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Blackwater Lights

Blackwater Lights

3.6 43
by Michael M. Hughes
Michael M. Hughes’s Blackwater Lights combines the eldritch horror of H. P. Lovecraft with the supernatural thrills of Dean Koontz.
When Ray Simon receives a desperate call from his childhood friend Kevin, begging him to come visit, Ray can’t say no. Kevin promises to clue him in on shocking discoveries he has made about weird,


Michael M. Hughes’s Blackwater Lights combines the eldritch horror of H. P. Lovecraft with the supernatural thrills of Dean Koontz.
When Ray Simon receives a desperate call from his childhood friend Kevin, begging him to come visit, Ray can’t say no. Kevin promises to clue him in on shocking discoveries he has made about weird, half-forgotten events in their past—events associated with a summer camp near Kevin’s home in the small town of Blackwater, West Virginia.
But when Ray arrives, Kevin is nowhere to be found. So Ray does some investigating of his own, only to find that no records exist of the camp. Yet he is not alone in looking for information. There are Lily, a beautiful redhead with uncanny seductive powers; Crawford, a wealthy collector of art and people; and Micah, the mysterious leader of the Church of the Open Door. All of them are seeking information about the rumored camp. And they are all interested—very interested—in Ray.
Then a midnight encounter with strange floating lights sparks a return of old memories—vivid but fractured images that haunt Ray’s waking hours with intimations of terror and cruelty. Something dreadful happened at that camp long ago. Something was awakened there. Now, with the help of his new friend Ellen, a waitress at the local diner, Ray must navigate a path through madness and murder—a path that leads inexorably to an all-but-forgotten night in his childhood . . . and to a future of unimaginable horror.

Praise for Blackwater Lights
“Michael M. Hughes’s highly intelligent debut novel, Blackwater Lights, weaves a stunning tale of intrigue, ritual, and dark magic. It’s brilliantly paced and beautifully written, and once the journey has begun, it’s impossible to put down. Luckily for those of us hooked on Hughes, Blackwater Lights is but the first work in his forthcoming trilogy.”—Lisa Mannetti, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of The Gentling Box

“Disturbing, surreal, and spooky as hell, Blackwater Lights is a brilliantly written debut, marking Michael M. Hughes as a talent to watch.”—Tim Lebbon, author of Coldbrook and the Toxic City trilogy

Blackwater Lights is a paranoid thrill-ride that deftly combines mystery, sci-fi, and horror elements into a modern-day conspiracy tale. An impressive debut that builds to a satisfying, action-filled conclusion.”Cemetery Dance magazine

Blackwater Lights has action, adventure, sex, love, designer drugs, and violent death, all woven into a globe-spanning paranormal conspiracy. I mean, really, what’s not to like? Consider this my official request for a sequel.”—F. Paul Wilson, author of the Repairman Jack novels and The Adversary Cycle
“A harrowing and riveting thrill ride. Hughes is a welcome addition to the dark-fiction ranks.”—Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Blackwater Lights Trilogy , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Michael M. Hughes writes both fiction and nonfiction. Blackwater Lights is based on a short story that first appeared in Legends of the Mountain State: Ghostly Tales from the State of West Virginia. When he’s not writing, Hughes lectures on paranormal and Fortean topics and performs as a mentalist. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.

