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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Hellbound by Su Halfwerk

One-way ticket to Hell. 

Bart is a greedy morgue attendant with money on his mind. He gets more than what he bargains for when he chances upon a pain-letter, one he must pass on or bear the consequences of his inaction. 

Stan is a chiseler, a fake medium, preying on his unsuspecting clients’ earnings through bogus channeling sessions. When he meets mysterious Joanna Stark, he believes her promises of powers beyond his comprehension, powers blessed by the Netherworld. 

Jenna gives up her old life and career to settle down as Troy’s loving wife. He is a God-fearing man who will consent only to marriage. Except fate maps a different ending to their love story, a conclusion that takes them both down and never up again. 

Bart, Stan, and Jenna are destined to go on a long and abominable journey that sinks them below their expectations and forces them to endure pain and anguish beyond their worst nightmares. 

On the paths leading to the depths of Hell, their sins don’t matter!

Title: Hellbound
Author: Su Halfwerk
Published: 2012 Double Dragon Publishing
Format: Ebook provided by author for review

Su starts this story with a preface, a letter to the reader about how this book started.  I really loved it, a little glimpse into her mind.  So if you check out this book, be sure not to skip over that part!

Hellbound is a collection of three stories.  They are definitely creepy, gory, and all things wonderful that go bump in the night.  Or in the dead of day, you can take your pick.  Either way, I flew through this book.  Some of it was very grotesque and scary.  Su really has a way with words that makes you want to be in a certain place, and not want to be there at all, all at the same time! 

In The Deadening Bart works in the morgue, and he has a bit of a sticky finger problem.  Well now that problem has come to bite him in the end.  Martin Robinson comes in.  Apparent suicide via train, or at least that’s what the papers will read.  It doesn’t matter that Martin is mangled and bloody, Bart decides that stealing from him is a good idea.

Oh, you poor fool, Bart.  What he stole is not actually money, but a pain-letter.  Sort of like a chain-letter, but a million times worse.   I really loved this twist.  I’ve received a few chain letters in my time, and thankfully none of this promised the things that this pain-letter promised – because I didn’t forward them on! 

Su Halfwerk’s style of horror is excellent, you will definitely get your creep-meter filled in this story!

Next was The Substitute.  I think this story was definitely my favorite of the three.  Stan is an egomaniac type of guy, and he’s just passed out in a stalled elevator on his way up to his office where is channels ghosts for the people who feel they need to continue communication with the dearly departed.  Except for one thing, Stan is a total freaking fraud.  And he has no qualms about who he charges for his bogus services.  I hate to say it, but I kind of feel like he got what was coming to him in this story!  Karma is a bitch, and well, when you meet the Big Bad guy from Downstairs, you’d better not cross him.

Joanne is a ghost who has presented Stan with an offer he can’t refuse… mostly because she is making his life a living hell in order to force his decision.  It works, and then the real nightmare begins.   This story definitely has some shock value in it.  But you may think twice about finding yourself naked in the woods at night, summoning who knows what from who knows where after you read this story! 

Lastly, we have Scorned.  They say Hell hath no fury, and they were right.  Troy gallantly rescues a woman from some nasty fellas.  And then the girl, Jenna, rescues him right back.  It’s like a dream come true from a nightmare of reality.   They end up dating, and marrying, and life is just peachy keen.  Well, until its not.  Then its absolutely horrid. 

Troy turns into a major jerk, and that is the nicest way I can put it.  He becomes abusive and just a terrible human being.  Jenna could deal with that, she’s not exactly a stranger to the darker things in life.  But when Troy decides to flaunt his infidelity in her face, well… Troy isn’t going to have the type of life he had always dreamt of after that.  When Lilith (yes, the Lilith) gets involved, you know a fun time is about to be had.  Haha, at least for Lilith and Jenna!

This story had a great vengeance theme throughout, and any woman who has been scorned (ahem…) will probably take a bit of pleasure in this one.  Maybe that’s wrong of me?  Nah!!!!  The story was fantastic!

If you like some gruesome horror, you should definitely check this out.  The cover (shown giant here because it is so beautiful!) will draw you in, but Su’s writing will definitely keep you coming back for more!

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