Customer Reviews: The Third Floor
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on January 5, 2013
Jack and Liz Kitches, along with their young 6 year old, Joey, have bought a house in Angel Hill, Missouri. They moved from Texas in order for Jack to take a new job in Angel Hill, and all three of them are pretty excited about relocating. While the job turns out to be a good decision for Jack, the house they bought might not have been. Almost from the day they move in, the nightmares start. And so do the strange whispers, odd noises, and the feeling that something keeps climbing into bed with them. While Liz is convinced there are ghosts in the house, Jack is a pragmatist, and dismisses the notion.

They soon discover that their home was the site of a gristly murder. Years before, a father killed his kids and then committed suicide in the house, and Liz is convinced that the father and the kids are haunting their home. But Jack, despite having seen and heard some odd things himself, still refuses to believe the house is haunted. Liz decides to take matters into her own hands and has the house blessed. It becomes obvious that the blessing did not work, and things are getting worse. Way worse.

As a sucker for ghost stories and haunted house tales, I grabbed this one as soon as I heard about it. I enjoyed the novel, it was a fairly quick read and it had genuine moments of suspense and terror. I had read one of the authors previous outings, Revelations, and enjoyed it so much I was looking forward to this one, and I wasn't disappointed. While I thought the first third of The Third Floor was a tad bit conventional, the last two thirds took a great turn toward the macabre and I wound up finishing the story in one sitting. Based on the two novels of his that I've read as well as many of his short stories, I can easily recommend this author to all horror fans. The Third Floor would be a great place to start with his work if you are not familiar with it.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 10, 2013
This is the first scary haunted house book I have read in along time. Very good character development. You need that with any novel to make you care about them, which captures you and keeps you engrossed in the book. It is a slow build of intense, suspense all the way to the shocking end. It had some very good terrifying, heart stopping moments. The whole town of Angel Hill was full of ghost's past, evil doings, and what made it even stranger was the people who lived in the town all their lives were proud of this.........

Reading this novel will teach you a good lesson before buying a house somewhere unknown. Investigate the entire area. If it 's selling really cheap there is a big reason why. So, you need to read the book to find out if Jack, Liz, and son Joey survive in their own house. If I tell you anymore it will ruin it, so why don't you step into the thrilling "funhouse"....... You won't be disappointed.....
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on August 1, 2013
"What the hell did we wake up when we came here?" -The Third Floor.

The following quote is not intended as a relatively insignificant `spoiler' for this book review as it used used to highlight a point that this reviewer thinks should be considered when approaching C. Dennis Moore's modern day haunted house story, `The Third Floor'. In his afterword the author comments, "The novel you've just read, THE THIRD FLOOR, is very loosely based on a true story. While the main events of the story didn't happen, many of the smaller occurrences did.". Moore then goes on to flesh out the back story behind his modern-day tale of things that go bump, crash and even wallop in the night, affording the reader an interesting insight into what prompted him to write the novel. Unfortunately while the author's intent is seemingly genuine, ultimately the execution is decidedly lacking.

Jack Kitch, his wife Liz and Jack's son from a previous marriage Joey, make the move from their struggling existence in Houston to the promise of a seemingly idyllic new home in Angel Hill, Missouri. Jack works for the electronics company `Fett Technologies' and has been relocated to take up a better paid position. Finding a house for them to live in proves be shockingly easy with Jack purchasing a monstrously sized three story house near the centre of the municipality. A house with an attractively moderate price tag. And of course, a house with a distasteful and minatory history.

Moore's narrative begins feverishly quickly, describing the young family's arrival late at night with a brevity of prose and a lightly descriptive touch, hinting at the torments to come with Liz observing, "Even with a street lamp in front of their house, it was dark.. Not just the house, but everything around it, as if the house sucked up any light that dared come near it." The author establishes the characters troubling personal preoccupations: Liz is worried that she'll never be accepted by six year old Joey as his new mother and Jack is anxious to prove himself at his new place of work.

