Book Review – Hell Hole by Hunter Shea

Hell Hole
by Hunter Shea
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Samhain Publishing


I would seriously like to peek inside author Hunter Shea’s head. Seriously, I would. I want to see the bizarre and wondrous landscape that is his brain. It must be a sight to see because it comes up with some crazy-fun horror ideas. Take Shea’s latest release, HELL HOLE; part western, part horror, but all fun, this thrilling tale will take you on a joyride into darkness you won’t ever forget.

If you are not familiar with HELL HOLE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits.

Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem–those who go seeking their fortune never return.

Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. But the remnants of Hecla are far from empty. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark mine…as well as a force so sinister Nat’s and Teta’s very souls are in jeopardy.

There’s a mystery in Hecla thousands of years old. Solving it could spell the end of the world.

‘Wildly imaginative’ is the phrase that keeps popping up in my mind when I think about this book. I mentioned Shea’s impressive imagination in my review of one of his earlier novels, SINISTER ENTITY, last year, and I’m happy to report that nothing seems to have changed. His mind is still coming up with inventive ways to scare his readers.

HELL HOLE is written well and chocked full of creepy, gory goodness. As with his previous work, Shea keeps the impressive metaphors flowing as the plot unfolds. Here is an example: “I was about to say something when a deep, chest-rumbling blast of noise ripped the morning in two.” This sentence is a great sample of how well Shea can convey a lot of action and description with minimal effort.

The characters in HELL HOLE are believable and fleshed out well. Likewise, so are the antagonists (I will not go into detail so as to keep the surprise alive). I particularly like how Shea manages to make his cast damaged but likable.

The story is fresh and original, a nice gust of wind across a mottled plain of overdone western horror concepts. Just when you think you know what’s going on in the story, Shea changes gears and redirects, making you rethink what you thought you knew. I love this aspect of his storytelling, as it keeps me on my toes.

HELL HOLE is a major win for me, and it’s another horrifying feather in Hunter Shea’s cap. I can’t wait to see what other slimy horrors crawl out of that mind of his. HELL HOLE is available now in a variety of formats, so be sure and get your copy today.


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