Pet Sematary Book Review

Is Pet Sematary the darkest King novel? King himself thinks so.

It’s been while since I published a book review, and that’s because I don’t have any time to read anymore. I’m getting married in 11 days, so reading has unfortunately taken a back seat, while table plans and favours are all I can think about.

However, about two weeks ago I began Pet Sematary. It took me a while to get into it, but once I reached the halfway mark, I finished the book in two days.


Plot Summary

The book is set in Maine, as are most Stephen King books. Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, have moved here with their two children, Ellie and Gage. They very quickly meet their neighbours, Jud and Norma, who live across the very busy road that separates the two houses.

Louis has just begun work as a doctor in the university, attending to students whenever they need medical attention. On the first day of his new job, a student dies from a very severe head injury. Upon dying, the student whispers something about a pet cemetery in Louis’ ear. Louis disregards what he heard as the ramblings of a person on their death bed.

However, Jud takes Louis, Rachel, Ellie, and Gage on a walk at the back of their new house. On this walk, they come across the ‘pet semetary’, a place where children have buried their dead pets for hundreds of years. The cemetery has plenty of DIY’d headstones. Rachel isn’t happy about her children being exposed to death in such a way.

The cemetery is forgotten, until the family cat, Church, is killed by a car on the busy highway outside the house. Jud tells Louis of a place, where the cat can be buried, and Ellie will never know he even died. Jud takes Louis on a dangerous trek through the woods in the middle of the night, taking him past the pet cemetery and to a different place entirely.

The next morning, Louis gets the fright of his life when Church appears, almost his normal self, but with something different about him. Is he a zombie, a figment of imagination, or something creepier? He smells funny, and acts funny, but besides that, he looks just like Church did.

But what would happen if you were to bury a person in the strange land on top of the hill? And what would the repercussions be?



Stephen King published Pet Sematary in 1983, but wrote it years earlier and locked it in a drawer, thinking he’d finally pushed the subject matter too far. He believes his scariest novel to be The Shining, but his most disturbing book to be Pet Sematary. 

As I said, it took me a while to settle into this book. It could almost be a short story, that has been elongated and slowed down to fit into a 400-page novel. But once I arrived at the point when Church gets reincarnated, I was hooked.

As King says, the novel is shocking. There are many times when you’re pleading with a certain character not to do what they’re planning on doing. You want everything to go wrong for them so they can’t reach their end goal. I don’t think it’s my favourite King novel, but it’s one I’d definitely read again.

I wouldn’t say I particularly liked any one character. We find out some dark things about Rachel’s past that were unexpected, and acted as a kind of subplot. Louis is a likeable character but his actions make us dislike him. Ellie is the most annoying child you’ll ever meet, but then what 7 year old isn’t annoying? There’s something funny about Jud and Norma too, though it takes a while to work out what this is.

If you’re a fan of The Shining, this is the next read for you.


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Other Stephen King book reviews:

The Stand


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Book Review: You Can Lead a Horse to Murder

NEW RELEASE….You Can Lead a Horse to Murder

There’s a killer in Sanctuary, and the prime suspect is a horse.

When spirited Ember Burns is led back home to open her own veterinary practice, her first client lands her in the middle of a mystery. It starts as a desire for Ember to clear her name, and turns into a personal entanglement in a rapidly unfolding story of lies and deceit.

The small mountain town of Sanctuary has always had its secrets. Who can be trusted? It’s been ten years since Ember lived there but roots run deep. Discerning friend from foe isn’t an easy task. Relying on her intelligence and instinct, Ember tries to piece the clues together as the town gears up for its centennial celebration.

From the quaint historic shops, to the rugged mountains surrounding them, Ember works to unveil the true culprit before time runs out.


Available to buy from…… Paperback


Book Review

Ember Burns has returned to her home town following the death of her mother. She’s taken over the only veterinarian centre in the town, and business is booming before she’s even officially opened.

Her first case is that of a distressed horse, but everyone else quickly becomes distressed when they find the body of the farrier in the horse’s stable. At first, the horse is blamed for killing Tom. However, Ember thinks that the test results and Tom’s autopsy don’t quite add up. As she digs deeper, she begins to uncover some secrets that were long buried that puts her own life in danger.

You Can Lead a Horse to Murder was not what I expected based on the title and the cover (I know you shouldn’t judge but….). It was much more of a crime thriller than I expected. You couldn’t trust any characters as lots of them looked suspicious, and had their motives for killing Tom. The horse angle was an interesting one. There is so much money in horse racing, and breeding ex-racehorses. As people begin to get greedy, they all want in on the action, causing crimes to be committed and, in this case, murder.

Ember is a very likeable character, as is her puppy labradoodle, Daenerys. A lot of thought was put into the characters and location as a whole, as Tara Meyers includes the new logo for Ember’s vet business in the book, a small detail that makes the vet centre feel like a real business (you can see the Sanctuary Animal Clinic logo below).

You Can Lead a Horse to Murder was a surprising read, that kept me guessing about ‘whodunnit’ the whole way through. Was it really a horse accident, or is there something deeper lying below? You’ll have to read it to find out!


Read an excerpt

About the author
You Can Lead a Horse to Murder author picture

At nineteen, I was recruited into a secret government program, where my memory was erased .. wait — that’s the outline for a potential book. Sorry, my real biography isn’t quite as interesting, but I’ll give it a shot!

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and when I’m not writing, I’m out beach combing with my dogs for sea glass, or hiking in the rugged Cascade Mountains. It’s the perfect backdrop to fuel my creative genius. *rubs hands together evilly*

You’ll find all my adult romantic suspense and cozy mysteries on Amazon under Meyers, and on my OTHER profile (secret identity ;)) Tara Ellis, I keep my middle grade and young adult books. Check them out, You might like those, too!

Find the author on the following sites….Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author Page

You Can Lead a Horse to Murder, banner of the front cover


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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.




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