick by her Madam, a cruel women with very understandable reven
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Webs, Puppets and Monsters, Yikes!

I have to be honest, I decided to read this book because I recently discovered that the author and I are distantly related (her great grandmother and my grandmother were sisters). I have never been a connoisseur of thriller/horror fiction, but I was curious, and therefore game. I was blown away by how well written this book was and how much I enjoyed it (I was terrified, but I enjoyed it). I read it, or rather consumed it over a single day. Unlike some books whe
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Allison M. Dickson is the author of several well-reviewed independently published novels and short stories covering everything from horror and sci-fi to suspense.

Her major debut thriller, THE OTHER MRS MILLER, is due out from Putnam on 7/16/19! Learn more at her work at
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“He was too damn old to run now, too tired of that romantic idea of freedom that infected the heads of the young and later killed most of them with crushing disappointment. The Cassinis had always made sure he was just comfortable enough to want to sit tight and not risk the generosities they’d afforded him, and the older he got, the more comfortable he became. Comfort had a way of killing the romance in just about everybody.” 3 likes
“mentioned Shakespeare in the middle of my own little soliloquy.” 0 likes
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