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March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are be March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are being hunted through the boonies by a cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys… a cult that will stop at nothing to get the girl back and complete a ritual that has held an ancient evil at bay for centuries… Until now. From Adam Howe, writer of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, and the winner of Stephen King's On Writing contest... and James Newman, acclaimed author of Odd Man Out and Animosity. PRAISE FOR SCAPEGOAT: "As if Joe Lansdale wrote, and John Carpenter directed, the Jonestown massacre. SCAPEGOAT is Howe and Newman's Kool-Aid and you'll want to drink it to the very last drop." (Eryk Pruitt, What We Reckon) "A delightful backwoods detour through the three Rs of Southern-fried horror: Rednecks, revenge, and Wrestlemania! One of 2018's most entertaining reads. This is one GOAT you'll definitely want to get." (Michael Patrick Hicks, Mass Hysteria)


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March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are be March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are being hunted through the boonies by a cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys… a cult that will stop at nothing to get the girl back and complete a ritual that has held an ancient evil at bay for centuries… Until now. From Adam Howe, writer of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, and the winner of Stephen King's On Writing contest... and James Newman, acclaimed author of Odd Man Out and Animosity. PRAISE FOR SCAPEGOAT: "As if Joe Lansdale wrote, and John Carpenter directed, the Jonestown massacre. SCAPEGOAT is Howe and Newman's Kool-Aid and you'll want to drink it to the very last drop." (Eryk Pruitt, What We Reckon) "A delightful backwoods detour through the three Rs of Southern-fried horror: Rednecks, revenge, and Wrestlemania! One of 2018's most entertaining reads. This is one GOAT you'll definitely want to get." (Michael Patrick Hicks, Mass Hysteria)

30 review for Scapegoat

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    4.5 stars. Okay, so I loved the heck outta this book. It starts off when Mike Rawson decides to go to WrestleMania with his old buds Lonnie and Pork Chop. They show up in Lonnie's cool ride. Then Mike finds out that Lonnie doesn't have those free 'rasslin tickets in hand but that he will get them after delivering some Hulkamania 'goods' at the event. You kinda have to know if Pork Chop is dressed in a kilt with no underwear that things are not going to go smoothly for this group. They end up in t 4.5 stars. Okay, so I loved the heck outta this book. It starts off when Mike Rawson decides to go to WrestleMania with his old buds Lonnie and Pork Chop. They show up in Lonnie's cool ride. Then Mike finds out that Lonnie doesn't have those free 'rasslin tickets in hand but that he will get them after delivering some Hulkamania 'goods' at the event. You kinda have to know if Pork Chop is dressed in a kilt with no underwear that things are not going to go smoothly for this group. They end up in the boonies and almost run over an escaped "goat." The goat is a young woman with carvings all over her body. Who is being hunted by a group that MUST get her back. This book was just what I wanted. I loved every single second of it. I'm kinda friendly with one of the authors (Adam Howe) meaning I'll read anything the dude writes because even though he is English..he totally gets the redneck 'rassling loving part of my heart. The other guy James Newman..I haven't read anything by YET. I will though because he may have just found a new stalker.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”A squeal of tires. The roar of an engine. A chugging guitar riff and pounding drums. And above it all: A high-pitched rebel yell, as if the Devil himself had a red-hot grip on the singer’s nuts, and was squeezing them like a stress ball.” Before I introduce you to the three metalheads who are, for better or much worse, our gladiatorial heroes of this story, I need to report on something that has just come to my attention. You see the Devil, instead of going to Georgia like he does every humid, ”A squeal of tires. The roar of an engine. A chugging guitar riff and pounding drums. And above it all: A high-pitched rebel yell, as if the Devil himself had a red-hot grip on the singer’s nuts, and was squeezing them like a stress ball.” Before I introduce you to the three metalheads who are, for better or much worse, our gladiatorial heroes of this story, I need to report on something that has just come to my attention. You see the Devil, instead of going to Georgia like he does every humid, hot summer, actually is going to London. He has a very specific task. He is there to whisper something in the ear of James Newman while he is buying wine and cheese at the local shop. The Devil whispers two words to him: “Adam Howe.” He then punches James Newman in the forehead, for that is the best way for his demands to stick in the mind of a normal human being. Newman goes down in a heap. Wine bottles burst, and cheese floats in the red puddles like chunks of intestines. It is as if Bacchus himself has been split open on the shop floor. Newman rubs his forehead where three entwined red 6s are emerging. He runs out of the store, brushing away all the helping hands. His butt is soaked with wine, and cheese clings to the legs of his flapping corduroys. And that is how this collaboration comes to be. They are doing the Devil’s work fine on their own, but Satan is an impatient fellow and thinks they’ll do better recruiting his minions if they work together. Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop are on a road trip to Wrestlemania III, which is scheduled to be held in the Silverdome. They are traveling there in Lonnie’s 1975 Vogue Villa Grande RV. Along for the ride is Cyndi-from-the-Bar. ”Shock of bottle-blonde hair held stiffly in place by enough hairspray it probably punched its own hole through the ozone layer. Fashionably-ripped fishnet tights. Butt-hugging Daisy Duke shorts held up with suspenders, and a HULKAMANIA tube-top that looked so much better on her than Lonnie’s muscled shirt looked on him.” Hey, if I was heading to a WWF match in 1987, Cyndi would be the perfect slutty accouterment to my shellacked Elvis hair, ripped AC/DC t-shirt, and motorcycle wreck battered leather jacket. Now, Lonnie thinks he is going to be performing all kinds of illicit sexual escapades with Cyndi-from-the-Bar because obviously she has the proper amount of self esteem issues that guys like Lonnie have to exploit to ever get laid. In 2018, Lonnie might have been a good recruit for Incel, the involuntary celibate group, although frankly, he is probably a rung or two higher than those guys on the social scale of sexual success. *shudder* Now even though Mike is in a loving relationship back home, Cyndi is making his pecker have thoughts of conquest. Pork Chop is most of the way to oblivion from steadily sucking beer and Jack through the straws dangling from his beer infested helmet, but he does make some half hearted attempts to woo Cyndi with lame innuendos. So the RV is a cocktail of booze, desire, guilt, and envy, not to mention all the black market wrestlemania souvenirs that Lonnie plans to unload at the Silverdome. It’s a devil’s brew...as planned. When Lonnie hits the naked girl, who springs out of nowhere, with the front end of the Vogue Villa Grande, little does he know that he would be doing the world and the girl a favor if he’d splatter her all over creation. She has been tortured. Arcane symbols have been carved into her flesh along with the words of the deadly sins. As crap your pants and pee down both legs as that sounds, there is something more insidious that has been done to that poor girl. ”Something darker than blood, viscous and bubbling and stinking of rot, oozed from the symbols and words carved into her flesh. The words seemed to glow like molten lava in the lantern light.” It is so obvious that something isn’t right that even Pork Chop in his inebriated state is starting to experience a cascade of creeping willies up and down his spine of impending doom. Those words carved into her flesh have real meaning and power...well as words should. The wild card in all this, that our heroes are quickly made aware of, is the Bible thumping, gun humping Trinity Baptist Church membership is trying to get the girl back...before the world ends? WTF? ”God help us all if we fail to destroy what we’ve put inside her.” What the hell have these redneck, religious cult following, Kentucky backwoods, banjo playing, flagellating, squirrel hole screwing, inbred ingrates been up to? Well, it all leads to something like this: ”Within seconds, they were soaked to the skin, gore slopping down their faces and arms like scarlet slime, their eyes shining wide through crimson masks. The wind banshee-howled. The blood-rain hissed on the road, churning to pink froth.” This is not for the faint of heart, but do you really feel you can afford to ignore the fine work of the Devil? Do you think ignoring the hiss in your ear will just make him scurry back to Hell? I think the only way you can save Adam Howe and James Newman from eternal damnation is to go on this journey with them. You must get a ”loop of grey intestine stuck to your sneaker like an untied shoelace.” Who at the end of the day is going to yank these two brave writers back from the bowels of hell except a legion of readers who want them to write book two? Souls are at stake, and no one wants anyone ending up the Scapegoat. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Mike Rawson leaves his wife and baby behind for a weekend to go on a road trip to Wrestlemania III with Lonnie, Pork Chop, and Cyndi-from-the-bar. When they take a wrong turn and find a teenage girl with symbols carved into her body, what brand of hell have they gotten into? Wrestling fiction is hard to come by and Adam Howe and James Newman have written some of the best. When Adam came knocking with Scapegoat, a book written by both of them, I couldn't turn him away. While wrestling didn't turn o Mike Rawson leaves his wife and baby behind for a weekend to go on a road trip to Wrestlemania III with Lonnie, Pork Chop, and Cyndi-from-the-bar. When they take a wrong turn and find a teenage girl with symbols carved into her body, what brand of hell have they gotten into? Wrestling fiction is hard to come by and Adam Howe and James Newman have written some of the best. When Adam came knocking with Scapegoat, a book written by both of them, I couldn't turn him away. While wrestling didn't turn out to be a big part of this, Scapegoat was still a fun read, a B-horror book about rock and roll and the end of the world. It's also hilarious. Mike is the straight man of the tale, the member of the band that grew up and got a job. Lonnie and Pork Chop, still living in the days of Wrathbone, the band they thought would make them famous, have not grown up in the least. Cyndi-from-the-bar is a whole other animal. When they find a would-be teenage sacrifice, they find themselves hunted by a fundamentalist Christian sect. Hilarity and gore ensue. Scapegoat was a lot of fun and avoided a lot of the cliches this type of book normally encompasses. Mike's not a hero or a bad ass. Neither are Pork Chop or Lonnie, though they all have their good points. It feels like a lost '80s satanic panic tale Joe Lansdale might have written. Scapegoat is a funny, gore-strewn good time. Four out of five stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Char

