When I was approached to read and review THE RED HIGHWAY by Robert E. Dunn, I actually hesitated. I wasn’t sure if the book was something I would be interested in. But author Hunter Shea recommended the book and author Dunn, so I decided to give it a look. I’m glad I did, because THE RED HIGHWAY is a powerful and chilling read. If you’re looking for an original and intriguing thriller, give this one a look for sure.
If you are not familiar with THE RED HIGHWAY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Necro Publications:
In 1992, as Los Angeles begins to simmer in the heat of racial injustices, one dark man appears everywhere, spreading his message of race war. At the same time, Paul Souther, a homeless drunk, joins a strange group of outsiders. Some black and some white, they all carry the weight of broken lives and lost faith. They are all drawn to LA, for the arrival of a child, impossibly carried by Mary Prince, a sterile porn star. Through back roads and freeways everyone is pulled into LA and Mary’s side just as the baby is born. None of them have any idea that the city is a ticking bomb of anger. As riots explode, the mysterious man reveals himself to be an ancient, dark spirit using the rage of the people to stoke his own, literal, fires. He demands Mary’s child as sacrifice to keep the city, and perhaps the nation from burning. It falls to Paul, a faithless man, and a drunk with blood on his own hands, to make the impossible choice between the child and the city, and to save the people he has come to care about.
I have not read any of Dunn’s prior work, but I plan to soon. He appears to be an author to watch out for. And after reading THE RED HIGHWAY, I have to agree.
THE RED HIGHWAY is written very well and moves at a nice clip. I first worried the story would start off too slow for me. This was dashed after just a few pages. Once things get going (and they do, very quickly), the intensity never lets up.
The characters are damaged and believable. I love the diversity of those involved with the storyline; the cast is truly a motley crew of highs and lows. Both minor and major characters are fleshed out to the point of believability, and none falter under heavy scrutiny.
But the story is the real winner here. Taut and compelling, I love the darkened roads down which it travels. Any hesitation I had about reading this book was wiped away very early on, and I have to say this is an excellent book with which to start the new year.
THE RED HIGHWAY is a major win for me, and I highly recommend giving it a look. Author Robert E. Dunn might be unfamiliar to you, but chances are you’ll soon hear his name frequently in discussions of horror excellence. THE RED HIGHWAY is available now in a variety of formats.