HUSKER

2018
10

Synopsis: 

As a young teenager, running away after her mother died and never returning home, Jennifer Rollins’ fear of forfeiting her mind to the schizophrenia that took her mother has followed Jennifer throughout her life. Jennifer got some lucky breaks. She became a popular model, but her fears, and lifestyle in the fast lane finally take their toll. While Jennifer is recovering she receives news of her father’s brutal murder and comes home. Jennifer’s true nightmare begins. As she reconnects with old friends and her beau from high school, Jennifer sees horrific images, hears terrifying things and is sure her worst fears are now manifesting. While grappling with her sanity, Jennifer is convinced the killer is coming for her after, hidden away in the attic of her childhood home, she discovers a connection to the murders from the distant past. When she takes it to the police, knowing her much publicized history they dismiss her. As the police believe they are closing in on the maniac, and Jennifer wrestles with her demons, neither have a clue of the true horror about to descend.

Review: 

Writing this review has taken me a couple of days because it has several subjects I'd like to highlight. It's been difficult though, to put my mind together, because I can't reveal most of the scenes that will get you glue-stuck to the book. I couldn't leave it, and when someone talked to me I got upset because they were interrupting my connection with the story.

Well, that said.

Marc W Johnson is in my list of "Writers Extraordinaire". He is a screenplay writer, and you're going to find that influence on the book. Is it a bad thing? Hell, no. The writing is agile, fresh, always keeping you anxious to find out what's next.

I already liked the treatment of his characters in his second book LEGACY, but he has improved it in HUSKER.

Several books listed as "extreme horror" don't affect me at all. Because blood, torture and guts it's nothing that steals my sleep. The psychologic (psychotic, if you allow me) factor in the stories IS what turns into nightmare material.

Well, Johnson has conquered this quicksand territory with astonishing ease.

We have a confused Jennifer diving in her hurtful memories and pieces of her past with her father (who she never remembers being loved by) and her schizophrenic mother who took away her own life in a horrible way.

Amy, her unconditional friend tries to keep her pace during this trip to madness.

What happens in this book that steals your whole attention? Ah, connected perturbing murders multiply as the ghosts of the past hunt our protagonists. The tagline "Even the wicked seek vengeance" couldn't be more appropriate.

The gore scenes are very poetic through the voice of a very complex... character. Again, I can't reveal. Bloody verses and caresses will create a veil before your eyes.

The scene changing can be a struggle in many books but not in this one. He crafts it without a single pause between scenes. Only a couple times you find asterisks breaking the chapter. That is part of the shuddering element, together with the present tense, keeps you at the edge of your chair.

At the same time, we have the police officers trying to figure out what on Earth is going on, followed by the phantoms of their own fathers who have a lot to do in this explosive story.

Johnson lets you think you're the smart one and that you know how this macabre tale is going to finish. LOL, you're not. And I'm a very difficult one to surprise, believe me.

I can imagine the author writing like "I've got a hundred problems but to catch the reader off guard ain't one" *smirk*

And it is certainly not. I found myself several times talking to myself "it's this one! No wait, this one! Dammit, no, then what...?" And I got it all wrong, in the end, I could only laugh saying out loud, "Chapeau, Marc!!"

May I be 10000% sincere? I can't ruin the book explaining WHY this book turns into paths that will bring you such a horrific delight, I just can tell you "Believe me, and check it out by yourself."

Summarising: impressive extreme horror, justice coming straight from Hell, with several poetic licenses that mark the story with the most important of Johnson's prints: REVENGE, VISCERA and love for all BROKEN SOULS.

Fantastic. I had lots of fun with this book, and I honestly hope you give it a try and enjoy it as well.

Find the book on Amazon: http://mybook.to/husker

Barnes&Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/husker-marc-w-johnson/1129967587

And Google Books: https://goo.gl/Syg45n

 

OTHER BOOK REVIEWS

Crystal Bones and Gossamer Wings

Dona Fox

This piece is a novella by Dona Fox and the length has allowed her to elaborate her writing deeply on her already established study of the human psyche —and its insanity. This time, many characters guide you through this labyrinth. The plot is full of twists and turns which will make you reconsider constantly what you have comprehended so far. The protagonist expresses herself in first person, habitual Fox's tool to show the reader in a more intense way the feelings and madness of that mind. She is a combination, or so it seems, of devotion, conformity, complete surrender and... love? to her father and all the... Read More

Netted: The Beginning (The Silent Red Room Saga Book...

