Date Published: 10-24-2023


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In Scarburn County, Tennessee there is a small mountain community called Black Rock, known for its unusual and prevalent blight that affects all vegetation . . .

When an unexpected death forces Christopher “Kit” McNeil to return to his small hometown in the Tennessee mountains after eighteen years, he must confront his past and a secret he’s kept since he was twelve.

A talented guitarist with a history of bad choices and even worse luck, Kit soon reunites with an old friend and learns about recent disappearances and mysterious deaths in the area. They begin to wonder if it’s connected to what they witnessed in the woods when they were kids and if a creepy local family is involved. Stranger still, almost half of their high school graduating class has died.

When more shredded bodies begin appearing, Kit becomes a suspect. But what he discovers is even more frightening—evil has set its sights on him and his friends and it won’t stop until it gets what it needs.

Can Kit and his friends band together in time to stop this ancient evil? Or will a new reign of terror that the Cherokee once called Uyaga be unleashed to roam the earth once more?


My Review
With a Blighted Touch is a creepy, weird horror novel that takes a creature from Native American lore and plops it down in small town Tennessee. 
The story follows a man named Chris "Kit" McNeil. When Kit was younger, he had a strange experience that seemed almost like a dream. After graduation, Kit moved away. But now, down on his luck, Kit returns to the small town he left all those years ago so he can say goodbye to his mother. But the evil that touched Kit still lurks. Waiting. Hungry for his blood. 
As Kit starts to realize Black Rock is cursed and he might be the reason why, he'll have to do whatever it takes to stop the ancient evil from returning...before it's too late.
I really enjoyed this story. It was different, which is always a good thing, and I felt it was just an overall solid story. The characters are well-written, even if the Dunleys come across as stereotypical. The little kids are super creepy. And Uyaga is horrifying. 
Kit is one of those characters you can't help but root for. He's made some really crappy life choices and has squandered his talent, but he's still a decent guy. It's just unfortunate for him that there's more to it than bad decisions. 
The Dunleys are absolutely the easiest characters to despise. They're violent and awful, but, again, there's more to it than that. 
The pacing of the story, and the overall plot, is done well. It's an easy book to get sucked into, and it's a relatively quick read once it gets going. And even though there isn't much world-building, since it takes place in small-town Tennessee, it's vivid enough to actually imagine yourself in Black Rock right along with the characters. 
If you're looking for a spooky horror novel for the Halloween season, give With a Blighted Touch a shot. You just might enjoy it.
4.5 stars!

About the Author

BHC Press has published the first two books in my post-apocalyptic epic fantasy Deiparian Saga, "The Witchfinder" (which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize) and "The Crimson Fathers." The final installment, "Bane of the Witch," is slated for release in 2024. If you’re interested you can find out more on my author’s page at https://www.bhcpress.com/Author_J_Todd_Kingrea.html. I am a member of the Horror Writers Association and write Blu ray reviews for “Screem” magazine. I have also written short stories and game material for the “Call of Cthulhu” role-playing game.


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