The Bucket List – by Mark Towse and Chisto Healy – Book Review


A raging storm and a bed and breakfast off the beaten path. Three couples looking to cross things off their bucket lists.
A night of puns, quips, and brutal violence, hosted by the sweet, mad, elderly couple: Marge and Alby.

If you’re a fan of Horror/comedy, give this one a go and cross it off your bucket list. But be warned, there will be blood. Buckets of it.

Dark bleetings, everyone! After the absolute joy I felt reading Nana, I had to snap this one up for myself off the review pile as soon as I saw Mark Towse’s name on it. The Bucket List is co-written with Chisto Healy, who is new to me.

Firstly, the writing is wonderful. Very rarely can I picture the scenes and characters as completely as I did whilst reading this book. I could clearly visualise it all – the storm, the location, each of the six characters. I find this especially impressive considering this is a co-authored work. The blending of styles/writers is seamless. I was looking for where one writer ended and the other began, and I couldn’t find it! They’re an excellent writing team and I really hope they release more books together.

As usual, I hesitate to talk too much about the plot because spoiling this book for anyone who wants to read it would be such a shame. The story seems fairly straightforward initially: two separate couples are out on the road, and both stay at a remote B&B, hosted by an odd couple. Obviously, something is up here, but the clues and information are fed to you in an impeccably-paced but mysterious way.

Also, it’s hilarious. Don’t get me wrong, the horror in this book is right up there with the best – it’s an increasingly nightmarish, horrific scenario that should not be funny. But it is, because the characters are so fully formed, nuanced, and well-depicted that it’s impossible not to read this in the tone of a certain one or two. All six of them have such distinct and strong personalities that they all shine.

Margie is, by far, my favourite. There’s a movie called ‘MONSTER IN LAW’, starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez, and I remember exactly one scene from the entire thing, and it reminds me of Marge. Jennifer Lopez is napping and then Jane Fonda walks in, blasts an airhorn to startle her awake, says, “I’m sorry, I thought it was air freshener!” and then walks off laughing like a cross between an evil witch and an absolute lunatic. This is the type of manic, bizarre energy that Marge has. I loved every single scene she was in.

“Amputation, fine; locking people in cupboards with dead people, fine; even dining on entrails, acceptable. But kicking a woman in the chuff? Instant disqualification.”

The memory of the books I read, even the ones I really enjoy, usually fade very quickly for me. I read so much that I think my brain struggles to remember the specifics of most things, and over time I’m normally just left with a general feeling of whether I loved or loathed it. It’s a testament to the writing that despite having to put this book down for over a week when I was only a third of the way in (because of that pesky thing called ‘life’), I had no trouble remembering what was what when I picked it back up. I could remember everything that was happening with every character, and exactly where I left off. It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished it and I honestly believe I could still explain it, scene by scene, and a lot of the finer details.

I’d most definitely recommend this to horror/comedy fans, body horror fans, ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ kind of horror fans, and I guess… yeah, I mean, just general horror fans also!

If you’d like to grab a copy, you can find it HERE.

If you’d like to check out the authors, you can find their sites below:



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