Publisher: Comet Press
Publication Date: 2nd Nov 2015
In a Confessions first, we have a second review of a book that was reviewed a couple of months ago. As part of the tour that Adam Howe is involved in, we thought it would be a good idea to get a second perspective on his book, Die Dog or eat the Hatchet.
This time the review has been written by a good friend of Confessions, Matthew Cash. It is hoped that when the all new Confessions site gets up and running that you will be seeing a lot more reviews by Mr Cash.
Enjoy and give it a thumbs up and give Matty-Bob a pat on the back if you think he has a career at being on this side of the ropes!
DAMN DIRTY APES
Reggie Levine is a retired boxer turned strip club bouncer.
The hick town of Bigelow is like something straight out of one of my favourite American sitcoms, My Name Is Earl, with its redneck characters and small town establishments.
After local man Lester makes a dramatic entrance to the bar with an even more dramatic tale of how his friend has been snatched by the legendary, sasquatch-esque, Skunk Ape, the town goes nuts. A videographic piece of evidence is believed by some, disbelieved by many, and eagerly re-watched by a few. But the lure of the mythological creature brings out the crazies.
Enter Jameston T Salisbury, Brian Blessed with an elephant gun, Skunk Ape hunter with a story to tell and an even bigger score to settle.
And he'll do whatever it takes to nab himself his prized trophy.
This story had me entertained and laughing all the way through, the narrative was brilliant, the accents of the people firmly embedded in my head as I watched the story unfold in my head. There are funny, offensive little twists that made me snort with delight, I wouldn't label it horror as such, but it is all around bloody good fun.
DIE DOG OR EAT THE HATCHET
I really don't want to say anything about this tale for fear of giving away any surprises, but for what the first story lacked in horror this one makes up tenfold. Brutal, bloody and barbaric this tale puts a new spin on townies breaking down in Hillbillywood.
We get a glimpse at the horrific acts which The Sorority Slayer did to earn his nickname and put him in an almost catatonic state of complete mental breakdown. Is it possible that he has been faking it? Is he sorry for his crimes.
This is a great novella, especially if you like the Texas Chainsaw type franchises and ever spend your time daydreaming about the what-ifs involving these type of villainous cretins, I know I do.
What if your city-dwelling, intelligent serial killer met up with your average, red-necked, my mother's my brother, degenerate?
What happens to the poor souls trapped between the rock and a hard place?
Read this and you'll find out.
Lady's man and gifted piano player 'John Smith' is on the run and has given up dames for good.
He seeks refuge and employment at The Grinnin Gator pub, club and titty bar run by Horace Croker and nestled deep in swampland. Life's not too bad for a talented musician knocked down a few pegs and earning himself the moniker 'Smitty three fingers', as long as he can resist the boss's wife and the jaws of the monstrous entity of Big George.
This story was great, another first person where the accent firmly embeds itself in your noggin as soon as you get past the first page. Set in a time where America was the backward racist place of slaves, there's a slight over usage of the N-word but the way I see it it's all part of setting the scene and making things all the more real.
It's hard to pick a favourite novella from this book, so I won't.
As much as I enjoy reading stuff set in familiar locations, it's fun when the author paints an image of somewhere new and different to me.
I loved the rural settings for this story, well the whole book really. I want to see different scenery, I want to travel to places I'll never set foot.
Hell, I want to go to a pub on stilts above a swamp with a big bastard Gator beneath it!
Overall this book is fantastic, tight, faultless prose and some wonderful lines and descriptions. The characters were lovable and loathsome in all the right places and the twists were unexpected and the surprises, well, surprising!
Also the story notes at the end of this book are worth considering too, funny and insightful.
I will definitely be hunting, sans elephant gun, for more of this dude's work.
Out of 5 stars I award this book
★★★★ for horror.
★★★★★ for general greatness.
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Die Dog or eat the Hatchet or any other books from Adam. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.
From Adam Howe, winner of Stephen King's On Writing contest, come three original novellas of hardboiled crime, graphic horror and pitch-black gallows humor.
DAMN DIRTY APES
Washed-up prizefighter Reggie Levine is eking a living as a strip club bouncer when he's offered an unlikely shot at redemption. The Bigelow Skunk Ape - a mythical creature said to haunt the local woods - has kidnapped the high school football mascot, Boogaloo Baboon. Now it's up to Reggie to lead a misfit posse including a plucky stripper, the town drunk, and legend-in-his-own-mind skunk ape hunter Jameson T. Salisbury. Their mission: Slay the beast and rescue their friend. But not everything is as it seems, and as our heroes venture deeper into the heart of darkness, they will discover worse things waiting in the woods than just the Bigelow Skunk Ape. The story the Society for the Preservation of the North American Skunk Ape tried to ban; Damn Dirty Apes mixes Roadhouse with Jaws with Sons of Anarchy, to create a rollicking romp of 80s-style action/adventure, creature horror and pitch-black comedy.
DIE DOG OR EAT THE HATCHET
Escaped mental patient Terrence Hingle, the butcher of five sorority sisters at the Kappa Pi Massacre, kidnaps timid diner waitress Tilly Mulvehill and bolts for the border. Forcing his hostage to drive him out of town, it's just a question of time before Tilly becomes the next victim in Hingle's latest killing spree. But when they stop for gas at a rural filling station operated by deranged twin brothers, Dwayne and Dwight Ritter, the tables are turned on Hingle, and for Tilly the night becomes a hellish cat-and-mouse ordeal of terror and depravity. The meat in a maniac sandwich, Tilly is forced against her nature to make a stand and fight for survival. Because sometimes the only choice you have is to do or die...to Die Dog Or Eat The Hatchet.
Prohibition-era 1930s... After an affair with the wrong man's wife, seedy piano player Smitty Three Fingers flees the city and finds himself tinkling the ivories at a Louisiana honky-tonk owned by vicious bootlegger Horace Croker and his trophy wife, Grace. Folks come to The Grinnin' Gator for the liquor and burlesque girls, but they keep coming back for Big George, the giant alligator Croker keeps in the pond out back. Croker is rumored to have fed ex-wives and enemies to his pet, so when Smitty and Grace embark on a torrid affair...what could possibly go wrong? Inspired by true events, Gator Bait mixes hardboiled crime (James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice) with creature horror (Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive) to create a riveting tale of suspense.
Adam Howe writes the twisted fiction your mother warned you about. A British writer of fiction and screenplays, he lives in Greater London with his partner and their hellhound, Gino. Writing as Garrett Addams, his short story Jumper was chosen by Stephen King as the winner of the On Writing contest, and published in the paperback/Kindle editions of SK’s book; he was also granted an audience with The King, where they mostly discussed slow vs. fast zombies. His fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Thuglit, The Horror Library, Mythic Delirium, Plan B Magazine, and One Buck Horror. He is the author of two collections, Black Cat Mojo and Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, plus the eBook single, Gator Bait. Future works include Tijuana Donkey Showdown, One Tough Bastard, and a crime/horror collaboration with Adam Tribesmen Cesare.
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