“One wish. A terrible one. They were granted their heart’s desire. Unconsciously and involuntarily. And from that moment forward, they would be forever burdened with it.”
A child stolen in the night. Three mercenaries embark on an ill-fated mission. An isolated religious cult led by a Jim Jones wannabe infused with a deeply rooted evil. Twisted creatures of nightmares roaming the woods. The only way to survive… nothing short of a deal with the devil.
WHO THE HECK WANTS TO GO HERE?!?!
Meet Micah Shughrue. Micah’s daughter Petty has just been kidnapped. (Kidnapped may be too kind of a word.) Maybe spirited off by an unholy, Pied Piper monstrosity would be more accurate. Micah was a real bad man in his past, and we all know that the past comes back to find you… sooner or later. You see, when Micah came back from war, he found he was good at killing. How do you make an honest living when you come home you ask? Why become a mercenary…OBVIOUSLY! Being the hired gun for Seaborn Appleton was not all it was CRACKED up to be. When Micah has had enough of Appleton’s drug dealing days, he becomes public enemy number one for ole Seaborn Appleton… who could imagine? Good thing Micah is “cool in the cut.”
Meet the Englishman. The Whispering Death himself. Mr. Ebenezer Elkins. Crack shot with a pistol in either hand, and a bad attitude to help those flinging fingers along. Also a returning war vet with a strong taste for death. Wouldn’t you know he has been hired to kill Micah for Appleton. This could be bad news, right?
But, wait! You haven’t yet met Minerva (or Minny for short.) Minny has a short temper, but she is an AWFUL mercenary. She has trouble shooting the broad side of the barn, but what she lacks in skill, she more than makes up for with attitude and wit. By far, she is my favorite character.
Wouldn’t you know these three unlikely travel companions will meet up in a broad daylight, guns blazing, three way shoot out in a horse barn, OK Corral style! After they all are trying to kill each other, it seems like a far better plan to band together to get out of the hospital before the Feds show up to cart them away. This begins a descent into madness you would not believe.
When Micah is approached by Ellen to do a job for her, he declines. Leave it to a woman to put the charm on and drag him into chaos unsuspectingly. She wants him to check on her nephew who has been taken to a religious compound in the middle of nowhere. UM, HELLO BAD IDEA! Being a gentleman, he, of course, wants to assist this damsel in distress and calls upon his old companions in crime to assist.
So, here is where I have to say the stuff gets real. I am not one for giving away spoilers, so what I will say is that Reverend is CRAZY! Like, HELLO JIM JONES!! And the creatures stalking the woods…TERRIFYING!!
“A fresh horror dodged in from the opposite side: a wet, shimmering, torsional creature of outrageous length, the wiry fibers of its anatomy braided together in some living, livid rope–”
Yes, I wanted to leave ALL the lights on when reading parts of this novel! Nobody does the twisted and horrifying, graphic and deliciously disturbing horror like Nick Cutter does. I have read EVERYTHING this man has written (both in this real name and both of his pen names), and this is BY FAR my favorite novel he has written to date. Cutter may not be for everyone, but if you are a horror fan, a suspense fan, a thriller fan, a graphically disturbing images fan, or an I JUST PEED MY PANTS FROM FRIGHT fan, this is the novel for you. Would I recommend this book to people? In a HEARTBEAT!
I rated this twisted tale of ill fates a 5 out of 5 stars. I would rate it more if I could, and in my head I did! Go, RUN, and purchase this. Read it! Enjoy the nightmares. Remember, “Evil never dies; it merely sleeps. And when that evil awakens, it can do so soundlessly- or almost so.” Happy reading!