Review: Chthonic Cleaning by Austin Gragg

Cleaning can go too far as Noah and Dillon find out. A regular couple, the most exciting thing about their lives is Dillon’s job in a funeral home. They are predictable, practical and happy—until a simple household chore takes on a life of its own.

Written by Austin Gragg, this is a fresh and timely story of two ordinary people pushed into an extraordinary situation. Noah is neurotic and plagued by phobias. Gragg handles his character with respect and candor. It would have been easy to build Noah as the archetypal paranoid but instead he is created with depth and empathy.

The same is true for Dillon. The stronger partner, he is the bold one with no fear. Gragg handles the interaction between the two and their adversary with deft skill. The situations turn on a razor edge as hero and victim swap places like cards in a magic trick. I’d love to say more—compliment Gragg on how his characters grow and transcend—but I risk giving away spoilers.

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The takeaway I received from this story is that love triumphs and fear is only as big as you let it be. I love this story. If you are looking for a different horror story with new perspective and a positive message, check out Cthtonic Cleaning.

Be sure to keep your eye on this new author too. Gragg’s first book, he is already receiving recognition as a finalist for L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest. You can read all about him in my interview last week here and/or follow him on social media, links below. Find Cthtonic Cleaning on AmazonNookGoogle PlaySmashwords and Kobo.

Find Austin Gragg on or on…

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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