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The Red Church Paperback – March 10, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Reprint edition (March 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145150702X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451507027
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (343 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Like Stephen King, Nicholson has an eye and ear for the rhythms of rural America and summons serious scares." -- Bentley Little, author of The Association

"Nicholson writes with a mixture of H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, stirred with a dose of his own originality." -- Kevin J. Anderson, author of Hopscotch

"Readers will sense echoes of Stephen King's classic Castle Rock tales in The Red Church. Scott Nicholson knows the territory." -- Stewart O'Nan, author of The Circus Fire

"Scott Nicholson explores a nightmare country that ends in Stephen King's yard. A wonderful storyteller." -- Sharyn McCrumb, author of the Ballad novels

“Rarely does a story teller weave prose with the emotional energy and sheer gusto of Nicholson.” --, December 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The church was constructed in the 1860s under the guidance of Reverend Wendell McFall. His sermons declared the existence of God's Second Son- whose mission it is to undo all of Jesus' work on Earth. But when he sacrificed a child to support his rantings, his congregation hung him from the rafters of his own sanctuary.

For twenty years, the red church has stood empty. Crumbling to ruin, it has become a site for Halloween pranks and the setting for ghost stories- including one about the thing that lives in the bell tower, a creature being blamed for a brutal murder that occurred in the church's graveyard.

Now Archer McFall has purchased the church to house his Temple of Two Sons- whose zealous worshippers will stop at nothing to see the Second Son return to his rightful glory. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sign up for my Tao of Boo newsletter for giveaways, free books, and announcements of new releases:

I believe the writer only creates half the story, and that you complete it by bringing your imagination, experience, and heart to the tale. I am happy to share the journey with you.

I've written more than 20 novels, about 80 short stories, four children's books, some comic books, screenplays, and a couple of non-fiction books, as well as five collaborations with J.R. Rain. Many of my tales are based on supernatural legends from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and I also write mystery and suspense thrillers that are most often compared to the work of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

I've also published Liquid Fear and Chronic Fear with Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint and McFall with 47North, as well as a number of audiobooks and foreign translations. I love hearing from you, because you're the reason I do this, so let's connect! Learn more about my work at

Customer Reviews

A good read written very well.
M. Cornish
Couldn't put this book down till I finished.
Not a satisfying ending at all for me.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gallagher HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Scott Nicholson has a strange, maybe warped, sense of imagination - and that's a great thing for a horror writer - and reminds me of early Stephen King works because he grabs you from the start, you can picture yourself in the various situations, and he will scare the crap out of you while making you shiver from some of the scenes. Your heart will race, you'll feel the highs and lows and everything in between with The Red Church. I could realistically see this as a summer movie that does well scaring the you know what out of high school kids and adults alike.

I'm certainly ready to read another Scott Nicholson novel.

I originally picked this up for free during a Kindle promotion, and as I type this review I see the pricing has reverted back to $3.99: you will get a heck of a lot more entertainment value than $3.99 so if you like a well-written scary novel, I highly recommend this one!
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168 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Southern Kindle on March 21, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
...when I started to read Scott's book on my Kindle. I should have known better. This is not the genre I typically read. But since he had a recommendation from another author I recently discovered (J.A. Konrath) and he has really impressed me on the discussion boards here on Amazon, I thought I would give it a go. Good decision; bad timing!

Lights aglow (cause I am a scaredy-cat), I hunkered into my fluffy featherbed, covered with my warm comforter, listening to the wind howl and the rain dance across the tin roof, 'The Red Church' grabbed my attention and didn't let go! As the storm raged on, the hours flew by, and I was completely entranced.

And then, almost at the end, when the action in the book was reaching a new high...a large bang outside and my power went out!!

I kid you not! Convinced evil forces were now in play (vs just blaming the storm outside), I carefully hid my Kindle under the pillow next to me, closed my eyes so tight, and faded off to a fitful sleep.

By morning, the sun was shining and I was able to finish the book without further incident.

I highly recommend this book and will look for more by Scott. And next time, I will have a flashlight handy. :)
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Christa Polkinhorn on January 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not exactly a "thriller" or "horror" fan, so when I came across The Red Church by Scott Nicholson I hesitated at first, thinking I probably wouldn't like it. After the first few pages into the book, I realized how limiting and inaccurate such labels really are. To be sure, there is plenty of blood-curdling and scary stuff in the novel. However, there is much more to the book than "blood and gore." A tight, fast-moving plot, vivid, psychologically complex characters that jump off the page and are so real you remember them long after you finish reading the book, and a very accurate depiction of the emotional and mental powers that religious fanatics or new-age gurus can yield over their trusting victims make this book a truly fascinating read. I can only recommend it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Scott Nicholson's first widely published work, "The Red Church", is a good first novel. It's better than most "first" novels I've read in the horror genre. It's entertaining, but does have its faults.
The book centers around an old church that until recently had been used as a barn. A relative of the church's original preacher offers a large sum of money and re-opens the church. However, this church worships the Second Son of God. The church is haunted by a bell tower creature and ghosts of those who died on church grounds are seen. Eventually, the ultimate battle of good versus evil occurs in the great climax of the book.
The main problem, although not a major one, with the book is the author's over-description of past events, inhabitants of the area, etc. While a little description is necessary, at times the author seemed to delve too deep in the history and it did little to enhance the story. However, overall the book is entertaining, complete with a few eerie moments (the communion scene being one of them) -- a good novel, especially for an author's first foray into the world of fictional horror.
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126 of 150 people found the following review helpful By rstack on January 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first Scott Nicholson book I've read. I won't bother summarizing the story because so many other reviewers have already done that. I'll just focus on what I liked and didn't like.
First the good:
I was impressed with the writing, and the story was very engaging. You are able to see the story unfold through several of the characters' perspectives. The main character is a young teenage boy (Ronnie Day), but you also get glimpses into the mind of his father, mother, the sheriff, and several other characters as well. I enjoyed this aspect of the novel. I also enjoyed the level of suspense that was injected into the storyline. I was truly immersed in the story.

Now the bad:
I was a little uncomfortable with the religious themes in this novel. I have attended several Southern Baptist churches throughout my life (including several as a child). I was a little bit put off by the author's portrayal of the teaching of salvation by Baptists. Throughout the novel, Ronnie (a Baptist) worries about whether or not he is truly saved. His preacher "senses" every few Sundays that Ronnie needs to be saved again, despite the fact that he has already asked Jesus into his heart. This leaves Ronnie without the assurance that he is truly saved and that Jesus lives in his heart. Ronnie agonizes over this very issue repeatedly throughout the book. This was very much the opposite of what I have observed over the years in several different Baptist churches. Baptist doctrine firmly teaches "once saved, always saved." Baptists believe that if you truly believe that Christ was the son of God, that he died on the Cross for our sins and rose again, and if you ask for forgiveness of your sins, you are eternally assured of your salvation. There is no need for a repeat.
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