Marty has published his debut horror novel “Tunnel of Doom” and has received some reviews he didn’t like. Marty is not your average author though. He’s part of an insane family that imprisons, tortures, and eats their victims. So, not one to let things lie, he goes on a road trip to confront the trolls with the help of his brother, Cletus.
Five reviewers are captured and brought back to the family’s torture shed. One of them, April, is the daughter of an FBI agent. Her father goes in search of her to try to get to her before it’s too late.
Tim Miller, a very prolific horror writer, is on the nose in regard to the publishing industry. Marty’s eBook is published through a dominant site called Crashbooks (Amazon). Even the review process that Herbert goes through to post his thoughts on the site is accurate. As a horror reviewer, the kidnappees were very much representative of me and I liked that. Thankfully, I have yet to receive any death threats from authors. I would bet, though, that Tim Miller has encountered people he would have wanted to respond to as Marty did. Hopefully not in quite the same way, but you get what I’m saying.
Marty’s dysfunctional family is very much a family in the Rob Zombie vein. They are hillbilly white trash and don’t care. The matriarch of the family is especially creepy. There is even a family member called Cletus for good measure. It’s not for the easily offended as it includes gore, incest, rape, and torture. It’s exploitation horror. For those worried that it will be misogynistic, there are actually many more male sexual assaults than attacks on females. The sexual violence will make you wince for sure though.
Things head in a very bizarre direction towards the end of the book. It becomes funnier and more tongue-in-cheek than the initial tension built by the kidnapping and torture would lead you to expect. When I say bizarre, I mean it, and I can guarantee this is not something you’ve read before. The ending is highly original, if a bit out of place, based on what preceded. This could have been a very dark and uncomfortable book to read, but the switching gears of the plot turn it into a more lighthearted splatter affair. The hillbilly town they live in is called Browneye, which explains a lot.
Sure, there are a few problems with the story, such as the ease of finding the trolls, why April changed the way she did, and the telltale evidence dropped at the scene of a kidnapping for the police to find. It doesn’t take away from things though. It’s a fun story. This book is what it is – gore and sexual violence that doesn’t take itself seriously. This is the first of four books in the April Reigns series by Tim Miller and we can hope that more about April’s twist will be explained in future.
Review by Andrew Tadman @thebooksofblood