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The Nightmare Girl

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  154 reviews
When family man Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler, he has no idea of the chain reaction he's setting in motion. How could he suspect the young mother is part of an ancient fire cult, a sinister group of killers that will destroy anyone who threatens one of its members? When the little boy is placed in a foster home, the fanatics begin their mission ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published February 14th 2019 by Flame Tree Press (first published January 6th 2015)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  403 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
A delightful gore fest of a read!

Originally published in 2015, The Nightmare Girl was recently re-released by Flame Tree Press. Thank you so much to them for sending me a copy to read and review.

My first Janz, but definitely not my last.

Since this author is new to me, I really wasn't sure what to expect going in. Horror can be a difficult genre to find a style you really mesh with.

I had a lot of fun reading this and definitely plan to pick up his other works.

This story follows our protagonist,
Sadie Hartmann
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE NIGHTMARE GIRL was actually first published in 2015 by Samhain. That publisher has since closed up shop and this book is getting a second debut with a far superior cover design, mid February 2019 by Flametree Press. In fact, it needs to be said that Janz is a prolific writer with a dozen or more titles in his back catalog--all of which (NEW and previously released books) will be available for "Janz Fans" with an aggressive release schedule throughout 2019.
It's very impressive and a sta
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This was the first full length novel by this author and I absolutely enjoyed it. Joe has a melee with two child abusing women at a filling station. From then on his life changes completely. Angie and her mother Shareon are members of a strange cult. The house next door he has to renovate is also involved (he's a constructor). How will the story end for Joe, his wife Michelle, their daughter Lilly and Little Stevie (the abused kid)? You'll read about skimpy outfits, women setting themselves on fi ...more
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

THE NIGHTMARE GIRL begins with our main character, Joe Crawford, intervening when he witnesses a young mother physically abusing her infant son at a gas station. What he doesn't count on, is the fact that the abuser and her psychotic mother are part of a long-time cult dealing with the power of fire. Now, Joe has an entire sect of zealots out for his blood--and that of his own family.

The pacing of this book was fantastic--page turning every step of the way. There was tangible sense of dread
This crazy cult story was a lot of fun! This was my first Jonathan Janz book, but it will not be my last.

This was a fast paced tale about Joe and his family, (wife Michelle and daughter Lily). I became a big fan of Joe throughout this story. Mostly because all of his problems started due to one good deed: stopping a woman from abusing her toddler at a gas station. Once he stops her and the police arrive, his whole life goes to hell.

I enjoy stories about cults and satanic worship and all that goo
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
When Joe intervenes as a young mother abuses her toddler in a gas station parking lot, he thinks he’s doing the right thing — he has no idea that he’s setting into motion a plot of revenge from a local cult, whose members will stop at nothing to punish Joe for his good deed.

Another Jonathan Janz title, another highly anticipated horror release for me — or re-release, as it were, since The Nightmare Girl was originally released years ago, but fell out of print when the original publishing hou
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm sort of calling this The Year of Janz. Last year I FINALLY discovered his work, and I was really bummed when I heard that most of his books had been published by the now defunct Samhain Publishing. I was going to have to search the web for second-hand copies. But then I got extremely lucky. The amazing folks at Flame Tree Press announced that they would be releasing Janz's back catalog. Essentially, we have been getting a book a month this year, and I couldn't be happier. The latest on my lo ...more
Paul Nelson
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second Jonathan Janz read in a week, both curtesy of Netgalley and I’ve got to say, the guy can certainly spin an entertaining and engrossing story, one that will keep you up way, way past bedtime.
The Nightmare Girl, first impression has a great cover and did the story match up, most definitely yes, this is a thrilling page turner that offers no respite whatsoever. One that before you know it you’re approaching the end and its then decision time, to sleep or not, my votes for not.
The start
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, own, read_2019
If you read horror, read Jonathan Janz.

This year alone (2019) I've devoured 4 of his books, with The Nightmare Girl being the latest 5 star read. Not only are his books gloriously gory but they are loaded with interesting characters and entertaining plots.

