Horror Fiction / Michael Schutz

Plank Children

By Michael Schutz


Intense and terrifying


Miles Baumgartner lost his boyfriend. His house. His job. Worst of all, he lost his nephew when Ian—his almost-son—died, crushed to death in a car accident nine months ago.

So how is there a recent photo of Ian on Facebook?

A series of lies and half-truths leads Miles far north to a long-abandoned orphanage. Secrets slink within St. Hamelin’s shadowed halls, and when Miles starts piecing the truth together, the horrors that walk within its rooms tighten their grip.

They say that time heals all wounds, but time is running out for Miles. How can he start his life over now, knowing what really happened to Ian and the children of that unholy place? To have any chance, he must escape before dark forces curse him to walk eternally with the evils inhabiting St. Hamelin’s.


Plank Children is one of the most terrifying things I have ever read.

Mike Schutz has woven a relentless tale of vivid horrors and psychological terror. I felt the suspense and dread in every muscle of my neck and shoulders, in my clenched jaw, in my gut. It did not take me long to realize that this story is not predictable. There is some subtle foreshadowing, and there are things that look like foreshadowing but aren’t.  But calling Plank Children a rollercoaster ride would be an insult to the skillful transitioning of the maddening storyline bombshells throughout. Schutz’s smooth and frequent directional change creates its own intensity and suspense, its own level of terror as you become a victim of the unexpected.

Readers should be aware the subject matter of Plank Children is outside of current mainstream horror. Those who are sensitive to children in horror should take heed of the title. For all of his truly eloquent writing, Schutz pulls no punches with the horrors in this story, which only increase in nature and intensity as the story progresses. The characters are vivid, colorful, some of them very disturbing—the kind of disturbing some readers might find shocking. And the plot’s backstory is so matter-of-fact, so smoothly slipped in, so historically basic, it’s a mental fornication of horrific simplicity (But don’t skip over things or you might miss it, because Schutz doesn’t harp on it. It is character revealed with realistic subtlety).

Plank Children flows with such expert ease, I could go on and on about it. It is well-written, mentally invasive, and simply a good horror story. A highly recommended, shelf-worthy read for those who enjoy the truly terrifying.

Get it on Amazon: getbook.at/PlankChildren

Or get it direct from the publisher HERE

About the Author: Michael Schutz

Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy and wants to pull you into his warped world of blogging and podcasting with Darkness Dwells (http://www.wheredarknessdwells.com). He is the author of the novels EDGING and Blood Vengeance and the novella Uninoch. His short fiction has been featured most recently in Crossroads in the Dark II: Urban Legends, Dark Moon Digest, Sanitarium, and the anthologies Beasts: Revelations, Beyond the Nightlight, and Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull. He lives with his three naughty cat-children in northern California.


Michael Schutz Amazon Page

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