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The Isle

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  24 reviews

A deadly menace threatens a remote island community and every man, woman and child is in peril. Sent to the isle to collect the remains of a dead fugitive, US Marshal Virgil Bone is trapped by torrential storms.

As the body count rises the community unravels, and Bone is thrust into the role of investigator. Aided by a
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by Grey Matter Press
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Michael Hicks
John C. Foster's The Isle is a gothic New England horror/mystery that is positively ripe with atmosphere. It's the kind of book where you can practically see the crabs darting to and fro and taste the salt in the misty air, as you worry that your Kindle might start growing barnacles. When it comes to tone and a sense of place, The Isle is abundantly rich. Unfortunately, it's also a story that left me a bit damp in the end.

The premise is pretty simple, but Foster shades in some well-layered compl
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 Stars

The Isle is a gothic New England horror story that is so vivid and descriptive you can almost imagine smelling the sea air as you read. Additionally, the Isle itself and its inhabitants are so vividly written that you feel as if you have been transported back in time. This is an island that is completely shut off from the mainland, and the islanders have lived a simple life that is very similar to the founding se
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
*I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook of this and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It was pretty good in parts and a wee flat in others. It wasn’t bad, but think it could have been better. The narration was a little uneven as well and took me a few chapters to get it to settle in, but once it did, I was much more comfortable the rest of the way.
Frank Errington
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

The Isle is a dark and demented look at the way life, or what passes for it, has evolved on a remote island off the New England coast.

No doubt, John C. Foster knows how to string words together...

"Dawn was a red rim of anger on the horizon as the storm gathered its strength and the wind tried to rip the door from his grip. Waves detonated against the rocks with loud explosions of white foam, the ocean matching the swirling fury of the storm clouds overhead."

Foster is an artist who is
Steve Stred
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews!***

Grey Matter Press has been pumping out some truly fantastic work as of late. I am in the minority where the only other GMP release I have had the pleasure of reading thus far was Devouring Dark by Alan Baxter. I ate that book up and was really excited to jump the deep end with this one. (Sorry had to do a water pun there!)

The Isle has everything I would ever dream of in the synopsis. A strange island cut off from the mainland by a ferry ride
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018, horror
3 stars is the best I can give this one. My review can be read here ---> ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a hard book to review. My thoughts upon finishing it were that the story is beautifully written. The author clearly has talent, but I found the plot to be slow, and odd to say the least. At no stage was I invested in it, nor did I really connect with the characters, yet I still read to the end, though I don't know why!! Other than that, I don't have much to say.

I will try out other things by the author because he writes vividly but this one wasn't for me.

Linda Jones read this well. She
Armand Rosamilia
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of this author's work because he has such an ominous tone and voice in his work. He grips you from the opening page and you know you're in for a great dark ride.

My only (small) complaint was wanting more of this story! Otherwise, the characters are so well-developed and unique you feel like you're reading a history of the isle. Can't wait to read more of his work!
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Foster taking on weird island cult horror? Yes, please.
Red Lace Reviews
US Marshal Virgil Bone finds himself amongst the Isle's isolated community - a community that shares a horrific past that still taints their daily life. Mistrusted and clearly unwelcome from the onset, Bone struggles to do his job, which was supposed to be the simple collection of a fugitive's dead body. Now he's stranded, surrounded by secrets and a rising death toll. If only he wasn't met with aggression, then maybe he could help save lives.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I rece
Review Copy

4.5 stars

A closed society. Secrets. Atmosphere you can taste. Names have power and John C Foster was wise enough to dedicate THE ISLE to the pair who came up with the historical names for this horrifying novel of one New England village.

Foster's writing was beautiful and flowed easily from one page to the next. He took care to write conversation in the dialect of Maine, giving the book even more flavor.

My only complaint was the abrupt ending. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this
Nicholas Kaufmann
John C. Foster has written an exceptional gothic mystery, heightened by an atmosphere of ancient New England fishing towns, Puritan folklore, storm-tossed seas, and the secrets that lay buried beneath it all. It's the attention to detail that brings out THE ISLE's astounding authenticity, from the eerie lobstermen -- childhood rattles made of crucified lobster shells with a baby tooth inside -- to the insular community traditions so confusing to outsiders, to modern-day characters still bearing ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Tell me that's not an interesting cover. It's partly what drew me to the book when it was offered. The other part was creepy fishing island and a mystery afoot. Of course I'll be interested. And for the most part, I wasn't disappointed.

The narration by Linda Jones was pretty good. It had a quiet and subdued tone that fit very well with the moodiness of the story. If I had one complaint about the narration of The Isle it would be that it was sometimes hard to differentiate between speakers occas
Matt Moore
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Chilling" in several ways. SE7EN meets THE VVITCH.