In The Nightmare Girl, we're introduced to small business owner Joe Crawford. He's a family man trying to do best by his young family, steadily earning a living in construction. He's a good natured, honest, All American kind of guy who finds h
Ashley Daviau
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is without a doubt my favourite Janz I’ve yet to read. It is absolutely bloody BRILLIANT. There is not a single thing about it that wasn’t perfect, it’s just that good. Everything about it drew me in from the start, I was completely hooked from page one and it only got better and better as it went on. I always get a little giddy when a horror story features cults, something about it just really does it for me, ESPECIALLY when they’re as deliciously evil and sinister as this one. The story s ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Crawford and his family pull into a gas station and could not believe what they saw. A young mother was abusing her child. Joe went over to the young mother and stop the abuse to the child. The child was taken away by Social Services and put into a foster home. The young mother is a part of an ancient fire cult that will destroy anything that gets in it's way. The young mother swore to seek rev3enge on Joe and his family for his actions. This was a fast paced book with plenty of action. I wa ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Janz is really hitting his stride lately and kicking out some quality dark fiction. The Nightmare Girl is a very good supernatural tale of sinister cults and old school small town terror.

Joe tries to be a Good Samaritan, but his deeds backfire in a big way when the child that he tries to help has some nasty blood relatives that want to see him dead along with anyone that stands in the way of their sinister plans. Now Joe has put himself and his family in the crosshairs.

There is a palpa
This hardcover edition is numbered 14 of 60 copies signed and numbered by Jonathan Janz.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Janz has quickly become one of my favorite authors. He definitely knows how to push the pace of the plot. He introduces his characters early and gives a chance to know them intimately before throwing them into dire danger or death.
His strongest skill is in the building of suspense. my favorite parts of his writing are the sections when he ratchets up the tension notch by notch. He has an undeniable ability to leave the reader wondering what it going to happen next.
His characterization skills are
Jon Recluse
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
No good deed goes unpunished.

When a man steps in to protect an abused child from his mother, all Hell breaks loose. Mommy Dearest belongs to a cult of killer crazies, crazies who thrive on the kind of carnage and chaos only the truly insane are capable of.
A frenetic, fun read with a flair for overkill, I had to check to make sure I wasn't reading a Richard Laymon novel.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, review-copy
Wow. Oh my God.

I'm such a fan of Jonathan Janz. His books are over-the-top, unsettling, and so much fun. I thought I knew what to expect when picking up a Janz novel, but I'm realizing I was wrong. We will be blessed with quite a few releases from Janz this year, and I'm excited to see where each book will take me. There was more than one scene in The Nightmare Girl that left me gasping and horrified. For me, humans are often the scariest of creatures.

While reading The Nightmare Girl, I was remi
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
I had recently finished reading another horror novel by Jonathan Janz Exorcist Road which truly scared the pants off me and had my heart beating out of control, so was keen to grab this novel of his also.

Whilst The Nightmare Girl did not have the pace or the punch in my opinion that Exorcist Road did, on it's own merits it's still a really good read and a good horror novel. I have but one complaint - I was not scared, or terrified BUT enjoyed the plot and the build up to the rather tense moments
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Joe confronts an abusive mother at a gas station, little does he realise the lengths the family will go to, to get the child back. When the mother commits suicide Joe soon realises that the religious group she was involved in will go to extreme lengths to ensure he suffers.

This is now my third book read by this author and he has failed to disappoint in all three. He has an uncanny knack of writin
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I actually forgot I hadn't reviewed this great book by Jonathan Janz. The Nightmare Girl is a cautionary tale of good deeds gone wrong.
Have you ever thought about how simple decisions can have huge impacts on your life? Maybe you were at the right place at the right time to change the impact on someone else's life. In Nightmare Girl, Joe Crawford, a general contractor, is a guy with a good heart. He is at the right place at the right time and he does something to intervene when a mother attempt
Michael Hicks
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
My review of The Nightmare Girl can be found at High Fever Books.

