Adult, Horror, Reviews

Scratches by Joshua Marsella – Review

What in the f*ck did I just read?!

Ok, I thought I knew what I was going to get with this one. I even read a couple of reviews, which is not like me at all. I’m new to this genre so I wanted to be prepared.



A mother and son with a strained relationship inherit a house following the sudden death of a family member with a violent past. When the son moves his bedroom into the basement he starts to experience an unexplainable and terrifying phenomena. After he uncovers a secret concealed in the house, they quickly learn that some truths are better left a mystery.

Can they overcome their differences in order to survive or will the darkness consume them both?

Title: Scratches by Joshua Marsella
Date of Publication: May 11th 2020
Length: 130 pages
Genre: Horror
Audience: Adult
Favorite Quote: Sometimes the truth was darker than one’s perceived reality. Ignorance really could be blissful.”
Content Warnings: Mild gore, mentions of child and spousal abuse, rape, alcoholism, torture, maiming, murder
Series: Prequel to this book – Severed


Meet Connor. A young boy with a love for all things creepy and ghoulish. Nice! His mum, and the only family he has ever known, works long hours to keep them above board (just) but they have a strained relationship. After his estranged grandfather dies suddenly, they inherit his house. However, scary shit starts happening. There are dark secrets that are better left where they lie. If only they would.

The start was exactly what I thought it would be and I was comfortable with that. Creepy haunted house vibes. Check. Then Marsella quickly flips a 180 and takes us to a very dark, horrific and traumatic place.

Thinking back, he (Marsella) did leave us little breadcrumbs to hint at what was being unsaid, but due to not seeing it or rather not wanting to, it didn’t fully sink in until it backhanded me in the face. And left me… I don’t know if I’ve fully processed how I feel yet.

I devoured this in one sitting. I had to know how it ended. There were a few questions, I had, that have been left open though. I really hope these are answered in the prequel which I am very much looking forward to diving into… But also have a bit of anxiety about it too. Seriously, the horrors that could be contained within…

I do recommend this debut, although I 100% think you should check trigger warnings for this one to ensure this book is for you.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

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