    Set to a rock n roll soundtrack in the 1980's, SCAPEGOAT should appeal to any fan of 80's horror, and 80's hair/metal bands. If these things are your bag, you should just buy this book now and get to reading! Lonnie, the barely-dressed Cindy, Mike, and Pork Chop are on a road trip in Lonnie's R.V. heading to Wrestlemania 3. Since the guys were in a band,(Wrathbone), together they've drifted apart. Mike has a wife and child now and couldn't be happier. He's only on this trip for a brief vacation a Set to a rock n roll soundtrack in the 1980's, SCAPEGOAT should appeal to any fan of 80's horror, and 80's hair/metal bands. If these things are your bag, you should just buy this book now and get to reading! Lonnie, the barely-dressed Cindy, Mike, and Pork Chop are on a road trip in Lonnie's R.V. heading to Wrestlemania 3. Since the guys were in a band,(Wrathbone), together they've drifted apart. Mike has a wife and child now and couldn't be happier. He's only on this trip for a brief vacation and to see some wrestling. Both Lonnie and the kilt-wearing Pork Chop seem to be the same people they were in high school and Mike realizes he doesn't have much in common with them anymore. Just as he's beginning to regret his decision to come with, something runs in front of their camper and gets hit. What was it? Will our group ever make it to Wrestlemania 3? You'll have to read this book to find out! I've read the work of both of these authors before, so the quality and depth of this book did not surprise me. What did surprise me was the way this tale played out. Being a horror fan, I've read many, many books about cults, both fiction and non, because if Jim Jones isn't a real life horror story, I don't know what is. I've also read tales about dark religions and hillbillies, and very few of them had the courage to take the route that this story took. (One or two of the true stories did, to be honest, because real life is horrific, isn't it?) The other thing about this book that makes it special is the characters. I developed true feelings for all of them, though my feelings often changed throughout. Thing is, I knew all these people at some point during high school. At first, Cindy reminded me a bit of myself. (But then that changed.) I loathed Lonnie for quite a while and I thought Pork Chop was the biggest loser ever, and then those feelings changed too. There are no flat characters here-they seemed real to me, they had depth and they were more complicated than I originally thought. I love when that happens! The only issue I had was that the denouement went a little too quickly for me. I would have liked to have learned a bit more about the cult and the town in which it flourished. Perhaps that would have slowed the story down too much and that's why the authors wrapped it up the way they did? I'm not sure, but this was a damn good story either way. Adam Howe and James Newman are both authors to watch. Anytime either of them puts out something new, it's automatically added to my "To Be Read" list. But this? A novel with both of them writing together? Just the thought of it put a smile on my face and the fact that the novel is actually fun, fast paced, intriguing, and creative? That's just the icing on the cake. Highly recommended! *I received an e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.* **During the month of December, 2018 both of these authors are joining in a group read at Horror Aficionados, a Goodreads group I help to moderate. They will be available to answer your questions and comments about SCAPEGOAT. Please come join us here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... We'd love to have you!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ For Lonnie, Mike and Pork Chop this road trip was simply supposed to be a little boys’ getaway and a chance to experience some firsthand . . . . The beer was flowing, the tunes were playing, the counterfeit easy-shred Hulkamania T’s were ready for selling, there was a tag-a-long hot piece of ass in the form of the local bar fly. They were even riding in style in a Gen.U.Ine. R.V. . . . . It was great . . . until they ran over a nekk Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ For Lonnie, Mike and Pork Chop this road trip was simply supposed to be a little boys’ getaway and a chance to experience some firsthand . . . . The beer was flowing, the tunes were playing, the counterfeit easy-shred Hulkamania T’s were ready for selling, there was a tag-a-long hot piece of ass in the form of the local bar fly. They were even riding in style in a Gen.U.Ine. R.V. . . . . It was great . . . until they ran over a nekkid chick while attempting to short-cut it through the backroads followed by a crossbow bolt through one of their tires. You know what that means, right???? Nope. Something even more terrifying . . . . Now the boys (and girls) need to channel their inner CCR ‘cause these suckas are gonna have to “run through the jungle.” You can take this “review” with a grain (or mountain) of salt if you like. At this point it's obvious I’m an Adam Howe fangirl. I won’t even get into Mitchell’s relationship with him because I’m fairly certain it’s illegal in at least 47 states. All I’m going to say is if you are looking for some gory good times this October jam-packed with action, humor and some twists and turns that make this not-your-average “lost in the woods” slasher story, Scapegoat is getting released right on time. ARC provided by Honey Badger Press in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janie C.