It's a story framework that will be more than familiar to anyone who has a read more than a few haunted house novels or watched a half dozen or so similarly themed movies. And it's a shame that Moore does so little that is fresh or inventive with the ghostly tale paradigm, if anything the author appears content awkwardly re-treading other horror themed narrative through-lines to the point where it veers on odious pantomime. After a promisingly ominous start, `The Third Floor' then sadly proceeds to map out a storyline arc that seems as if it were lifted from some dreadful creative-writing manual for horror-fiction writers singularly interested in depicting hollow spectacle and pedestrian character development as a way of engaging the undemanding reader.

The author rarely bothers very much describing any of the novel's protagonists with anything above a modicum of cursory detail, with the orbiting secondary players faring even less favourably, reduced merely to names: Carl the exterminator, Judy the old lady, Art the glass repairman, Charley Clark the co-worker, Arthur Miller the used-book shop owner (yes, Arthur Miller), and on and on. Character growth for the principles is virtually non-existent and motivation is hamstrung by what this reviewer can only construe is the author's intention to drag the plot out, adding nothing in the long run except for a higher page count. Arguably, there's a good third of this book that could be safely excised without lessening the impact of the tale at all and in fact it would certainly greatly reduce reader frustration with the leading players, Jack and Liz, both of whom come across as two of the most insipid and frankly stupid characters this reviewer has seen delineated in a horror novel in quite some time, with the unfortunate and obvious outcome for the reader: you simply don't care about their supernatural predicament at all.

In some areas `The Third Floor' possesses an unnerving ghoulish atmosphere; there's a particularly enjoyable episode that deals with a creepy apartment across town, an unsettling account of townsfolk vanishing without trace and a grand guignol account of the disturbing origins of the nearby recreational park, but its effects are ruined by the lumbering, predictable nature of the plot and repetitive use of dream imagery as a story telling device. Had the author spent more time investing in a more layered background for his principal characters and less on padding out his tale with soap-opera-inspired exposition this could have been a thoroughly engaging if unoriginal pot-boiler. Sadly, it's this reviewer's contention that `The Third Floor' is not for those who enjoy reading gripping and innovative genre fiction, it's perhaps appealing only to those readers satisfied with being moderately diverted for a few hours.

Written by James Keen from Horror Novel Reviews. Horror Novel Reviews does not receive payment for reviews. All books are promotional copies.
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on January 31, 2013
I happen to love creepy, scary haunted house scenarios-especially if they aren't laden with the usual blood and gore descriptions. This one scared the heck out of me. I actually had to turn my lamp on to read it at night. Some things did bother me, but not enough to interfere with the reading enjoyment. One was the constant explaining of the Male protagonist's character and his guitar. But then again, I am not into guitars. Another would be the fact that the same character would be SO blind to all the changings taking place around him. It seemed a bit unrealistic. Although, I very much liked the approach of how the female protagonist did not become a hysterical nag about the things she was experiencing, I.e., letting her husband see something for himself. All in all, it was good, spooky fun for a cheap price. I very much like this author. Will definitely read more from him.
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on June 4, 2013
I'm a sucker for haunted house novels and movies, and this book definitely met my expectations. This author possesses the unique talent for creating a creepy vibe in his writing. Not many writers can do that. I really like the twist of this story, but I don't want to give details as to spoil it for others. This novel reminded me of one of my all time favorite novels of all--Stephen King's "The Shining." I highly recommend this for those who, like me, enjoy a good scare. Very entertaining and well written.
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VINE VOICEon April 16, 2013
So, I guess it's time for an additive to that old adage of "Don't Judge A Book By A Cover" and tack on, "Don't Buy A Book Based On Its Title". In Home Alone, Kevin McCallister halts in front of the steps leading upstairs saying, "The third floor... It's scary up there." So, with fingers crossed, I bought this Kindle book and hoped that Moore's version of the third floor would be scary.

Unfortunately, I never once felt scared, or even remotely pleased with this reading experience. The writing was clunky and just not very engaging. At times, it crossed the lines into being downright laughable. Take this sentence for example: "Liz lay there, praying for sleep or a stroke or anything that would render her unconscious." In addition, to this type of callous and ridiculous phrasing, there were missing commas, inconsistent verb tenses used and some downright stiff characters. The phrasing never flowed smoothly and the author's tangents on guitars were simply dull.

