This was an intense read! Here is the set up:
Under the control of a madman...with no way out.
Aaron Dupree has turned his life around. After serving six years in prison for his part in an armed robbery, he’s released on parole. He’s gotten a job and met a girl. Things are looking up...until he’s pulled over for speeding—a parole violation—and blackmailed by the officer. He’s forced to do terrible things to avoid going back to prison.
Aaron soon learns how truly deranged and sick the officer is as he’s dragged under a tide of ever-escalating horror. He thinks he’s seen the worst the cop has to offer until he meets the man with the scar, a vicious and twisted monster who lives only to deal pain.
I enjoyed the first half of this book the best, even though it wasn't the most original premise. I knew what I was getting into from the description.
However, the second half of this story was a bit too much for my personal tastes. As a horror fan, there isn't much that surprises me. The depravity of certain torturers/killers, in real life and in fiction, is something I have gotten used to over the years. In stories like "The Girl Next Door" by Jack Ketchum and "The Summer I Died" by Ryan C. Thomas, the worst of humanity is on display. The same is true for this book-plus some.
I was able to deal with this depravity more easily in the two books that I mentioned because one was a true story, and the other had a bond between the characters that made the story rise above. This story lacked that in my opinion. It morphed into something that I was no longer interested in reading. It was mostly well written, the editing was fantastic and the imagination and creativity were off the charts, but this just wasn't for me in the end. I did finish it and I have rated it three stars for the above reasons.
If this story sounds interesting to you, please-go for it! It will deliver all of things you enjoy-and deliver it in spades. My rating only represents my opinion, and you know what they say about those. (Like assholes, everyone has one!) I will continue to read the work of Mr. Bernstein, because I believe he is one of the up and coming horror authors of today.
Recommended for fans of torture and revenge stories!
I was provided a free copy of this book by Mr. Bernstein in exchange for my honest review. This is it.