It’s been awhile since I left a book review or any blog posting now that I come to think of it. To start, my apologies as adulting is a struggle sometimes, but I’m back on track reading and writing like a damn fool! Below you’ll find my review of Shay Mills’ short story offering. If you’re a fan of the genre or interested in something different, check him out and enjoy!
4 out of 5 bloody stars!
I recently read Mills’ short work of fiction, “I Killed my Son-In-Law!” and I wish it would have come with some wet wipes and a mop. In the span of roughly 32 pages, Mills takes his readers on a gruesome tour of torture and one man’s breaking point with the slightest whiff of irony and a good amount of dark comedy. Without giving too much away, although the title of Mills’ work definitely eludes to what readers should expect, we are offered up a glimpse of the inner workings of ex-military family man Vick who finally reaches a point in his life when taking care of business becomes needed and old habits die harder than Tad, the gutless wonder featured within the story.
Mills’ ability to offer readers a glimpse into the daily struggles of a man who is used to handling those he does not agree with and the tender heart that beats for his loved ones within allows breathing room within the story and gives it the much needed “human touch” just before arterial flow makes a horrifying appearance. At its heart, “I Killed my Son-In-Law!” showcases Mills’ skill in writing with regards to how people quell the desire to strike against those that have wronged us somehow and ultimately what happens both mentally and visually when we reach beyond the breaking point by peppering his prose with lighthearted comments and sunny scenes mixed in with the splatters and bitter taste that remains when we happen upon those we consider scum or villainous in nature. This visual toppling over of emotion is evident within the first few pages of Mills’ work and also by the cover art done by horror author maven Ellie Douglas.
Throughout the rapid pace of the story, readers could consider Mills’ work a psychological case study in how to correctly poke a bear to get a reaction and what happens when one decides to stop an emotional flood with a paper plate. The “human” factor can only take so much punishment before stability snaps and the monster emerges, and it is one that most horror lovers will cheer to find comes out of hiding brilliantly within Mills’ work. Although many can relate to some of the touching family and friends inspired moments throughout, the star of the show is in the gruesome sensory overload of Vick’s dirty deeds.
Short and speedy, “I Killed My Son-In-Law!” makes no apologies for the feeling of “ick” readers will no doubt walk away with, but therein lies the whole reason one would pick up Mills’ short offering in the first place. You know what you’re getting from the cover and the blurb alone and Mills’ attention to detail delivers in spades with stomach-churning efficiency. Beyond my own personal opinion of wanting a little more backstory and maybe some more confrontational back and forth between characters, it was time well spent and bloody good fun regardless of a few minor word choices or grammar mistakes which is why it’s receiving four stars. If you like your blood spraying horror on the human side and want a quick read, this one is for you but watch your step as handling business tends to make a mess when Vick gets into his work.
My review was also posted to Amazon and is listed on Goodreads unless unavailable. I’ll be back in action here shortly, so stay posted. More fun, more insight, more awesome author reviews. Keep reading, keep writing, and keep doing what you love! 😀