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The Killing Room

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,178 ratings  ·  126 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,
Paperback, 484 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Pinnacle (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,178 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Jun 28, 2016 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
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, borrowed
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!
Matt Schiariti
Nov 15, 2012 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
Jun 04, 2010 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
Aug 29, 2010 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.
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…
Mar 09, 2012 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
Jan 15, 2012 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 ...more
Mar 26, 2011 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
Apr 02, 2012 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.
Jun 21, 2013 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.
Jun 01, 2010 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.
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oct-10
The perfect read for October! Very creepy!
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Things I Liked:
* The overall premise of the story.
* The idea of the family curse and the story behind it.

Things I Didn't Like:
* The dialogue was stiff and read like something written decades ago.
* Some of the characters are very stereotyped. (Yeah, Chelsea, I'm looking at you.)
* The whole backstory with Carolyn's ex-boyfriend. Despite spending more time than necessary detailing Carolyn's tight financial situation, he managed to swindle hundreds of thousands from her. He also mysteriously
Krystale Bithoney
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was really, really good right up until the last 30 pages or so. The resolution just didn't make a whole lot of sense and the climax was disappointing. It was a 5 star book until then. very interesting plot and characters but all fell apart.
Kim Taras
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
You know it is a great book when you are 8 months pregnant, your two kids are actually in bed and you are still up reading! Definitely a great page turner and I recommend to anyone who loves haunted house stories.
Tenea Cannon
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will be keeping me up at night

It was not my favorite book. I felt like the ending was expected for awhile. It while keep me up at night though. I still felt the need to finish it and see what happens.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very disappointed in this; the beginning held a lot of promise with its very intense prologue but it began to fall flat at the 30% mark and I found myself having to force myself to finish. Not only was it predictable but it wasn’t as entertaining as it should have been.
Melissa Herman
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read!!
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 and 1/2 stars
An okay horror read. Enjoyed the setting and the first part of the book, but the family drama, predictable plot twists, and male gaze got tiring.

Maxine Temple
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love wins out

I enjoyed the intense drama and mystery of the story. The characters were perfect for the story, a good mix of likable and unlikeable.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've seen the movie of this book and it was just as good as the book scary and mysterious with a good ending
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good

Page turner, keeps you glued. Twists and turns, and moments of being scared silly. Great Read!!! Very good job Mr. Manning!
Jan 31, 2014 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
Nov 04, 2013 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 ...more
Jul 16, 2014 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
Jan 18, 2015 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
Aug 30, 2010 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
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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 ...more
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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.
“was only as he passed Diana’s carriage that he slowed” 0 likes
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