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Blackwater Lights 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A compelling and riveting supernatural thriller, but with a very realistic feel, which made it extra creepy. It had all sorts of crazy stuff - mind control, conspiracy, erotica, weird drugs, and just the the right dash of humor to balance it all out. The characters are really rich and I cared about all of them, especially Ellen (the love interest) and the I really wanted to throttle the nasty villainess, Lily.  I wish the book had been longer because I wanted more! I hope there's a sequel because I want to find out what happens next. Highly recommended if you like well-written but scary thrillers. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truer than Fiction First off, full disclosure: I am honored to be a fairly long-time friend of Michael Hughes, who discovered my identity by browsing my one and only book at a Haight-Ashbury bookstore in 1996. Secondly, and perhaps balancing this partiality, I am not at all inclined to read anything in the "eldritch horror" genre. This is my first reading in this genre. So let us say I began reading it more from the obligations of loyalty than from an intrinsic interest. All that notwithstanding, I truly and honestly could not stop reading it once I started. (And didn't go to bed till about 2 AM.) And although some of the supra-rational events at the finale stretched my credulity, the abysmal horror of our own United States brainwashing-multiple identity-construction and memory-deletions carried out on children here in the 1950s and 1960s did indeed take place, and the horror of this fictional tale is no worse than the horrors that actually occurred here and which have been covered over by our government. If peeps of a younger generation are unaware of these events, all they need do is a quick online search when you encounter a term like MKUltra. You will find first-hand accounts from people now in their 70s who were thus abused when 5 or 6 years old. So this is not just fiction. As Samuel Johnson would say, it both entertains and instructs. It is a lesson in how not to let government and government secrecy cloak inhumane and barbarous behavior. But it is, nonetheless, truly a "page turner."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is science fiction, super natural. It is about 200 pages. It is extremely violent, with all kinds of torture, blood, guts, murder rape, cursing, the occult, aliens, drugs, blackmail, corrupt officals, sex, esp and everything else nightmares are made of. It is worse then any other book I have ever read with the psychological terror. It freaked me out big time. I am big fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, yet this book outcreeped their works big time. It is better edited than most free books. I started to give this one star because I found it so disturbing, then I thought, well...isn't that what the author intended? For adults only. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the mix of paranormal, designer drugs, and politics with a chunk of history thrown in. Many people dont know that the US gov did delve into the paranormal to help gain footholds during ww2 and the cold war fron what i underatand. Plus, it included local history. I loved the writing and read thia book in 1 day it grabbed me so hard. Hope to see lots more feom Mr Hughes. Just got his compilation of short stories for free! On nook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.... I could not put it down... Felt like I was reading Steven King.. a great compliment to this new author.... It ended as if it could be continued... I'm hoping for a sequel... PLEASE!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! The book really captures your attention from the beginning and I found it hard to put down. Mr. Hughes is an up and coming author and I look forward to his next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy read. Finished it within a few hours - so it obviously had something that made me want to keep reading it. However, the first half was much better than the last half. I liked the writing style a lot. I just didn't find the explanation of the big mystery as interesting as I hoped it would be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really captured my interest and kept me reading even though parts of it were disturbing. I didn't really care for the ending but it did fit the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book because I am really into the supernatural story lines. I put it down a few times because I couldn't get into it at first. I was somewhat grossed out by the descriptions in the book, especially toward the end. And to me it was like a car accident that you can't stop looking at...I wasn't really enjoying the book, but I could not stop reading it because I wanted to find out what was going to happen. The ending was disappointing, I think it could have been more imaginative.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Well....some things I liked and some I didn't. Ray was a great protagonist - school teacher, fresh out of a relationship, and trying to do right by coming to the aid of his childhood friend. I liked Ray, but he seemed a little too gullible at times. Kevin is desperate for Ray to come visit and has new information about a childhood trauma they both experienced, but when Ray arrives, Kevin is gone for several days, leaving a note telling him he'll return as soon as possible. And Ray just....accepts this. Some of Ray's other actions I also questioned, but don't want to give any spoilers. The setting added to the mystery - small, secluded town in WV, a house in the mountains with no neighbors, and colorful characters whose trustworthiness is questionable. Growing up in WV, I could identify with some aspects of the story and think I may have met some of these characters before. There were some pretty graphic scenes in this book, but I felt like they were essential to the plot and not for shock value. The final 50+ pages were especially gripping and several times I found myself thinking, 'Well, there's no way Ray is getting out of this situation.' This was a quick read and the writing flowed well, but if you're not a horror or darker thriller fan, maybe just looking to try something new, this may not be the book for you. This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written-worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super creepy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really good stort!!! Congrats! :) keep it coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book creeped me out especially since I was reading it before bed! I think it was be awesome as a movie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, there is another book that goes with this, bought it but didn't read as of yet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huges weaves a tale about a lost friend, mysterious lights that shine at night and a town with a few surprises under the surface. I ended up reading most of this in one sitting, as I started and simply didn't want to put it down. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Move over King and Koontz there's another player in your field of strange and unearthly delights. I enjoyed all the aspects of terror this horror novel provided. The darker side of evil and power have always been with us...only the truly corrupt and ignorant attempt to control it for their own needs, as is shown in this book. Truth is always stranger than fiction...Germany was not the only ones experimenting on adults and children during the war. Mind control and psi abilities are still being studied today. If you can bend a spoon just by thinking about...I'd keep it to yourself. Jp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this free read
Dutchmelissa More than 1 year ago
Very good book..finished it 2 days...keeps you on the edge of your seat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot behind the book is good but the language and carnage can be a little too much at times. Can't say I'll be putting it in my "read it again" pile. Would only recommend to read it when you don't have anything else to read at the time.
livvy6 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by this author that I have read and I enjoyed it a lot. Well written and thought out.