    It was supposed to be a simple road trip. Three guys and one gal in a Coors-laden motorhome (do NOT call it a camper), on their metal tuned journey to Wrestlemania III. What could go wrong? Well, the motorhome might collide with a naked young woman with symbols carved all over her body. There may be a cult with a mission to find this young lady, and these Bible thumpers turn out to be armed and brutal. Things get serious and scary, and before you can say HULKOMANIA, events spin out of control an It was supposed to be a simple road trip. Three guys and one gal in a Coors-laden motorhome (do NOT call it a camper), on their metal tuned journey to Wrestlemania III. What could go wrong? Well, the motorhome might collide with a naked young woman with symbols carved all over her body. There may be a cult with a mission to find this young lady, and these Bible thumpers turn out to be armed and brutal. Things get serious and scary, and before you can say HULKOMANIA, events spin out of control and into cosmic horror territory. Collaborating authors Adam Howe and James Newman have put together an adventure unlike any other road trip that I have had the pleasure of witnessing. Humor and horror mix well in a thought-provoking, violent trip through the backwoods and hell, and neither author releases the accelerator until the trip turns into a nightmare. I was lucky to received an ARC of this novel, and I recommend it to every horror and grit-lit fan once it hits the shelves this October. You want to see something scary? Just wait.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adam Howe

    As with any collaboration, there will be parts of this book that readers may not like... James Newman wrote those parts. ;)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.5 stars! SCAPEGOAT is a genre-blending novel co-written by authors Adam howe and James Newman. I went into this one blindly--not even reading the synopsis--and my first reaction when I reached the end of it was an astonished, "Wow!" This novel was simply a non-stop action fest; including laugh out loud comedy, a reunion of unlikely characters, religious zealots, emotions, torture, gore, and things that defy ANY attempt at classification. ". . . There was no reasoning with stupid . . . " Mike Ra 4.5 stars! SCAPEGOAT is a genre-blending novel co-written by authors Adam howe and James Newman. I went into this one blindly--not even reading the synopsis--and my first reaction when I reached the end of it was an astonished, "Wow!" This novel was simply a non-stop action fest; including laugh out loud comedy, a reunion of unlikely characters, religious zealots, emotions, torture, gore, and things that defy ANY attempt at classification. ". . . There was no reasoning with stupid . . . " Mike Rawson, a married man with a young child, agrees to go on a "road-trip" with two of his old bandmates, Lonnie Deveroux, and 'Pork Chop', to a Wrestlemania event. From the very start--when Lonnie comes to pick him up in the RV--Mike begins to question the wisdom of his choice. ". . . In case the engine wasn't loud enough--and it was loud enough to wake . . . Mrs. Peterson, and she'd died six months ago . . . " From that moment forward, things go comically, any way except smoothly. Even listening to their old recordings failed to bring on a pleasant sense of nostalgia. ". . . he remembered: Nope, that's just how badly we played . . . " This story was one that I never wanted to put down. The comedy mixed in with non-stop action, and blended with horrific elements was a combination that held me captive to their every word, movement, and situation. Additionally, I felt the environment--no matter what the scene--was painted so well that it felt as if I were watching everything happen before me. The characters, road, woods . . . everything encountered on the journey took on a realistic feel, despite the lighter, more comedic moments. A movie in book form, sums this one up pretty well. ". . . he'd seen enough horror movies to know that nothing good ever came from a shortcut through the woods . . . " There is a deeper meaning lying just beneath the surface action and dialog, that was brilliantly paced, as well. Comments and clues along the way don't slap you in the face with it; rather, they subtly stick in your brain, accumulating until the end when your mind takes notice of everything as a whole. ". . . doing 'the right thing' took on a whole new meaning when it was a matter of life or death . . . " Overall, I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this book. (If that makes me warped by some people's standards, so be it). There was never a dull moment. Periods of comedic banter and bloody action scenes were interspersed with some realistic, somber moments from these well defined characters. I found myself liking all of them--even the most "unlikeable"--to some extent by the end of the novel. I attribute that to the way the authors portrayed them--unflinchingly "human", with flaws that anyone could have. ". . . Worst road trip ever . . . " I'm hoping to see these two authors team up again in the future, as their individual styles meshed so well together. Highly recommended!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Howe and Newman collaborating together. How cool is that? And with a goat in the title to boot. This is going to be good. Here we go... Wrathbone! Back in the saddle. Hell, yeah! Hop on in Jezebel, the ‘75 Vogue Villa Grande and hit the highway for ringside seats at Wrestlemania III. Sweeet! Only thing that could possibly make this road trip any cooler for the gang would be one of those super sweet drink holder hard hats with the long straws filled with Jack Daniels. And maybe a hot girl-from-the-b Howe and Newman collaborating together. How cool is that? And with a goat in the title to boot. This is going to be good. Here we go... Wrathbone! Back in the saddle. Hell, yeah! Hop on in Jezebel, the ‘75 Vogue Villa Grande and hit the highway for ringside seats at Wrestlemania III. Sweeet! Only thing that could possibly make this road trip any cooler for the gang would be one of those super sweet drink holder hard hats with the long straws filled with Jack Daniels. And maybe a hot girl-from-the-bar in a skimpy, busting at the seams, Hulkamania tube top. This was exactly what I was hoping it would be from two of my favorite authors. Fast, funny, violent, bloody, and oh yeah, entertaining as hell. I don’t know how many times I laughed out loud at some of the wildly inappropriate scenes. It was also deeper than its entertaining facade. There were several concepts around the religious group and the “goat” carvings that really intrigued me and could have been a separate story of themselves. Tittyfuck Camp hijack, Pork Chop commando kilt, Purgation Salvation, crispy critter Johnny Space Commander and raspberry jelly on toast. Howe and Newman are good. Real good. Separate and now together. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I have read from them. 4.5 Stars and Highly Recommended for all who like some heavy sarcasm and wit with plenty of violence and blood sprinkled on top. “This trip has officially shit its drawers.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)

