Summerside Lake Massacre by LRJ Allen #BookReview

CriminOlly thinks: An entertaining mix of slasher and mystery, with a nostalgic 80s vibe. 4/5


Text Review

Summerside Lake Massacre is one of those books that makes up in entertainment value what it lacks in originality. As you’d expect from the title and cover, it draws on slasher movies for a lot of its inspiration, but also mixes in classic mystery vibes and some more realistic serial killer content.

The plot follows a brutal killer who, following a lengthy imprisonment, has been moved to a minimum-security facility. Naturally he escapes and makes his way to a summer camp, where a bunch of counsellors are preparing for the vacation season. What enriches it all is the back story that LRJ Allen includes in his book. Although the bulk of the action takes place (appropriately for a slasher) in the 1980s, we also get parts dedicated to the opening of the camp in the 1950s and the previous crimes of the killer.

The young cast of characters is what you’d expect for this kind of thing, but they’re fun to read and the stalk and slash elements are well handled. The local sheriff also plays an active role (unusually for a slasher) and adds a bit of variety to the tale. The plot is fairly straightforward, but Allen works in a mystery element relating to the camp’s origins that gives the book the feel of a giallo at times. There’s a gradual build-up of tension before the final scenes of slaughter. Most memorable of all are the flash backs to the killer’s original crimes. These sections are very well handled, with a deeply creepy feel to them and some fairly shocking violence.

The final quarter of the book wraps everything up very neatly, with all the strands coming together in a satisfying conclusion. Slasher novels are one of those things I wouldn’t expect to work well, but I’ve read a few recently that I’ve enjoyed a lot. Summerside Lake Massacre was no exception.

Video Review

Book Details

Title: Summerside Lake Massacre | Author: LRJ Allen | Publisher: Self-published | Pages: 266 | Publication date: 14th June 2022 | ASIN: B09TPY83XY | Source: Kindle Unlimited


Camp Summerside 1984.

A staple of summers in the town of Summerside Lake for the last twenty-five years, where kids and camp counselors get together for weeks of rural, fun activities.

But Summerside Lake is not as perfect as it seems. For its rolling hills and crystal clear waters hold a deadly secret, one thought long buried and forgotten by all.

But not by everyone.

There are some who remember, some whose anger never dies.

And for those at Camp Summerside, the lake will run red with blood.


Content Warning: Sexual assault

2 thoughts on “Summerside Lake Massacre by LRJ Allen #BookReview

Add yours

  1. Slasher horror seems to be everywhere these days (or maybe it’s just me noticing it😁) I’m glad this worked for you!

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