Murder in Montague Falls
Noir-Inspired Novellas by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton and Patrick Thomas
This was another book sent to me by Blackthorn Book Tours. I must say, the team over there has a knack for finding entertaining reading material. This book is a collection of novellas, three of them to be exact. We have murder, mystery, money, Satan worship, the classic love triangle, sex, drugs…they have everything in these three novellas.
Let’s talk about each novella before I get into the ratings.
The first story is called Red Ink. This was written by Russ Colchamiro. It involves an average fourteen-year-old boy with a wild imagination named Isaac Fuller. Isaac fancies himself as some sort of super spy. Yet in the mundane reality of his real day to day life, little Isaac is just a neighborhood paperboy. He likes the job, riding around town and getting to know his customers as he delivers their newspapers every day.
Unfortunately, one day while delivering the paper to his neighbor, Mrs. Gagne, he sees something very strange, unusual. He thinks he’s witnessed the tail end of a crime and Mrs. Gagne winds up missing. He shares this information with his life-long friend Dani, who says, in her most friendly and loving way possible, maybe he should just go to the police and let them handle it. Poor Isaac has a crush on Dani and has for what feels to him like forever, so when she seems to doubt his “special spy agent prowess”, it is a huge slam to his ego.
Soon a precarious triangle begins to form between Isaac, his suspect and the police as suspicious things around the neighborhood start to happen.
Will the truth be revealed before someone else goes missing? Will Isaac get to prove his skills to himself and Dani before something bad happens to him?
I really enjoyed this story immensely. It was a fantastic read and I tore right through it. The text has such an excellent and natural flow it is easy to read and follow. I loved the story idea, very interesting with a number of tense moments. The Isaac character is only fourteen but he has a kind of simple maturity that makes it seem like he should be older. That little edge on Isaac rounds out the tale perfectly.
I rated this story a 4/5.
The second story is a wild one. It’s called The Devil’s Delinquents and written by Sawney Hatton. Okay so here we go:
Meet Cal Virgil. A smaller build of a kid, he’s a young teen from Van Buren High School. He is not considered popular (if his classmates consider him at all) and the poor thing, like so many others, suffers from horrible teen acne. Isn’t puberty just grand? He’s also somewhat mean spirited and slightly emotionally void.
Now meet Derry Rhodes. Derry is a fellow young teen at Van Buren and is Cal’s best buddy. Derry is a larger kid than Cal. He has black hair and seems to have more of a conscience and moral code than Cal. Plus, Derry has a soft spot in his heart for his Mama. So, we know he can feel love and compassion. Cal? Not so sure.
These two friends are interested in devil worship, conjuring dark forces, that kind of thing. They try and try, yet they are repeatedly unsuccessful.
Then they meet Natalie Glantz, a Junior classman transferred from what is referred to as “a special school”. She totally rocks the gothic look; black hair, thick black eyeliner, deep red lipstick, pale skin and tops it all off with a black pirate patch over one eye. Needless to say, she doesn’t look like every other teen at Van Buren. She’s viewed as the creepy girl at school, she’s very cold and emotionally detached (especially from her parents) and even claims she can communicate with spirits and demons from the other side.
This is EXACTLY what Cal and Derry think they need.
Together the three of them do everything in their power to try to conjure dark forces. But nothing is ever what it seems when dealing with the devil. Soon the boys find out that there is more to conjuring than they thought. Questions start to arise and a tiny little love triangle begins to develop that could have a devastating impact on the trio’s whole plan. Now they have to figure out what to do, where to do it and most importantly, who to trust.
I found this story to be an excellent example of truly disturbing horror and gore. We run the gamut of horrifying bits and pieces. Child death and mutilation, Satanic worship, all kind of violence on all levels and murder and gore galore. Be ready for some shock and awe as you tear through the darkness of this tantalizing tale.
I rated this story 4.5/5.
The last story, A Many Splendid Thing, reminds me of so many true crime cases I’ve seen over the years.
A young man named Jethro find a dead body. (You gotta love a dead body so early in the story, especially the first page.) Of course, being the one that reported the crime, this puts him on the radar of the police as a suspect. If that isn’t bad enough, the troubled teen is struggling at home with an abusive and angry drunk of a father who can’t seem to get over being abandoned by his wife a while back. Jethro just hates her. Dad, he just drinks.
But Jethro does have a place of rescue. His teacher Mrs. Carmine. He’s totally in love with her (ya know, hot for teacher…) but then again, so is every other guy in the school. Jethro feels almost blessed when she asks him to help her home with groceries.
Most of Jethro’s days at school are spent being as quiet and unseen as possible. Yet the three school bullies, Pete, Dean and Stumpy, are constantly antagonizing him every time they see him. But Mrs. Carmine usually takes Jethro’s side and runs to his aid. Of course, this makes him feel like she has a thing for him, which only intensifies his emotions towards her.
Eventually things progress between Mrs. Carmine and Jethro and they spend a wild weekend together while her husband is out of town. Then she starts telling Jethro things about her marriage and how she wants out and they can’t be together unless she doesn’t have a husband anymore…and all these thoughts and feelings start pouring into poor, young Jethro’s head and heart.
Thus, begins the game of cat and mouse between Jethro and his new love where she will stop at nothing to get what she wants and accomplishing her goals. And apparently, she’s outsourcing the job of getting rid of her husband.
So, who will accept? Who will decline? Who will survive and who comes out on top?
This story was by far my favorite. It’s the best story in the book. It has a fantastic ending and for me, was the most well written out of all. I was on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could just to find out what happened next when I turned the page.
I rated this story 5/5.
The average rating between the three stories is 4.5/5. This is a very good rating. I have to say that this is definitely a must read for horror lovers. Each story is independent of the others and they are all very entertaining to get to experience in your mind as you read.
ABOUT THE THREE AUTHORS