    4 stars. 🇺🇸🏴☠ 4 stars. 🇺🇸🏴‍☠️

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    Yes! I needed this fun, gory, 80s romp this week. Full review to come for the Sci Fi and Scary website! When an ebook boasts a badass metal playlist before the first page of the book, YOU LISTEN TO IT. At about 10% in, I chose my favorites from the list, turned it up, and enjoyed the atmosphere. To begin in ‘Scapegoat’, friends from Mike Rawson’s “wilder” days show up in spectacular fashion – a dirty, smoke-belching RV (it is NOT a camper), a louder than life “bestie”, and plans to “road trip it” Yes! I needed this fun, gory, 80s romp this week. Full review to come for the Sci Fi and Scary website! When an ebook boasts a badass metal playlist before the first page of the book, YOU LISTEN TO IT. At about 10% in, I chose my favorites from the list, turned it up, and enjoyed the atmosphere. To begin in ‘Scapegoat’, friends from Mike Rawson’s “wilder” days show up in spectacular fashion – a dirty, smoke-belching RV (it is NOT a camper), a louder than life “bestie”, and plans to “road trip it” to Wrestlemania III. Stereotypical metal heads past their prime? I say no AND yes. These characters are so well-drawn they don’t deserve the negative connotation that the word “stereotype” conveys, but man, if they don’t conjure up familiar memories and a sense of an era gone by. These characters are FUN. The synopsis above mentions a “cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys” and who are tasked with completing a ritual to hold off evil. This group of characters has a bit less depth. However, they are designed with care and fit with the flow of the story. Next, when the two seemingly disparate groups are forced together, this book really gets moving. Towards the end, as the climax nears and the reader learns just what this cult is up to, be sure to hold on as the gore and guts ramp up into some of the most visceral scenes I’ve read this year. Finally, the writing in ‘Scapegoat’ is akin to watching a movie on a drive-in theatre’s big screen. It moves well, the dialogue is true to the characters and I can envision this playing out. Another plus: the writing between the two authors is seamless. It is difficult to tell where Howe stopped and Newman started or vice versa, and I love it. I think if I go back and re-read I’d be able to pick it out. I was too engaged in a well-flowing story to be bothered with that the first time through. This book is well-executed and well-edited. I will definitely check out more from both of these authors.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hicks

