The Eyes of Madness presents “Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
“The instant message warning me that I was about to be fired came just as I was completing a competitive analysis that had taken me the better part of three days. The oblong IM box superimposed itself over my spreadsheet.
AO: Marcellus is going to call u into his office at 5. He’s laying u off.
The words were shocking, but I didn’t know who AO was, so I closed the window, thinking it was meant for someone else.”
Killing gets easier…with practice.
Peter Blades is, in every sense of the word, an ordinary man. Hard worker, father, husband, a man content with small-town life. Except for one small fact—he’s slowly being turned into a ruthless killer.
Compelled by mysterious texts to murder, he’s provided a fiery red Mustang and an ancient sword to carry out an ever-growing hit list. His jerkoff boss is victim number one. You always remember your first.
By the time his sword sings through the air to dispatch a would-be school shooter, taking lives is as easy as breathing. And if the world is going to hell around him, all the better. No one wants to burn alone.
“’Do I need to reserve time on the computer?’ I asked.
The librarian looked around the room with an arched eyebrow. ‘It’s all yours. You’re the first person that’s come in here all week. I don’t even know why I’m here. Things are getting kinda scary, you know? I just keep telling myself that nothing bad ever happens in a library.’
I wondered if she’d ever read Stephen King’s It.”
I Kill in Peace is a frenzied little tome of horror, the most recent burnt offering from Hunter Shea, an author I missed the boat with early on in his career. I’ve read all of his output for the last couple of years (thanks Erin) and am now playing catch up with the rest. I’d definitely say that he is a must read author as he has never failed to entertain me, which I’m sure is a big deal to him, wink wink.
Not only is he a thrilling writer, he is also a pretty rad, interesting, and easily accessible person to talk to on the interwebs. Never taking a question or comment as an opportunity to pitch his wares, unless asked of course, but to weave a conversation. That sure is a big deal to me.
I dug this read, quite a bit. The idea of a man, or woman for that matter, caught up in the trappings and execution of someone else’s end-game is usually a fun topic and here it is delivered with a high level of splatter and machismo. The intentions of the mysterious AO are enigmatic and held close to the vest, weaving a enjoyable game of cat and mouse… and overlord.
You can feel the puppet strings being wrapped around Peter as the tasks given to him darken in gravity and expand in scope. With the torment he feels concerning the well being of his family becoming a tangible force.
The character of Peter, the central and featured character, is likeable enough. You feel for him and his plight, hoping for the best outcome. You don’t get a great deal of time to connect with him so the personal investment in the story doesn’t get time to develop. Which is fine because the spectacle is enough to keep me involved. And what a spectacle it is. I don’t want to say too much as your time in this world is short and the dance envelops quickly, so jump in and let the narrative lead.
I don’t always need the narrative explained to me, the how’s and the why’s. I’m actually a bit of a fan of the ambiguous ending, where your (the reader’s) interpretations of the story are allowed to reign supreme. From the moment that AO’s first prediction comes to fruition I was in, compelled, and after the first scene defining Peter’s path I was cemented, hoping for a full revelation. I didn’t want to guess, I didn’t want to theorize. And when that epiphany hit, it hit with a bit of a face-palm moment, an of-course-this-is-what-it’s-about moment.
I think it’s safe to say that all faiths have a belief in an end of times scenario. I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t know for sure. I pulled up a few articles on the particular subject matter of I Kill in Peace before this review, which I don’t normally do (so thank you Hunter for inspiring me to do a little research). These belief systems of characters (for lack of a better term) or events ushering in the end of days differ from one faith to the next, it’d be silly not to expect this, as do their interpretations and signs. The only problem that I can see with a story like this, and any book of the same ilk, is that it seems to pull more from, and indirectly lending more credence to, a particular faith. And in general stories with religions or faith based undertones may not strike a cord with everyone. I don’t know if Mr. Shea is a man of faith, or if this interpretation falls in line with his belief system. I won’t ask because I feel one’s faith and belief is personal and should be held as such. I am not a true believer in the biblical sense, not yet anyway (that could all change in the blink of an eye), so I didn’t take I Kill in Peace as gospel but as a pretty kick ass good time and a boss interpretation of a story as old as time.
Take a chance on this, I think you’ll like it.
Thanks again for having me on the journey. You’ll see me again jumping aboard the Jersey Devil train.
“Coming to the small section dedicated to books and magazines, I had to stifle a laugh. Those shelves looked as if they’d been recently stocked. I shouldn’t have been surprised. People barely read anymore when times were good. Why escape with a book when you could be glued to the catastrophe on television?”
Overall score: 4.5/ 5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher/ publicist on the promise of an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings.
Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.
Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel,Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”
Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.
He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.
Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.
Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.
You can follow his travails at http://www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
“This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster
“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre
“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness
Barnes & Noble
If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Hunter Shea, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: firstname.lastname@example.org