Zakk reviews Tunnelvision by R. Patrick Gates

“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews Tunnelvision: 25th Anniversary Edition by R. Patrick Gates, 395 pages published by Bloodshot Books, January 27th, 2017.
“‘They’re gone. Thank you. But can’t we just let it be?’ Wilbur asks the Savior and is surprised at how calm his voice sounds, not at all reflective of the storm of anxiety he feels within. 

‘But you know what we have to do,’ Jesus replies. 

‘But why?’ Wilbur asks. 

‘Because Grandma said so.'”


One fine day in the middle of the night,

Two dead boys got up to fight.

Back to back they faced each other,

Drew their swords and shot each other.

A deaf policeman heard the noise,

And came and killed the two dead boys.…

The empty airwaves of the mind…

Welcome to Tunnelvision – the premium channel streaming from the imagination of R. Patrick Gates to you!

What happens when you lose sight of the forest for the trees?


Wilbur Clayton has a personal connection with Jesus – Murder! Abused for most of his life, Wilbur and Jesus are out to make amends and take revenge. With Grandma in his head and Jesus on the Tunnelvision, Wilbur knows what must be done and who must be made to pay for the sins of the father…

The only thing standing in his way are a cop with a gift for details and deduction, and a young genius whose reenactments of his favorite books are about to become all too real.

Tunnelvision – streaming seven days a week, 24 hours a day!

On the air and in your nightmares. 

“Grace Simons’ murder had all the earmarks of a serial killing. It had been well-planned, methodical, and ritualistic –signified by the two acts (drowning and decapitation) to kill her. Bill had an inkling that the decapitation had been a symbolic act that the killer needed to carry out for some reason. He was certain that Grace had been drowned first, also symbolic, but done in a fit of uncontrolled emotional rage.”


After thoroughly enjoying two entries of Bloodshot Books’ Second Sight line of releases (a line showcasing books from yesteryear, out of print for far too long), those being Brett McBean’s The Awakening & Gene Lazuta’s phenomenal Vyrmin, I was pretty stoked for a shot at R. Patrick Gates’ Tunnelvision. Rereleased for its 25th anniversary. 25 years! I was 16 and goddamn I wish 16 year old me had a chance to read this fantastic book. He would have adored it. 

41 year old me? Well, Tunnelvision knocked his socks off. 

This is my first taste of R. Patrick Gates’ brand of fiction and I was hooked from page one. Fully enveloped in this world and enchanted by the cast of colorful characters. Ivy, the pre-teen boy of color who has to downplay his intelligence for fear of being labeled a liar. Bill Gage, a broken former detective trying to return to his former grace before getting thrown into hell. Barbara, the elederly widow who befriends Ivy and nurtures his mind. Wilbur Clayton, dear sweat Wilbur, formerly a tortured and torment child, now he is something else. 

Wilbur Clayton is one of the more twisted villains I’ve experienced, and how he is brought fourth on the page is electrifying. His point of view, fascinating. His story is equal parts shocking, heartbreaking, and hypnotizing. Wilber Clayton is a character I will never forget.

There are multiple threads running through Tunnelvision, each with a unique obstacle, each with a unique anxiety, a unique antagonist. And when these threads start to weave together it’s pure horror magic. 

Thank you Mr. Gates for the wonderful read. Thank you Mr. Kahle for finding and rereleasing a book a quarter century old that still feels fresh and powerful. I’m extactic that TunnelVision found its way to my Kindle.

I hear that there is a book coming called Deathwalker. Subtitled Tunnelvision book 2, I am all shades of in. I’ll also be delving into the Gates back catalogue as soon as possible. 

“The abandoned East Wing Building, used for storage of old hospital equipment, had been a place of solitude and escape for him; now it is a place of fear and dread. He can no longer stand the sight of the lights and the video cameras, the bank of monitors, the VTR control board, and tangles of snakelike cable strewn around what used to be the nursery on the old third-floor maternity ward. Worse, he can’t stand the ropes and chains, knives and other paraphernalia of torture and death that Jesus has blessed as instruments of His work, and he dreads the trips into the round darkness below the building. 

The deed done, he flees.”


Read, Read, Read! Read now! I enjoyed this book immensely.

And If I had to give it a number

Easily a 5/5

Zakk is a big dumb animal!

**Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and/ or publisher and I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.

R. Patrick Gates, Biography –

R. Patrick Gates has been a teacher and writer for over thirty years. Besides Tunnelvision, which is currently being published in a 25th anniversary edition, he is the author of Grimm Memorials and Grimm Reapings, (which have achieved cult status and been called ‘horror classics’ by Rave Reviews) and seven other critically acclaimed adult horror novels and at least ten young adult thrillers. Mr. Gates resides in Massachusetts with his wife and dogs, and dabbles in painting and acting in his spare time. You can find him online at his website.



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