    2018 has been a phenomenal year for reading, with a number of titles already in the running for my best of the year list, but in terms of sheer entertainment value alone Scapegoat will be a hard one to beat. Adam Howe and James Newman have written one hell of a crackling read here with a story that is all about the escalation of threats. Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveraux, and Pork Chop are travelling by RV to attend WrestleMania III, accompanied by Cindi the Bar Girl, who just so happens to be way mor 2018 has been a phenomenal year for reading, with a number of titles already in the running for my best of the year list, but in terms of sheer entertainment value alone Scapegoat will be a hard one to beat. Adam Howe and James Newman have written one hell of a crackling read here with a story that is all about the escalation of threats. Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveraux, and Pork Chop are travelling by RV to attend WrestleMania III, accompanied by Cindi the Bar Girl, who just so happens to be way more than she appears. After taking a drug and booze-fueled detour, the gang find themselves lost in the woods, a situation Lonnie worsens even further when he accidentally runs over a woman fleeing for her life. Turns out, the woman’s own situation is damn severe even before she found herself on the wrong side of a speeding RV – she has been beaten and cut up from head to toe, the seven deadly sins engraved on her skin. Stopping to help her puts the guys right into the crosshairs of the men chasing her – a band of redneck cultists hell-bent on reclaiming their sacrificial scapegoat. Scapegoat is just all kinds of wild, and if you’ve read Howe’s two Reggie Levine novels previously you already know redneck backwoods shenanigans is this dude’s bread and butter. This is an odd thing, indeed, as Howe is a Brit, but thanks to American globalism and the spread of Hollywood commercialism in particular, it’s pretty clear he grew up on a steady of diet of Burt Reynolds flicks like Smokey and the Bandit and Deliverance. Howe is apparently obsessed with crafting the ultimate cross-over between these films, at least when he’s not obsessing over Nic Cage movies and skunk apes. But, you know what? I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Howe gets it and he knows how to craft a damn fine story that chugs along with the speed and grace of the Bandit’s own Trans Am. To sweeten the pot even further, though, is fellow Howe fan James Newman, author of Odd Man Out, who also wrote an introduction to Howe’s Tijuana Donkey Showdown and shares co-writing credit here. Newman, hailing from the American south, clearly knows his way around the backwoods, too. Both authors inject in Scapegoat a clear affinity for wrestling, heavy metal, and Lost In The Woods And Chased By Maniacs horror. In terms of collaboration, it’s pretty clear these two guys are writing with a singular purpose and a shared hive mind. And once they get going, there’s no slowing them down. Scapegoat is a quick, down and dirty kind of read, pared to the bone and trimmed of all the fat. While plenty of the book is a run-and-gun affair, we still get some great character beats and moments of introspection and reminiscing that illustrate the relationship between Mike, Lonnie, and Pork Chop. There’s also plenty of carnage, threatening portents of occultism, explosions galore, moments of wonderfully shocking violence, and an incredible climax that spins this story into some wonderfully dark realms. Now look, I would have been more than content to have Howe and Newman tell me a story of redneck cultists chasing after our lost losers, but the few extra miles they travel in upping the ante here is absolutely perfect. The ending in particular is incredibly gutsy and I had to take a few moments to simply appreciate the verve of these authors. Scapegoat is a mile-a-minute blast, the type of book that’s pure joy fuel. You might even be compelled to hop into an RV and storm into the Tennessee woods looking for trouble. Just remember, those seven deadly sins serve as a warning for a reason… [Note: I received an advance reading copy of this title from the authors to provide a publication blurb. I have chosen to review Scapegoat here as well because I just flat-out loved this damn thing.]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Twerking To Beethoven

    Me stumbling upon this book "So I understand we have three metalheads on a roadtrip to Wrestlemania III in 1987...and one of them goes by the name of Pork Chop, correct? Alrighty, I've got to get my dirty hands on this shit, hoping it doesn't turn out to be an utter load of wank." Well, it didn't turn out to be a turd of a book, not one bit. "Scapegoat" is a firecracker, a horror novel right up my alley. A super-fun and quick read filled with dirt roads, metal, idiocy and disembowelment. PS: Pork Me stumbling upon this book "So I understand we have three metalheads on a roadtrip to Wrestlemania III in 1987...and one of them goes by the name of Pork Chop, correct? Alrighty, I've got to get my dirty hands on this shit, hoping it doesn't turn out to be an utter load of wank." Well, it didn't turn out to be a turd of a book, not one bit. "Scapegoat" is a firecracker, a horror novel right up my alley. A super-fun and quick read filled with dirt roads, metal, idiocy and disembowelment. PS: Pork Chop, he's got a face. It's the bass player off Mammoth. Here, check them out: https://youtu.be/h7gK3oeVUV4 Ah, the eighties...damn good times. PPS: When I was reading Adam Howe's "Black Cat Mojo", I noticed the bloke spelled the word "coloUr" with a "U", and then, if memory serves, I also stumbled upon the word "torch" instead of "flashlight". I was like "Hmmm...funny, that." Until I found out he's actually a Briton. That sort of baffles me for obvious reasons. Having said that, I hope one day he writes a story set in Merry ole England, using plenty of delicious, lovely words such as "bellend", "knobhead", "tosser", "bollocks", etc. PPPS: I need to check out James Newman's offerings.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Bender

    If ya want blood... YOU GOT ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT..... Adam Howe and James Newman want you to bleed for them. I'm not doing a synopsis. Instead, I'll give you instructions: Go check out James Newman on social media. Nice guy, writes horrific stuff, general cool dude. Then go check out Adam Howe. Obviously the PREE-VERT of the bunch. Then, just go mash a bunch of cool stuff together in a blender, forget about it until it ferments into a heady brew, smelling of...pork chops.... And call it SCAPEGOAT. Blood If ya want blood... YOU GOT ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT..... Adam Howe and James Newman want you to bleed for them. I'm not doing a synopsis. Instead, I'll give you instructions: Go check out James Newman on social media. Nice guy, writes horrific stuff, general cool dude. Then go check out Adam Howe. Obviously the PREE-VERT of the bunch. Then, just go mash a bunch of cool stuff together in a blender, forget about it until it ferments into a heady brew, smelling of...pork chops.... And call it SCAPEGOAT. Blood on the rocks... blood on the streets. Blood in the SKYYYYY....blood on the seats! If ya want blood, they got it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frank Errington

    Review copy James Newman lives in North Carolina, USA, and Adam Howe makes his home across the Atlantic in England. Thanks to the power of the internet collaborations like this one are possible. The result is both wondrous and wonderful. So what's Scapegoat about? Well, I'm glad you asked... For metalheads Mike Rawson , Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an i Review copy James Newman lives in North Carolina, USA, and Adam Howe makes his home across the Atlantic in England. Thanks to the power of the internet collaborations like this one are possible. The result is both wondrous and wonderful. So what's Scapegoat about? Well, I'm glad you asked... For metalheads Mike Rawson , Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are being hunted through the boonies by a cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys… a cult that will stop at nothing to get the girl back and complete a ritual that has held an ancient evil at bay for centuries… Until now. The end result is equal measures of violence and humor. Junk food horror, if you will. Or what I like to call, "Brain Candy." I wasn't able to attend Wrestlemania III, but I was glued to my TV to see that epic matchup with Andre the Giant colliding head-on with Hulk Hogan and with that event as a backdrop for Scapegoat, I was immediately drawn to this story. Mike Rawson, was the one levelheaded member of the trio headed to the Silverdome... Mike muttered something about how he'd seen enough horror movies to know nothing good ever came from a shortcut through the woods. So much carnage, with loads of horrifying images along the way. And be sure to stick around for the story notes after you finish the book for insight into how Scapegoat came to be, as well as a list of recommended viewing and a playlist. These guys have thought of it all. The end result is a great collaboration and a fun read. Recommended. Scapegoat is currently available for the Kindle. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library. About the authors... James Newman lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina with his wife, Glenda, and their two sons, Jamie and Jacob. He's best known for his novels Midnight Rain, The Wicked, Ugly As Sin and Animosity and the novella Odd Man Out. Adam Howe - Adam Howe writes the twisted fiction your mother warned you about. A British writer of fiction and screenplays, he lives in London with his partner, their daughter, and a hellhound named Gino. He is the author of Tijuana Donkey Showdown, and two novella collections, Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, and Black Cat Mojo.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    It's all fun and games until a religious nut job turns up. This story went all dark and crazy in a damn hurry. My full review is posted here ---> https://wp.me/p5t5Tf-1JH