KT Rose

This is the first work I read from KT Rose and I'm greatly surprised. She takes basic elements such as blind dates with a psychopath, and combines it with de danger of the dark side of the internet, the consequences of a deeply broken family, a girl with a court of ghosts on her shoulders, a man in grief, a cult leader and an audience so hungry for —blood. What could possibly go wrong? The author sews all together and leaves nothing behind. Characters are very realistic, antiheroes trying to survive life. Lots of blood, fight, betrayal. I like how she moulds the characters to have a deep psychology factor, so they... Read More

And Hell Followed

Death's Head Press

Anthologies are not always an easy read. Very often they are not exactly what you are expecting, or the selection of stories doesn't amaze you. Well, And Hell Followed doesn't have this problem at all. Let's break it down: All the stories are good and enjoyable, they could all perfectly be standalone pieces preceding an entire novel. Some of them are more serious and really mess with your mind, making you wonder and ask questions. You want more. Others are funny (in a very macabre way, of course) and some of them give you a very different vision of what a "hell on Earth" could become. It's a book that, depending... Read More

Three Days in Ashford

TY Tracey

Well, wow. I think this is the review that, so far, has taken me the longest to write. There are so many things to say about this book. I'll start making clear that I had never heard of TY Tracey until I purchased this book, well, this absolutely MUST change to future readers. The complexity and layers conforming this book make very difficult for me to "summarise" why I loved it, several times. I think the best way for me to express is to describe, point by point, WHY it is different and to me, a must-read. One, of course, the writing. Tracey develops several "description scenes" along the book, but they are... Read More

Clock's Watch

Michael Reyes

"Clock's Watch" is a very interesting horror collection. The idea of a guardian between two worlds, human and evil, perhaps has been used before, but not in this way. Our protagonist is one and only. There are two things I especially liked in this book: For starters, the great investigation and research about sorcery and demonology. Every story has those elements. The chants or spells Clock pours over the demons as well as the method to hunt them bring a dose of realism that keeps you interested, not only in the story, but in the occult content. Also, I love so much the protagonist. Hero or antihero? I couldn't... Read More

The Overleden: Hell on Earth

Terence Simmons

This novel is a complex lattice with sub-stories traversed between them, creating a magnificent performance worth becoming a movie. Or two, I must say, because here we have material for weeks. Let's start from the beginning. I like how the author introduces the several characters (Jasmine, her mother, her boyfriend, friends...) but without stopping to develop impossible descriptions which would make the book tedious and even more massive. No, Simmons knows what he is doing and keeps you awake, not abandoning a shuddering style of story-telling that doesn't allow you to put the book down. You just don't find the moment... Read More

Desert Shadows

Joshua Dowidat

"Desert Shadows" is a young-adult horror book. Two boys explore their lives and surroundings in a way we all would have wanted to: creating stories in your mind, adventure, a treasure hunt! Slowly though, they see themselves locked in a horror spiral. A stranger enters their lives to change them forever. I'd like to break this story down, because Dowidat provokes in you transforming emotions. In the beginning, it's a kid's tale. Two brothers, Caleb and Liam, who spend their free time in the desert, building their own world. Slowly, they enter a true, terrifying horror story. A character who seems to be the key is a... Read More

Murmansk-13

Richard-Steven Williams

Williams has written a book which will keep your hands full for several hours, I read it in one go. There is something very interesting about this story, and it's how the author introduces to the reader all technical concepts he needs you to understand but without being too thick. He makes it gloomy, catchy, mysterious. Space adds an extra plus of creepiness to the thread, since in a ship—there's no way out. Locked with your predator, let the game begin! The book is long but very quick to read because Williams' writing is not heavy, he jumps from one concept to another with ease. Scenes and characters precede each... Read More

Death, Infection, The Devil... and Jed

Howard Carlyle

Allow me to talk a bit about my thoughts on Howard Carlyle. This book is not the first work I read by him since I follow his blogs "The Meyerstown Secret" and "Gloriously Gory". He is an emerging author, with an amazing basis of imagination and twisted influences in his writing, who is working full engine to bring his words to readers. His ideas are intense. Quick stories, flash characters and little winks at the reader form a little collection of four stories, very different between them, all of them tied up with his black irony which has no mercy or compassion for the redeemed. "Death, Infection, The Devil... and... Read More

Highway 666: And Other Tales to Speed your Descent...

David Clark

The author that brought you "Jack" in Shopping list 2 and "Unholy Trinity" in the Big Book of Bootleg Horror Volume IV now brings you an assortment of four tales that will leave your spine tingling and soul looking for redemption. Highway 666 - Read the newspaper account of the horrifying death of 3 teenagers who encountered a Demonic traveler Til Death - A wife is taken on an anniversary treasure hunt following clues left by her husband. At the end of the path, she will be shown he has completely given his heart to her. Demon Apocalypse – It is the end of days, but not how the Bible described it. Save your... Read More