Edited by horror author, Chad Lutzke, Her Shallow Grave is slick and knife-edged, delivering an experience readers compare to Sleeping With The Enemy and Silence of the Lambs.
Padavona says of the new novel, “My last two novels were heavy on dark horror, with an emphasis on slash and stalk. Her Shallow Grave plays more like a dark thriller novel, though I included creepy horror elements throughout.”
Though this wasn’t the first time Padavona worked with Chad Lutzke – Lutzke provided beta reading for Crawlspace and The Dark Vanishings series – this was the first time Padavona utilized Lutzke as editor.
“I’m a huge fan of Chad’s work,” says Padavona. “Of Foster Homes and Flies was the best coming of age horror story I’ve read in years, so strong that it even got Jack Ketchum’s attention. I consider Chad a friend, a great horror mind who has supported my work since I released Storberry in 2014. The opportunity to work with Chad was one I couldn’t pass up.”
It wasn’t all blue skies and sunshine. Padavona said Lutzke was brutally honest with his editing suggestions.
“The man is dangerous with a red pen,” Padavona said, laughing. “But that’s exactly what I was looking for. God knows I tend to wander when I write, and Chad kept me focused. The final manuscript for Her Shallow Grave was my strongest work yet, a story I’m proud to put my name to.”
On reaching the Amazon Hot New Releases chart in United States Horror, Padavona says he was overwhelmed by the public reaction.
“Sometimes the work gets very lonely as an author. I’m constantly writing in a vacuum and nobody sees my work until the very end. It’s easy to get paranoid and start questioning if my fans will love or hate the new book. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong editor. It would be an understatement to say I breathed a sigh of relief when Her Shallow Grave achieved early success.”
In “Her Shallow Grave,” set against the picturesque backdrop of the Cape, Marissa’s idyllic existence is shattered by a string of chilling murders. As beautiful women fall prey to a shadowy predator, evidence disturbingly points towards Tristan, Marissa’s successful husband. As she grapples with the horrifying possibility of his guilt, Marissa finds herself in a desperate race — not only to exonerate the man she loves but to outpace a sinister force that might be inexorably drawing closer. Echoing the dark intensity of classics like “Silence of the Lambs” and “Red Dragon,” this psychological thriller plunges readers into a vortex of doubt, danger, and terrifying truths.
From the description:
Beautiful, dangerous…and hunted.
Someone is murdering beautiful women. Is Marissa next?
Marissa is leading an ideal life on the Cape until a serial killer rips her life apart. When two women are murdered, the evidence implicates the fastest rising business leader in New England — Marissa’s husband, Tristan.
But Tristan isn’t a killer. Is he?
Is someone trying to frame her husband?
Now Marissa races to stay ahead of a bloodthirsty killer and save her friend. But Marissa’s past might catch her before the killer does.
A terrifying psychological thriller in the spirit of Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon.
About Dan Padavona
Dan Padavona might not have reached the same widespread name recognition as some of the giants in the field, like Stephen King or Clive Barker. But that doesn’t diminish the depth and impact of his contributions to the thriller and horror genres.
Dan Padavona’s entry into the world of horror literature is an interesting one. After becoming a forecaster with the National Weather Service, Dan carved out a niche for himself in the world of written horror, taking inspiration from both the dark themes of metal and the classic horror tales he grew up reading.
His books often blend traditional horror elements with fresh, contemporary spins, creating tales that resonate with both new readers and long-time aficionados of the genre. The style and atmosphere of his writing owe much to the influence of genre stalwarts like Stephen King and Richard Matheson, though Padavona’s unique voice shines through in each of his works.
While Padavona may not have an exhaustive list of novels or a long history of awards to his name, what sets him apart is his genuine passion for the genre and his dedication to crafting stories that resonate with his readers. The indie horror scene is rich and diverse, and authors like Dan Padavona play a crucial role in keeping the flame of horror literature burning brightly.
About Chad Lutzke
Chad Lutzke has been a steadily rising figure in the realm of horror fiction, carving out a reputation for his poignant, emotion-driven stories that seamlessly blend elements of horror, coming-of-age narratives, and deep human drama. While Lutzke’s works might often defy pigeonholing into a single genre, they have consistently found resonance among readers seeking horror tales that delve deeper than mere surface scares.
Hailing from Michigan, Lutzke’s background is as eclectic as his fiction. He has worn many hats over the years, from a skateboarder to a musician, and these varied life experiences infuse his narratives with authenticity and depth. Many of his stories revolve around life in the Midwest, drawing from his personal experiences and observations. His characters often grapple with personal demons, life’s hardships, and the inevitable decay and death that life brings, making his work deeply introspective.
In his writing career, Lutzke has penned novellas, short stories, and novels. His storytelling is characterized by a lean, stripped-down style that gets straight to the emotional core of his tales. This approach, combined with his knack for creating deeply relatable characters, has earned him praise and a dedicated following. Titles such as “Of Foster Homes and Flies”, “The Same Deep Water as You”, and “Skullface Boy” showcase his talent for creating evocative, emotion-heavy narratives that stay with readers long after the final page.
Above all, Chad Lutzke’s work serves as a reminder that horror can be as heart-wrenching as it is horrifying, providing a mirror to the human condition in all its darkness and light. His contributions to contemporary horror literature underscore the genre’s potential for deep emotional resonance, blending the macabre with meditations on life, loss, and the human experience.