Reading The Nightmare Girl, a few aphorism immediately sprung to mind. One being that no good deed goes unpunished, and the second being that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And on this last one in particular…brother, it’s getting awfully hot in here.

Joe’s got a good heart, and a good family to match in his wife, Michelle, and daughter Lily. So, when he stops to fill up the car with gas and overhears a heated confro
Jamie Stewart
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Seeing the cover and the title of this book was my first introduction to Jonathan Janz as a writer. Both worked because I made a point of buying his work after reading the premise, which reminded me of Joe Hill’s The Fireman. The first chapter of The Nightmare Girl reminded me of a section of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 and the rest of the novel is of the same high quality I expect from Joe Hill. In other words Jonathan Janz is one the must read writers of the current moment. He’s stories are insightful, ...more
Frank Errington
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review Copy

It's a sad thing when an author's work is no longer available because the publisher goes out of business, but it's wonderful when a new publisher sees value in putting that book back into the world. Such was the fate of The Nightmare Girl.

This is another Jonathan Janz book I missed when it was first released by Samhain. I'm so glad Flame Treet Press decided to add this to their February 2019 lineup.

Joe, Michelle, and their young daughter, Lily is a family that I grew to love and I wou
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoted husband and father, Joe Crawford, doesn't realize the dark and deadly path his life is about to embark on after he interrupts an episode of child abuse, while stopping for gas with his family. At first, Joe merely thinks the child's young mother and grandmother are drunken white trash. But then the threats begin, along with nightmares about his beloved family burned alive in an inferno.

With the aid of a wisecracking police chief, Joe tries to understand if Angie and Sharon Waltz are just
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it a lot!
Review to come.
Jonathan Janz is in top form in this story. He comes out swinging (bad pun, read the book :-) to provide the blend of horror, suspense, dread and foreboding, humour, and generalized mayhem which keeps me coming back for more.
His skill with characters and his ability with pacing drew me quickly into the story and never let me go.
He's also one of the rare horror writers who succeeds in conveying a father's deep love for his family and children and the crazy extremes we who share his feelings could
Nev Murray
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, 300-400-read
This review of The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz is the result of a copy sent to Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review.

So all I see on peoples feeds at the minute is Jonathan Janz this Jonathan Janz that. All I could think is who is this guy and I must check him out. I was then delighted to get a copy of The Nightmare Girl to review for Ginger Nuts of Horror. Did I like it? Read on…….. (The fact I have since bought another 5 of his books might give it away though).

Joe Crawford
Savage Species suggested it, Exorcist Road seconded it, and The Nightmare Girl confirmed it: Jonathan Janz is a major new talent within the horror genre, and any fan of said genre that has not yet read him is missing out. Badly.

The Nightmare Girl gets right to it as everyday family man, Joe, intervenes to stop a mother wailing on her child in a public setting. This Good Samaritan act soon has significant consequences for Joe and his family, as the everyday man is forced to extreme lengths to ens
Red Lace Reviews
Joe Crawford never would have expected to witness a mother abusing her infant, but making a stop at a gas station forces Joe to make a decision - to involve himself or let it be. Being a family man himself, he can't bear the sight, yet saving Little Stevie from abuse results in terrible repercussions. Now a group of people have Joe in their sights, and they blame him for losing one of their own. They'll stop at nothing to succeed in their revenge, even endangering Joe's own daughter.

Chris Miller
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the fourth book by Jonathan Janz I've read, and may well take the crown as my personal favorite thus far as I work my way through his bibliography.

THE NIGHTMARE GIRL follows a decent man trying to live and work honestly. He and his wife have a little girl, and lost a son some weeks before delivery to miscarriage. One day, while pumping gas, hell is unleashed on him and his family when he intervenes as a maniacal woman beats on a male toddler, causing not only a scene, but a violent confr
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Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels. He is represented for Film & TV by Ryan Lewis (executive producer of Bird Box). His work has been championed by authors like Josh Malerman, Jack Ketchum, Stephen Graham Jones, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novels Childr ...more

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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