Midnight Horror Show by Ben Lathrop

Midnight Horror Show by Ben Lathrop

It’s end of October 1985 and the crumbling river town of Dubois, Iowa is shocked by the gruesome murder of one of the pillars of the community. Detective David Carlson has no motive, no evidence, and only one lead: the macabre local legend of “Boris Orlof,” a late night horror movie host who burned to death during a stage performance at the drive-in on Halloween night twenty years ago and the teenage loner obsessed with keeping his memory alive.

The body count is rising and the darkness that hangs over the town grows by the hour. Time is running out as Carlson desperately chases shadows into a nightmare world of living horrors.

On Halloween the drive-in reopens at midnight for a show no one will ever forget.

The IndieMuse Review

If you go down on your knees and hold your ear close to the horror grapevine, you will hear Crystal Lake Publishing does not give the readers crap. Their reputation for delivering quality stories makes most horror fans trust the authors they publish, and in this difficult business it is worth gold.

Which is why the debut novel Midnight Horror Show from Ben Lathrop is well worth the investment. Some might call this one a ‘supernatural police procedural’—and it really works well on both levels.

What’s it about, you ask? Well, person of indeterminable sex, if you can’t draw your own conclusions from the name and cover, you are probably young—too young to know anything about the drive-in movies. Allow me to take you on a little stroll through your parents’ lives.

You used to be able to get the full cinematic experience in your own car. You’d drive out of the city to a place where ambient city lights would not be a problem. There was this huge screen and a paved lot with ample parking, with these metal poles sticking out of the ground everywhere. Only two buildings—the first one where you pay for entry and the second selling snacks at exorbitant prices, which also contained the projection room. On the poles were attached these—if you can use your imagination here—speakers which looked like a radio slightly bigger than your palm, and a protrusion at the back where you could hook it to your almost closed window. These speakers provided the sound for the movie you are watching.

Now, the best place to park was in the middle, but everybody knew that, so the place filled from the middle outward and, if you were lucky enough to get a place near the middle, the speakers would usually malfunction halfway through the movie or there would be this scratching like a radio station which is almost tuned. On bad nights, the visuals might be half a second before the sound or a light drizzle might make the watching part a little difficult.

However…there was nothing like it. It was an experience you can’t explain to anybody who was never there. And, chances are, if you were born before 1990, you might have been conceived there.

Now back to the story:

In the 1960s in the USA, there was this huge movement to try to stop the devilish influence of rock music, horror movies and any form of entertainment which went against the fundamental beliefs of the powers that be.

Boris Orloff has a television show, Saturday Nightmares, which was very popular among the youth, but because of these protests he loses his job. So, what does he do? He takes it to the Moonlight Drive-In in the small Iowa town of Dubois. Until his live show goes up in flames, literally, killing him.

Move on 20 years to the 1980s.

Detective David Carlson must investigate strange murders in the small town. There are sightings of a dark figure and strange animals lurking about. And there is this weird teen, James West, who is involved with the coming Halloween party at the abandoned Drive-In…

That’s right, crap is about to get…well, crappier.

Ah, the nostalgia! People who grew up in the ’80s should delve into this like it is a retro toy store. Loved this story—real quality horror.


Mort Stone lives in untamed Africa, where he rides his lion to work every morning to slave away as a scientist who learned how to fake competency.

Reading is his passion…well, the one he can admit to, anyway. As an aggressive pacifist, he chooses to fight vicariously through stories which can bring him no physical harm.

While he is almost confidant that his IQ is in the top 50%, his wife regularly reminds him of all the stupid things he does. He will neither admit nor deny the accusations of sarcasm, but he can act like he cares. Most of the time.

As an avid reader of horror and thrillers, and somewhat of a movie buff in those genres, he still blames his insomnia on Global Warming. Because he can.

He would also like to apologize in advance for any swear words which might slip through…he will blame that on the insomnia.

2 reviews for Midnight Horror Show by Ben Lathrop

Based on 2 reviews
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
  1. Katherine Nino  

    Very much enjoyed it. Great flow and I could not put the book down!

    Was this review helpful to you?
  2. Corrina Petrus  

    Fabulous read. Do not miss this one, it is one of the authors best.

    Was this review helpful to you?
Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site is under construction and new ownership. We are currently closed to review copies. New content is expected soon. Meanwhile feel free to browse our past content! :)


Get updates on all the best new indie dark fiction releases sent directly to your inbox! And win free books!

Subscribe now


* indicates required