Book Review – The Return of the Pumpkins by Lacey Lane

Nearly two years ago, I reviewed Lacey’s first story – The Revenge of the Pumpkins. It was a brutal story of pumpkins slaughtering the people who had carved them for Halloween and was, in a lot of ways, a great horror short story. Like some of the best horror stories, Revenge didn’t bother to explain the antagonists or why they were doing what they were doing. The pumpkins were just flat out evil.

Now, a couple years later we get the follow-on to Revenge and Lacey has taken the story in a different direction. It’s still a good slasher story, but rather than relying on the overt pumpkins with shiny blades and glints of evil in their eyes, we find the sole survivor from the first story locked up in a mental institution after he insisted the pumpkins had carved up his family and set fire to their house.

Needless to say, no one believed him. But they did give him a nice home and a jacket with sleeves that tie in the back. Okay, I’m joking about the jacket, but the kid does spend a decade in an asylum learning to question whether or not sentient, evil pumpkins really did slaughter his family and wondering when they’re going to come back.

In addition to the usual creepiness of a mental institution, we get a lot more character development and an ending that leaves you wondering just where the madness ends and where it starts.

All in all, an excellent short read from an excellent new horror author.


Peter Smith is a patient at West Hills hospital. He has been there for nearly a decade. At the age of thirteen, his parents were brutally murdered and Peter was tortured to near death by his Halloween pumpkins. Killer pumpkins haunt his dreams and his doctor thinks he’s delusional. Determined to turn his life around, he has eventually decided to join in with the Halloween festivities in the hospital and carves his first pumpkin. Will Peter survive the tenth anniversary of his parents’ death? Or will his pumpkin be the death of him?

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11 thoughts on “Book Review – The Return of the Pumpkins by Lacey Lane

  1. This is a tremendous review on Lacey Lane’s sequel. Why should I suggest a review is great when I have yet to read the book?
    I rate the reviewer as an author which means his word is worth something. Secondly, I’m not a horror fan and though I read the first pumpkin story, until I read this review I wasn’t convinced I’d tackle the sequel. It sounds like it has more of a psychological feel and I’m drawn to the story.
    Ms Lane, you have Mr Lahti to thank for me going on to read your sequel.

    • I’m interested to hear your thoughts, Tom. I’ve pushed myself with this book. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I think it’s a stronger book than the first.

  2. A great review Eric! I didn’t think Lacey Lane could do anything more with the pumpkins but she proved me wrong. An excellent follow up and the story is gradually leading us to something unexpected. I wonder what she has in store for readers of the first two.

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