Thin Places

Fiction - Horror
400 Pages
Reviewed on 09/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Barbara Cottrell gave up her career as a professor to pursue her true passion: writing weird fiction. She is the author of the award winning novel Darkness Below and is a lifetime member of the Horror Writers Association. She enjoys presenting her work in unusual venues like Mystery Writers in the Mausoleum and Word Horde Emporium of The Weird and Fantastic. She also served as a judge on the Redwood Writer Anthologies Redemption: Stories from the Edge, Endeavor: Stories of Struggle and Perseverance, and helped edit Remember When and On Fire. She lives in Sonoma County on a not-at-all-haunted vineyard. When she isn’t exploring the dark side, she makes wine with her husband, Lance.

To find out more about her and the world of Miskatonic University, visit

    Book Review

Reviewed by Demetria Head for Readers' Favorite

Thin Places by Barbara Cottrell takes readers on a suspenseful journey as Ellen Logan, a young woman grappling with personal demons, confronts her estranged uncle, Joshua, and delves deeper into the mysteries of Miskatonic University and the town of Arkham. As Ellen navigates the shadowy realms of supernatural forces, dangerous secrets, and her troubled past, she becomes entangled in a web of deceit and intrigue that threatens her sanity and life. With the help of unlikely allies, she must discover the truth before the darkness consumes her and those she cares about.

Barbara Cottrell weaves a gripping narrative in Thin Places. Her ability to create an atmosphere of foreboding and uncertainty is commendable, as readers are immediately drawn into the enigmatic world of Miskatonic University and its dark secrets. The pacing is expertly managed, keeping readers on edge as they accompany Ellen on her perilous journey. The character development in this novel is superb. Ellen Logan is a complex and relatable protagonist, haunted by her past and struggling with inner demons. Her determination to uncover the truth, even in the face of danger, is inspiring. Joshua, her enigmatic uncle, adds mystery and intrigue to the story. His evasiveness and hidden knowledge keep readers guessing about his true intentions. The supernatural elements are seamlessly integrated into the narrative, adding depth and complexity to the storyline. Thin Places is a captivating and intriguing novel that appeals to fans of supernatural mysteries and Lovecraftian lore.

Alma Boucher

Thin Places by Barbara Cottrell is an outstanding horror story. The administration refused Ellen Logan’s request to attend the advanced program at Miskatonic University. Without this program and the university’s special training, Ellen could never be a serious paranormal investigator. A charismatic man was chasing after Ellen and wanted her to be his queen. The man claimed to be a demon from another world. Ellen’s friend was kidnapped by this man, and Ellen needed the help of Professor Andrew Carter. Ellen and Professor Carter had only worked together on one case before, and she felt a deep connection with the famous academic. Ellen’s investigation led her to a mysterious plane crash site, and an encounter at this place dropped her into the Dreamlands. Ellen made friends in the Dreamlands, and with their help, she must return to her world.

Barbara Cottrell took me on a roller coaster ride of horror, dark fantasy, and mysteries in Thin Places. The author created a world of emotion, evil, and the supernatural. The descriptions of the events fascinated me, and I quickly became part of that world. The story was jam-packed with action, and there was never a dull moment. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and I turned the pages as fast as I could, afraid that I would miss something. The characters were excellently developed. They were authentic and robust. My favorite was Ellen Logan. She had psychic abilities but did not abuse them. She was a strong woman who stood up for herself. The story is well-written and exciting, and it was as surprising as it was enthralling.

K.C. Finn

Thin Places is a work of fiction in the horror, suspense, and action subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience owing to the presence of sexual scenes, violence, and strong language throughout. Penned by author Barbara Cottrell, the story follows protagonist Ellen Logan as she navigates a world filled with bodies falling from the sky, a serial killer on the loose, and the suffocating grip of bureaucracy. Ellen's desire to join her university's special program is thwarted by the stubborn administration, and to make matters worse, she becomes the target of a charismatic celebrity who claims to be a demon from another world. Ellen joins forces once more with Professor Andrew Carter to unravel the truth when a friend goes missing. Their investigation leads to a visit to the eerie and enigmatic Dreamlands.

Author Barbara Cottrell's storytelling prowess shines as she weaves a captivating narrative filled with twists and turns that are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats from cover to cover. The author skilfully portrays the tension between the well-crafted reality of the university world and the Dreamlands, immersing readers in a thrilling and otherworldly experience. The atmospheric writing and worldbuilding weave a compelling blend of horror, supernatural fantasy, and investigative fiction, delivering an imaginative and thought-provoking reading experience. Cottrell's vivid descriptions and well-developed characters make the story come alive, transporting readers to a realm where danger lurks at every turn. Overall, I would highly recommend Thin Places to readers seeking a read that seamlessly blends mystery, the supernatural, and a strong suspenseful blast of horror.