Relentlessly and unapologetically dark, we begin with a US Marshal barely recovered from a tragedy who is assigned to recover a body from an island far off the Maine coast. The island is isolated, with unreliable electricity and telephone, and its culture is trapped in the past. There, US Marshal Bone finds a deepening mystery of something horrific in the island's past resulting in suspicion, vendetta, and horrible, graphic deaths.

Foster's descr
John Lynch
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded to 4 for good reads

The Isle, By John C. Foster, is a novel of isolation, dread, and small town terror. Part horror and part murder mystery, Foster has crafted a novel in which its greatest strengths are the immersion and atmosphere the reader will experience.

U.S. Marshall Virgil Bone is a man with a haunted past. Seemingly at the end of his career, he is assigned the menial task of retrieving the corpse of a fugitive from a small island town off the coast of Maine, but as can be expe
There's an excellent blurb on the front of this book along the lines of it being from one of Nathanial Hawthorne's nightmares. It's a great quote, because it credits the way Foster has captured that archaic feel, the language, the characters, and oh man, the setting.

At first glance an enjoyable seaside horror, reminiscent of The Fog, maybe Jaws, knowing you're there in the deep with something lurking. The longer you read though, the more you realize how much more there is to this story, the way
Lesley Ann Campbell
First of all I would like to that Grey Matter Press for a copy of ‘The Isle’ to read in exchange for an honest review.
The lead protagonist, Bone, is sent to The Isle to retrieve the body of a fugitive, Richard Slocum. “Still a federal fugitive until we bring him in” he is told. He takes passage on Leviathan, a fishing boat captained by one by the interesting character, Samuel Weeks. Bone has many issues of his own to deal with such as the drinking problem that led to the death of his wife. He i
Lauren Davis
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of gothic(ish), horror thrillers, you'll be delighted with this, his latest novel.

I Love John C. Foster's voice. It is SO dark and filled with portent! He has a wonderful way of increasing the tension with every page, and yet also infusing his characters with a bit of sly humor. His choice of names, for example -- Bones, and Honor and Increase and Burden. Then there are the crabs, clanking out of everything, and the lobster down in the deep dark depths, and the murders, and the
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A must read!

What a unique, scary story. The atmosphere in this book is so real, I felt as though I could smell the sea, and the tension at times was almost claustrophobic. It reminded me of watching those great old European horror movies at the all night drive- in theater back when I was a boy. Isolated and alone , with very little communication or interaction with the outside world. has left these island folk full of superstition and legends...or is it all truly real? Sometimes the folk tales a
Karen Heuler
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will never go to an isolated, abandoned island, because now I know what could be there. The Isle is a November book, the beginning of a dark season, taking place in the cold and the wet, with shapes in the shadows and teeth in the dolls the children play with. Foster’s writing is so good that you’ll feel the damp and the chill, you’ll hear the shrieks and the inhuman mutter, you’ll see those children and their awful games, and worst of all, you’ll smell what’s cooking in the pots on feast day.
Kim Napolitano
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Isle is a world of its own..

Inspector Virgil Bone is being sent from the New England mainland to retrieve a body from The Isle, a remote and secretive island miles of the coast, protected by monsters and myths, the inhabitants are not willing to have revealed. Bone is battling his own inner demons and then trapped in the island by relentless storms, murder and mayhem begin. The horrific secret of the The Isle is being revealed.

The Isle is stuck in time. Almost no electricity, phone or moder
John Collins
A creepy, compelling and nasty piece of folk fiction about a lawman traveling to a remote island to retrieve a body and gets drawn into the islands strange population.
Well paced and very fun, this one is a winner.
Thomas Joyce
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The idea of an isolated island community existing in our modern world, inhabited by people ruled by traditional religious beliefs is a little hard to take at first. A small population who all seem to know each other, and who all turn their back on modern technology in favour of the "old ways".But, thanks to the power of Foster's storytelling, The Isle comes to life in the mind of the reader. From the rolling ocean waves to the eerie burned out buildings of the waterfront village, from the cottag ...more
Rich D.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-novels
Foster creates a memorable atmosphere and a perfect balance of folk horror and noir in The Isle  and it’s a book that will appeal to any dark fiction fan. The novel features a damaged protagonist with demons buried in his past who visits an island whose residents harbor a dark secret. There are plenty of great twists and the setting of an isolated island that seems like a throwback to a simpler time in the early winter months make this is a book that should be an annual winter read. I love that ...more
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John C. Foster
John C. Foster

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