Publisher: HellBound Books Publishing
Published: September 28, 2018
I knew Texas had some good authors, but I didn't know just how many, until I read this ROAD KILL Vol. 3. This anthology is edited by E.R. Bills and published by Hellhound Books Publishing. I found some new authors to read. If these short stories are any indicator, they have bright futures ahead of them. Some of these stories are based on urban legends and real life accounts. How scary is that? I don't know about you, but it gets my horror heart pumping. Stories based on reported sightings send shivers down my spine. I have goosebumps just typing this review. Since there are quite a few stories in ROAD KILL Vol. 3, I'm only going to touch on the ones I really enjoyed.
Madison Estes kicks things off with A Real Haunting. It's about a group of "ghost hunters" who set up their equipment in a cemetery, hoping to see a ghost. The hunters try conjuring one with a ouija board, but it wasn't successful. Or was it? The events that follow leaves your blood cold. I felt like I was in the cemetery with the characters.
Jeremy Hepler's Luke's Lost Manuscript is one of my favorite stories in ROAD KILL Vol. 3. The story leans one way, then shifts gears and flips the script. I didn't see the reveal coming. It shook me, to say the least. It's a thoroughly startling tale of an author and his biggest fan. Hepler manages to create complex characters in no time at all. He uses the less is more approach, letting the reader visualize the brutality and savagery. I hope Hepler revisits Luke's Lost Manuscript because it needs to be told on a larger scale. There are things I want to see happen. Monsters need to have room to breath and feed. There's more bone crunching fun to be had in this world Hepler concocted.
The Consequence of Thought by Aaron Milstead is truly disturbing. It made my skin crawl and my temper flare. This story contains Nazis, both deplorable and appalling. The irredeemable characters made me sick to my stomach. The experiments they conduct are far worse than anything I could ever imagine. The ending is great, though.
Samantha Andrasko's The Deal is a new take on the deal at the crossroads scenario. Sell your soul to the devil at the crossroads for something eternal. It reminded me of the television show Supernatural a little. This is a clever story, and one that I won't forget. Great story!
Goat Man by Bret McCormick is one of the coolest stories I've ever read. It's about this boy who goes to nature camp and meets and counselor who want to talk about the Goat Man as much as he does. The kid grows up and has a boy of his own who goes to the same nature camp, meeting the same young counselor his father did. The son grows up and has a boy who also goes to the nature camp. He meets the same young counselor. Anyways, the grandfather gets to finally talk about the Goat Man with the young counselor. All is revealed in the end. What unfolds on the page is truly mind-bending, cosmic horror.
Private Sale by Bryce Wilson is awesome. In the back of his car Anthony kept items that would link him to no less than five hundred murders and three dozen serial killers. Anthony isn't selling much on the convention circuit, but one day all that changes. He turns it around. Starts selling his items like hot cakes. A special collector wants to buy some of his rare items, but there's a catch. Anthony has to make the sale at the collector's house. Things get real creepy and the ending is crazy.
All in all, ROAD KILL Vol. 3 is a great anthology. The stories could have been arranged in a different order, though. The stronger stories could have been spaced out a little more, but that's just my opinion. ROAD KILL Vol. 3 is filled with enthralling stories. There's not a bad story in the bunch. I had a wonderful reading experience with this one.