  17. 5 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)

    Irreverent with witty tongue-in-cheek humor, gutsy, and brimming with balls-to-the-wall horror, Scapegoat is the backwoods horror romp I didn’t know I wanted, and all I really have to say is rock the hell on. Wrestlemania III is the destination. Three metalhead friends are getting back together: two who are stuck in the old days of beer, boobs, and body odor and the other who grew up, got a job, and started a family. A big ole motor home along with boxes of illicit goods are going to get them to Irreverent with witty tongue-in-cheek humor, gutsy, and brimming with balls-to-the-wall horror, Scapegoat is the backwoods horror romp I didn’t know I wanted, and all I really have to say is rock the hell on. Wrestlemania III is the destination. Three metalhead friends are getting back together: two who are stuck in the old days of beer, boobs, and body odor and the other who grew up, got a job, and started a family. A big ole motor home along with boxes of illicit goods are going to get them to their destination, that is, unless an unplanned shortcut doesn’t do them in. That unplanned shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods happens to run them right into a girl—cut up, terrified, running for her life—and the cult of religious crazies who are looking to finish what they started. A mash-up of Grady Hendrix’s rock odyssey We Sold Our Souls, Kealan Patrick Burke’s remote clan of nasties in Kin, and the strange ceremonial unknown of Adam Nevill’s The Ritual, this book really has everything a horror fan could hope for. It is a truly unique narrative—offering those comparisons is my way of (hopefully) piquing your interest and getting potential readers amped up. You won’t have read anything quite like this. Howe and Newman are obviously an excellent writing team. The humorous style, seamless transitions, and character growth all give this little horror novel a lot more depth than you would immediately assume of such a raucous narrative. I figured I was just in for a fun, bloody ride, but on top of that I got writing I really connected with, characters who made me laugh, and a plot that just kept going—this Energizer Bunny powered by death metal is comin’ atcha and it ain’t slowing down! I was completely hooked all the way to the last page. This is one of those books that I could clearly see in my mind like a movie (which, coincidentally, it would be brilliant as). When you can really see the action of a book happening, you know it’s good. My thanks to author Adam Howe for sending this one my way. I couldn’t be more chuffed—seriously. I’ll happily be looking for more works by both authors.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    4.5 stars!!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Niki Mackay

    ‘March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell.’ This is literally the funnest book I’ve read for ages. Mike, Lonnie and Pork Chop embark on a road trip accompanied by Cindi the bar girl. It starts to go seriously wrong after a drug and booze fuelled episode which finds them lost. When they run over a naked woman whose been beaten up and has the seven deadly sins carved into her skin, things go fr ‘March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell.’ This is literally the funnest book I’ve read for ages. Mike, Lonnie and Pork Chop embark on a road trip accompanied by Cindi the bar girl. It starts to go seriously wrong after a drug and booze fuelled episode which finds them lost. When they run over a naked woman whose been beaten up and has the seven deadly sins carved into her skin, things go from bad to worse - they encounter an insane religious cult and all hell breaks loose. The characters in this book are fun for sure. But they are also fully realised, and I enjoyed the portrayal of enduring friendship in all its ugliness and glory. The writing is clean and uncluttered, and Howe and Newman obviously work well as a team. There are no pauses or breaks where you feel you’re being handed from one to the other. Howe is English, but he seems to ‘get’ something about American culture that he translates onto the page in all his work, and this book is no exception. It’s all written tongue in cheek but actually the fanatical zealots are pretty scary and well thought out and there are some pretty deep moments between our motley cru. It’s horror I think, and it’s full of gore and pulse racing moments. It’s also got clever unexpected twists and turns that you won’t see coming and it’s heavy on nostalgia which I love. Go grab a copy, I mean. Metal, deranged cult, wrestling what’s not to love…

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Drenning

    Yessss! I loved everything about this book. 80s like horror. Fun read. Creepy. My kind of book. Definitely a favorite for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robert Bose

    Adam Howe and James Newman make a great team and this book is a hell of a lot of dark, dreadful fun.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Fundin

    Okay….Here we go on another wildassed adventure. A house on wheels, three mangy rednecks and a Wrestlemania road trip. I feel nothing can go wrong. ‘as I chuckle under my breath’ Some men never grow up, and Mike’s friends, Lonnie and Pork Chop are a perfect example. They decide to take a shortcut and I know nothing good can come of that, but I sure am eager to find out what kind of trouble they find. They, literally, run into the “goat”, causing a crazy band of vicious, coldblooded cultists to chas Okay….Here we go on another wildassed adventure. A house on wheels, three mangy rednecks and a Wrestlemania road trip. I feel nothing can go wrong. ‘as I chuckle under my breath’ Some men never grow up, and Mike’s friends, Lonnie and Pork Chop are a perfect example. They decide to take a shortcut and I know nothing good can come of that, but I sure am eager to find out what kind of trouble they find. They, literally, run into the “goat”, causing a crazy band of vicious, coldblooded cultists to chase them down. Have no fear. Adam has a way of taking his flawed and twisted characters and turning them into lovable friends that come through at the end, but at what cost. He kills his characters off with no shame, probably laughing with glee as Another One Bites the Dust. This action packed, fire and brimstone apocalyptic tale leaves me wondering…does anyone survive when the line between good and evil is blurred? Be careful…if you let pride…think you know it all….Arrogance is not an asset. One minute I felt the truth of it all and the next I felt I was in hell with Sam and Dean Winchester. Adam Howe shattered my expectations, leaving me loving and hating Mike and his band of misfits…and looking forward to their next twisted adventure. I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Scapegoat by Adam Howe. See more at fundinmental

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela Crawford

    Prepare yourself for a rip-roaring trip through the End of Days as seen through the eyes of three white trash heroes. This book was a ton of fun to read! I was cracking up at the antics of Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, as they try to get to WrestleMania 3 with a load of counterfeit merchandise. The ending had a twist that blew me away! Highly recommended!

