Monday, July 30, 2018

recent read; AT THE MERCY OF BEASTS


AT THE MERCY OF BEASTS by Ed Kurtz

AT THE MERCY OF BEASTS is a themed collection of horror novellas. The theme is the past--each story has a historical setting.

"Black's Red Gold" - post World War I, the Texas oil boom leads men to avarice and murder. Deep in the bowels of the earth, Peter Black and his field crew find something potentially more valuable than oil--and far more costly to attain.

"Kennon Road" - during the American occupation of the Philippines in the early 20th century, a madman is viciously murdering people along the new island thoroughfare, Kennon Road. The natives claim it is the work of a demonic Manananggal. The Americans know better. Or, do they? Disillusioned corporal Charles Houghton finds himself drawn into the mystic, horrific world of the dark side of the islands.

"Deadheader" - Fast forwarding to the groovy 1970s, we find trucker Pearlie Pearce, hauling a "no questions asked" cargo. After she picks up a haunted, hitchhiking Vietnam veteran, the haul gets weird and dangerous as the duo are beset by strange attacking creatures and mystery men with their own agenda for Pearlie's cargo.

These are excellent novellas, blending setting, characters, monsters, the evil of men and the evil of monsters, and horror into just the right mix. I enjoyed all of these tales.

If you like horror and you like history, this collection is a must-read.

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