My second book tour of the month for Blackthorn Book Tours, Montague Falls is an interesting anthology of three novellas, by three different authors, set in the same town.
ABOUT THE BOOK
WHITE HOT THRILLS! PITCH BLACK DEEDS!
3 TALES OF TEENS TACKLING THEIR DARKEST RITES OF PASSAGE
Acclaimed storytellers Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas each present an original novella brimming with enough danger, intrigue, and murder to get readers’ blood pounding and hearts racing.
In Colchamiro’s RED INK, a paperboy with an overactive imagination witnesses a brutal killing on his route—or has he taken his fantasy spy games a step too far?
In Hatton’s THE DEVIL’S DELINQUENTS, a trio of teenage misfits in pursuit of success, power, and revenge practice amateurish occult rituals… with deadly consequences.
In Thomas’s A MANY SPLENDID THING, a sultry high school teacher enrolls one of her students to get rid of her husband. But will the young man really graduate to murder?
The first novella, Red Ink by Russ Colchamiro, is set within the Cold War era eighties, and is about Issac, a fourteen year old paperboy who distracts himself from his troubles by imaging himself a spy fighting those darn soviets. Reality collides with fiction, however, when he suspects one of his regular customers has been murdered. Could the commies be involved?
The eighties seems to be big at the moment, and this story is filled with the prerequisite pop culture references. Issac is a troubled teen just trying to make life bearable, and it’s impossible not to like his youthful enthusiasm and integrity.
Next comes The Devil’s Delinquents by Sawney Hatton. Set in the nineties, the story follows high school stoner friends, Derry and Cal, who befriend new student, Natalie, after spending detention with her.
Natalie fancies herself a satanist, and the two boys are all too eager to join her occult practices in an effort to secure their wildest dreams from the father of lies.
This is one of the most perfect novellas I’ve read. A dark story, told effortlessly, through well paced character and plot reveals. The characters are introduced, shown how they fit into their families and the wider Montague Falls community, and developed with a deft touch. It’s easy to empathize with the teenagers, even as their actions lead them down a bad path.
The undisputed standout of the volume, it ticked all the boxes for me on character, craft and plot.
Finally, A Many Splendid Thing by Patrick Thomas, takes us back to the fifties. Jethro is hot for teacher, and it seems like teacher is hot for him too.
I was very disappointed in this novella. It is a high school version of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Aside from the unoriginal story, I felt no connection to the characters, and the repetition of phrases like ‘the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen’, or ‘the most perfect legs in the world’ meant I ended up skimming my way through it.
Averaging out my rating for each novella, I award Murder in Montague Falls…
ABOUT THE THREE AUTHORS
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking time travel/space adventure, Crossline, the SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the SF mystery anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, and co-author of the noir anthology Murder in Montague Falls, all with Crazy 8 Press.
He is now finalizing Crackle and Fire, the first in a new scifi mystery series featuring his intergalactic private eye, Angela Hardwicke, set for publication September 2020.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Badass Moms, and Brave New Girls.
Russ is repped by The Zack Compnay.
Sawney Hatton is an author, editor, and screenwriter. Other incarnations of Sawney have produced marketing videos, attended all-night film festivals, and played the banjo and sousaphone (not at the same time). He loves a good day trip into the unknown.
To learn more about Sawney, visit his website at SawneyHatton.com
Patrick Thomas writes the beloved fantasy humor series Murphy’s Lore, and wrote the graphic novel Case of the Moon Maniac and the steampunk themed As The Gears Turn. His short stories have been featured in over fifty anthologies and more than three dozen print magazines.
A number of his books were part of the props department of the CSI television show and one was even thrown at a suspect. Fairy With A Gun was optioned by Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions. Act of Contrition, a story featuring his Soul For Hire hitman is in development for a short film by Top Men Productions.
Drop by www.patthomas.net to learn more.