Welcome to the blog tour for Double Barrel Horror Volume #3, a collection of thrills and chills by six amazing authors! Hold onto your pants folks!
MY REVIEW, 4 stars:
Just wow, talk about a powerhouse line up of horror writers here! To be honest, I picked this book of stories up solely based on my readership to Theresa Braun. I’ve been following her short stories ever since I read Dead Over Heels as a part of its release tour back in 2018. Ever since then I’ve been completely hooked on her stuff. I was really excited to see her paired up with so many other writers, as it’s been a while since I picked up a really scary read, and even longer since I found new authors that I truly enjoy in this genre. Sadly it’s been a little hit and miss for some time. I’m happy to announce that it was a win!
Such as any collection of short stories, not every single one of them are to be loved by every single reader. As a writer of such anthologies, I understand that fact very well. That said, there were a couple stories that after a few pages in, I really had to swallow my cringes and digest them with a very heavy dose of speed-reading and swallows of bile. However, it really seemed like each one that I didn’t like was followed up by something that I absolutely did! Each author in the line up had more than one tale, and every single one of them had so much talent.
I think it’s safe to say that Theresa is still my favorite of the group, namely her story about the nurse who uncovers a gruesome happening with her supervising doctor and the unruly use of human death. Of course, at first I was thinking what the hell, this is so awful,and then, just like all of her stories, the twist in the last few pages drops your jaw and leaves the entire story line to linger in mind like a plague. Well done!!
My second favorite is actually the very first story in the entire book. It’s written by Christine Morgan, and this is the first of her work I’ve ever read. The story was great, as it described a young child with a sickness in her head. The way she viewed the world was exactly as a child would, and eventually her obsession with a watching eye drove her insane. It wasn’t just the story itself that caught and held my attention, it was the way it was written. Very intense and fast paced. By the time I finished it, I felt like I had only read a mere couple pages, I was engulfed and buried in it. I actually doubled back after reading the whole set to look over this first story. It stuck, even after all the others, this is the one that stood out in mind.
Overall, I’d say that this collection has excellent symmetry, with a blend of stories that provide practically every angle of horror. It’s a bite sized read, even with so many tales inside, it weighs in at less than 200 pages. I read it in a day, and was equally shocked and satisfied with what I’d read. It’s gory, it’s nasty, its nail biting, cringe-worthy material from cover to cover. The only reason I’m rating it a 4 instead of a 5 is because a couple of the stories just plain grossed me out rather than scared me. Thanks to the authors and Reads and Reels Book tours for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Double Barrel (Volume 3)
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2020
Genre: Anthology/ Horror/ Suspense
Brace yourself for another two-barrel blast of unrelenting horror and suspense. Volume 3 of the ‘Double Barrel Horror’ anthology series delivers two chilling tales from each of six talented authors for a 12-story onslaught that will blow you out of your sneakers. This time around, your fate lies in the hands of Christine Morgan, Mark Matthews, Theresa Braun, Calvin Demmer, Glenn Rolfe, and Robert Essig.
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Highway Hunger by Calvin Demmer
It couldn’t be alive?
Dudley Ellington couldn’t see the animal’s face, but based on the tufts of bloody fur, he thought it might be a rat or a squirrel. He stepped closer, and the creature’s legs shook as if it were attempting to kick-start its body back to life.
Its movements ceased.
Dudley looked around, and all he saw was the long, empty stretch of highway. Why was there never a good stick lying around when you needed one? He tapped his boot on the animal, hoping for a response. He got nothing. Were his eyes playing tricks? He thought its legs moved a moment ago.
He tapped the animal again.
This time, one of its arms stretched out and then down, as if it were trying to push the button to answer a question on a game show. Dudley stepped back—not out of fear, as he assured himself, but to get a better view.
The paw jiggled.
“Yo, Felipe. Come check this out.” Dudley ran his hand over his slicked-back hair. He looked to the white pickup when he got no reply from his coworker.
Felipe sat in the front seat with his orange helmet covering his eyes.
“Felipe, wake up.”
Felipe groaned, slowly pushing open the driver-side door. “What’s it now, Dud? I told you we can always take an extra thirty minutes for lunch. I was just about to get some rest. No one will give a shit.”
“There’s something on the road. I was gonna scoop it up, but it must be alive.”
Felipe’s eyes widened. He climbed out of the vehicle and marched to Dudley.
“Get back,” he said as he passed Dudley.
Dudley did as instructed, oddly reassured by the sudden authority in his coworker’s voice. Felipe would surely help the critter, maybe take it somewhere for injured animals. He was still new to the job and wasn’t sure of the correct protocol.
Felipe hovered over the creature. “It’s a squirrel. At least, it was. Half its body has been smashed.”
“Yeah, it’s a bummer for sure. But there’s nothing we can do. Best leave it be and let it die in peace.”
“Leave it be? It’s in pain.”
“That’s right. We leave it. It’s not dead, and we only collect the dead.”
Dudley stepped forward. “What about the injured animals? Where do you take them?”
“Injured animals.” Felipe scoffed, staring at the road. “Dud. Now isn’t the time for this. Let it go.”
The squirrel twitched, and Dudley imagined it hearing them talk about how they would simply desert it. That was nonsense, of course, as squirrels couldn’t understand humans, but still, he couldn’t allow it to suffer. He would have to put it out of its misery.
Dudley raised his boot, telling himself this was the most merciful thing he could do.
“No!” Felipe shouted, tackling him to the ground.
“What the fuck, man?” Dudley pushed Felipe off before getting to his feet and dusting his pants, not sure how much good it would do as they already had a stain or two from the takeaway burger he’d devoured for lunch. “Why would—”
“Dud. You need to listen to me.” Felipe glanced around. “We need to get going. I can explain everything once we’re on the move.”
Blog Tour Schedule
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Kim Knight (Spotlight) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com
Literary Dust (Review) https://literarydust.wordpress.com/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
The Scary Reviews (Review) https://thescaryreviews.com
Cats Luv Coffee (Spotlight) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com
Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news
Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Books Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/
I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
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