  24. 4 out of 5

    thebonebreaker

    I am a huge fan of Adam Howe's work. (He has never written a bad book!) If you have read his stories before, then you know how difficult it is to peg him into one genre. This is not a problem with this book. This one is straight-up horror! (No need to worry though, as there are still plenty of Howe's signature twisted moments of humor.) As for Newman, I had not yet read anything by him, though his name has been on my radar (I own Odd Man Out, I just haven't read it yet - that's going to change.) T I am a huge fan of Adam Howe's work. (He has never written a bad book!) If you have read his stories before, then you know how difficult it is to peg him into one genre. This is not a problem with this book. This one is straight-up horror! (No need to worry though, as there are still plenty of Howe's signature twisted moments of humor.) As for Newman, I had not yet read anything by him, though his name has been on my radar (I own Odd Man Out, I just haven't read it yet - that's going to change.) The collaboration of these two authors is near perfect, and you will understand why once you have read the Story Notes (another Howe staple). On with my review. . . First, I just have to say that any book that starts off with a Stryper quote from To Hell with the Devil is a win in my book. After a completely harrowing Prologue, we are introduced to the main characters of the story - three best friends, since highschool (who formed the Metal Band Wrathbone), who are reuniting years later (the year is 1987) for an RV roadtrip to WrestleMania III (to watch the epic battle between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant). Along the way, they of course end up getting lost and end up taking a shortcut through the woods, and we all know that nothing good ever comes from doing that! Being a fellow metal-head, I immediately connected with these characters, each of whom are fleshed out enough where you truly care what happens to them. As for the story itself - it is written at a break-neck pace and ultimately hits you like a locomotive! There is an ominous, terrifying portent given half-way through the book and from there on out it becomes a rising crescendo of horrific insanity. (Chapter 47 is extremely difficult to get through!) And the end. . . I just thought to myself that Clive Barker would be proud!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marc Tams

    Dude gets dragged into one last road trip with his old metal band, encounters with insane doomsday cult ensue, plus monsters of biblical proportions. Scapegoat could be summed up that easily. However, Scapegoat is so much more than that. Scapegoat is the lines of interference on the 22 inch telly as you desperately try to adjust the tracking on the VCR. Scapegoat is those car chases you watched when you were 13 that made your blood sing. Scapegoat is the horror that you remember from that time (o Dude gets dragged into one last road trip with his old metal band, encounters with insane doomsday cult ensue, plus monsters of biblical proportions. Scapegoat could be summed up that easily. However, Scapegoat is so much more than that. Scapegoat is the lines of interference on the 22 inch telly as you desperately try to adjust the tracking on the VCR. Scapegoat is those car chases you watched when you were 13 that made your blood sing. Scapegoat is the horror that you remember from that time (ok, the 80's) when horror was fucking disturbing and frightened your little boy knickers into a shitty brown mess that you hid at the bottom of the washing basket. Howe and Newman have hit the sweet spot with this story. Thrills, drugs, RV's, ladies in denim cutoffs, guns, Pork Chop, crazies, body horror, the apocalypse, Pork Chop, 80's metal, wrestling and Pork Chop. I had so much fun reading this book. If I were to read one book again this year it would be this one. In fact I'm going to re-read it now.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frederic

    I was very lucky to get an early look at this one from Adam Howe, and James Newman. I finished it over a few nights, and I had an enormous amount of fun with the thing. It’s kind of like Judgement Night meets Race with the Devil along the backroads of my native Kentucky. There is plenty of humor, and cult action to be found in this fast paced Wrestlemania-bound tour of hell. There’s even a bit of cosmic horror thrown into the mix. I really don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling things, I was very lucky to get an early look at this one from Adam Howe, and James Newman. I finished it over a few nights, and I had an enormous amount of fun with the thing. It’s kind of like Judgement Night meets Race with the Devil along the backroads of my native Kentucky. There is plenty of humor, and cult action to be found in this fast paced Wrestlemania-bound tour of hell. There’s even a bit of cosmic horror thrown into the mix. I really don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling things, but I’ll say this: Scapegoat feels like what would happen if Joe R. Lansdale were to collaborate with John Carpenter on a film about Nicolas Cage bumping into Jim Jones and David Koresh, both in full-on last days mode, at the same time. It’s that damn magical. Powder keg kinda magical. Howe and Newman never disappoint with their solo work, and together they have become a two-person horror Voltron. You’ll like this one. I promise. And if you don’t laugh at that initial description of Pork Chop... well, then we’ll have to go our separate ways. Buy Scapegoat when it comes out in October!

  27. 5 out of 5

    A.M.G.