The characters had internal conflicts, but they never felt authentic. In fact, I never once cared about any of them. With their poor decision making (like Liz heard voices and immediately called the police, but when her stepson and herself began violently throwing up blood and he started Ebola-like eye, nose and ear bleeding she easily wrote off the possibility of going to the hospital), it was hard to feel any sympathy for any of them. This also impacted the "fear factor" of the whole book, as without that sympathy, their plight never felt remotely scary.

Some other details were downright confusing - there was scene with smoking inside the hospital! The Indoor Clean Air Act went up in the early 1990s, so it would have been nice to have other indicators if that was the year this story was set. In addition, it took Liz months to change the sheets - which considering the descriptions of the heat was pretty disgusting. The conclusion also felt very rushed. None of the "scary" moments felt fresh or original. I was actually amazed that I read this book all the way to the end... It simply was not what I was hoping for at all.
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The Third Floor is a very traditional Haunted House Story. Family moves into strange house, not knowing the history. Everyone who lives there ends terribly. You've seen it hundreds upon hundreds of times.

However, even though you've seen it before, C. Dennis Moore manages to breathe some fresh life into the genre. The things that happen in the house, while following some traditional tropes, still manage to be extremely chilling. As you read, you get that delicious shiver of horror well done.

While not gory enough to satisfy you splatter punk fans out there, this is still delightfully scary - more the look over your shoulder type of chills than saw-wielding maniacs.

In spite of the traditionality of the story, the author brings in a couple of unique things. I love the way their son begins to change. That was seriously creepy. And wanted to know more about the Pit. What happens there and why.

I think that this could be the beginning of a lot of stellar tales set in this particular town. The author has started to build a town history that could lend itself to some very scary - and fun - books.

Very happy that I read this one and if the author revisits this scary little town in the future, I'll be reading!
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on April 10, 2013
You know what's scary? Subtlety. This book is anything but subtle. From the first chapter the house wants you to know it's haunted. It's desperate to establish right from the beginning that scary things are going to happen, and that makes it even more unscary. I want to be intrigued enough to read on and wonder what's going to happen next, but when you bash the reader over the head right from the beginning there's really no reason to read to the end (which I did anyway and regretted it). The characters are annoying and unbelievable and this was just a waste of my time and my $0.99.
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on June 10, 2015
This book was so fantastically creepy. A family moves into a their new house in Angel Hill and almost immediately weird things are happening to them (think the Amityville Horror). There's cold breath on the back of a neck, footsteps in the halls, thumping on the floors above, prank phone calls with sinister messages, whispers and giggling when you're home alone--and this is all before the ghosts themselves appear.

At first, everything can be explained away, which is why the creepiness is so perfect. Have you ever been home alone and heard the house settling, knew it was just the house but still got chills and thought, "What if?" That's the first half of the novel. It makes you rethink sounds you hear in the dark, turns you into a jumpy person at the slightest noise or touch.

The night before I finished the novel, I walked past my dark bedroom and saw my closet light was on and the door was closed, just the outline of the closet door visible, and almost couldn't make myself walk in to flip the switch. I mean, what if, really, I didn't forget to turn it off? What if something (or someone) else turned it on? That's where your mind will go while you're reading The Third Floor.

I don't want to say more. I think you should read the book yourself to discover the story and learn all about the strange town of Angel Hill.
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on June 5, 2016
Oh this is scary and atmospheric from the word GO! Which is exactly what this family should've done as soon as a they laid eyes on the place. But sometimes you just have to learn the hard way and learn they do! The characters all seemed well developed, but I found myself being extremely irritated by the father in this story. He should've been named Thomas because he doubted everything even things seen with his own eyes! I literally wanted to find him and punch his lights out and then spoon-feed him to the head ghost for being so blind and pigheaded.

Even after being told first-hand by someone in the know he refuses to believe a word. What's worse he suspects something isn't right, but doesn't bother to talk to his wife, even to see if she's noticed anything odd. Lots of scary stuff going on here. Hearing things, seeing things, possession. Of course it's no surprise the house is haunted. The house has more ghosts than you can shake holy water on (I know...holy water is for demons),but still that's a lotta ghosts.

Great writing by Dennis Moore, great story. The ending was satisfactory for me, but the epilogue was the clencher...yikes! I found myself feeling sad for the poor unfortunate soul.
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