Believe it or not, a man can be raped by a woman or a group of women. Don’t believe me? Check your local police reports; it doesn’t happen often, but I’ve seen it. An interesting way to start off a review, eh? Well, it’s actually very pertinent, considering it is the basis for Kristopher Rufty’s excellent novella A DARK AUTUMN.
If you are not familiar with A DARK AUTUMN, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
He’s a writer seeking solitude. They are four women on vacation looking for fun and relaxation. But when they meet, they will find only terror. An appalling crime will lead to an unthinkable, gruesome revenge. In the deep woods of Mountain Rock, no one will hear the screams, the agony, the mayhem. No one will hear them die.
Do I have your attention now? I figured I would after reading that plot description. A DARK AUTUMN is a unique spin on the familiar rape-revenge scenarios that were made popular in grindhouse films. This time, however, it’s a man doing the revenging. And let me tell you: it is very entertaining.
I enjoyed this book so much that I literally read it in a single day; it is that good. It is a fast-paced, no-holds-barred trek into maniacal justice. What makes this book truly unique is that you, as the reader, are honestly not sure whether to feel bad for Ricky Myers (the main character) or cheer him on. I found myself liking him…and then hating him…and then feeling compassion for him. It’s truly fun riding this whirlwind of emotional change.
A DARK AUTUMN is written well with simple prose and flowing dialogue. I think the simplicity of the writing is what makes this story move so well; any other author could have crammed long, heavy sentences into the story, all rife with description and metaphor. Doing so would have bogged the piece down. But author Kristopher Rufty chooses substance over page length and presents a riveting tale that will keep you enthralled until the last page.
My sole complaint about this book is that it is only offered in digital e-book format. I was lucky enough to have gotten a galley copy from the publisher (since I do not have an e-reader), but everyone else will have to download their versions. Still, this is no reason not to buy the book, especially as I am labeling it as a Must Read for 2013.
I am highly recommending A DARK AUTUMN and suggest you check it out soon. But be warned: some of the scenes are rather graphic, so if you are easily shocked you might want to sidestep this one. But if you’ve got the fortitude to do so, give this one a look for sure.