    Rating: 4.4 / 5 So....ahem, some notes. All of the quotes that I have outlined throughout my reading process are examples of lighthearted moments in an otherwise dark and twisted story. I'll just outline them in bold throughout my review for some lighthearted moments in an otherwise morbid commentary on an unconventional book full of...well, things that go more than "bump" in the night. "We ain't got time for this, man. I'm telling you, it was Bambi's mother. It makes you feel any better, I'll mak Rating: 4.4 / 5 So....ahem, some notes. All of the quotes that I have outlined throughout my reading process are examples of lighthearted moments in an otherwise dark and twisted story. I'll just outline them in bold throughout my review for some lighthearted moments in an otherwise morbid commentary on an unconventional book full of...well, things that go more than "bump" in the night. "We ain't got time for this, man. I'm telling you, it was Bambi's mother. It makes you feel any better, I'll make a donation to the ASPCA, first thing tomorrow." The story centers on Mike, Lonnie, P.C. (Pork Chop), and Rhonda, four people out to visit Wrestlemania III and deliver counterfeit merchandise in exchange for free ringside seats. Lonnie's the idiot behind the scheme, Mike's the reluctant friend who got dragged along, P.C.'s the no-brains man who follows Lonnie around just cause, and Rhonda's...well, she's an FBI agent who's looking to bust up their rig. The four stumble across a forest full of religious fanatics, who conduct a blood ceremony in which they sacrifice a "goat", hence the title. "'Thanks for the assist,' Lonnie said to Cyndi, as if he'd had everything under control, right up until the moment she'd saved their asses."" From there on the story takes darker and darker twists, with the gore as graphic and as "creative" as you please. More or less our four heroes(?) are on the run from these guys after they run across the "goat" (a teenage girl) and inadvertently kill the son of the leader of this religious cult--oops? From then on, it's chase after chase with tons of action, fire and shots, laced with justification and backstories for all the major characters involved, the good and the bad. "Pork Chop continued sleeping undisturbed, his snoring still audible even as World War III broke out all around him." One thing I'd like to point out is that the writing for this story is good--much better than it has any right to be, considering the content. The characters are vivid and detailed, their backstories intriguing, and there are elements to the point of religious fanaticism that were obviously inspired from real life examples of cults. Though the story in itself is unconventional, especially near the end, there's a strong sense of how the authors view the reception of these groups, something that, community-wise and how the group follows the preaching of its leader, reminds me of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. Only, this time, there seems to be no redemption for anyone in the said group. "'You die, I die!' 'Don't be a hero, man!' 'No, you dumb shit, you're blocking my way out!'" If I had to explain a reason for why I'm holding back from a five-star rating that I would otherwise give it in its particular genre and subcategory, it would have to be the ending where things get...weird. Yeah, things are weird all throughout the story, but then they get really weird in a way that's philosophically confusing. Similar to my earlier read this year of Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, near the end it goes from being realistic to something laced with magical (or, in this case, religious-damnation, I guess?) surrealism, in such a way that planes of existence seem to be mixed without little or no forewarning or earlier indication that such would be the case. And while I'm completely on board with mixing genres and adding in touches of surrealism to an otherwise boring story, in both cases of Murakami's story and this one, the realistic aspects are what made it interesting to begin with, the consequences being dire enough in and of themselves without dragging alternate universes or supernatural demons into things. So, in short, the weirder-than-weird ending is what holds me back from the full five-stars rating. “His voice wasn’t bad, a rich baritone. In fact, Mike was forced to admit, he was quite good. Not that his knack for carrying a tune made him any less crazy.” That being said though, all in all this was a great read, though it's probably going to be a one-time only read. Fortunately, I do have a strong stomach to handle things like violence, gore, and other unpleasant topics as long as I'm reading them, but if this book was ever transferred to the big screen...yeah, I'd shudder and cringe at the thought of watching it, so no thanks. Recommendation-wise, if you're into really hard and heavy stuff and like references to 80s rock and metal (I'm more of a 60s-70s girl myself, but I understood enough references not to feel like a total newbie), and don't mind the blood and gore that comes along with a horror story and a questionable ending, then you'll like this fine. For anyone who's not ready for the dark side of things though, this is one of those things that go bump in the night that you'll want to avoid.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews

    I'm familiar with Adam Howe and James Newman's work, and I know what they are compable of. I also know they're both wrestling fans. I'm a huge 80s and 90s wrestling fan. So, when I started reading SCAPEGOAT, I thought I was going to be ring side at Wrestlemania III. You know, the one where Hulk Hogan body slams Andre the Giant, sending Hulkamania into a frenzy. But I got an even better experience than that with SCAPEGOAT. An experience only Howe and Newman can concoct. Three friends, Mike Rawson I'm familiar with Adam Howe and James Newman's work, and I know what they are compable of. I also know they're both wrestling fans. I'm a huge 80s and 90s wrestling fan. So, when I started reading SCAPEGOAT, I thought I was going to be ring side at Wrestlemania III. You know, the one where Hulk Hogan body slams Andre the Giant, sending Hulkamania into a frenzy. But I got an even better experience than that with SCAPEGOAT. An experience only Howe and Newman can concoct. Three friends, Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveraux, Pork Chop, and Cindi, a random bar girl, take a thrilling RV road trip to Wrestlemania III. There's more to the bar girl than meets the eye. The guys dip into the drugs and alcohol and take an ill-conceived detour through the backwoods of Kentucky. It doesn't take long for them to get lost in the sticks. To make matters worse, Lonnie accidentally runs over a lady running for her life. The guys find themselves in a bleek situation. The lady is carved up with the seven deadly sins. The guys check on her, and find themselves in the sights of her captors. It turns out, the men chasing her are local redneck cultists and she is their sacrificial scapegoat. I didn't know what a sacrificial scapegoat was until I read this book. My mind exploded, folks. Things get worse for our protagonists. They are thrown into the bowels of the backwoods town. The cult comprises the townsfolk and nowhere is safe. SCAPEGOAT is an engrossing read. Adam Howe and James Newman do a splendid job of creating an ultra-violent hillbilly horror story. Even though Adam Howe is British, he still vividly captures the Kentucky backcountry. James Newman brings the empathy. He makes you empathize with the deranged hicks. And there's a good reason for their unhinged and off-kilter behavior. You will want to slice out a good hour or two to read this one. SCAPEGOAT grabs you by the collar and refuses to let go until you've turned the last page. From start to finish, there's not a dull moment in this book. The story is brutal and the ending is devastating. Just when you think the worst is behind the protagonists, Howe and Newman pour on the gore. There were times when I had to shut the book, so I could regain my composure. SCAPEGOAT is a fierce read. Don't forget to read the author's notes. There's some great stuff in there, guys. There's also a great playlist to SCAPEGOAT. I've been listening to those songs all afternoon whilst writing this review. If you've never read either author, then SCAPEGOAT is a great place to start reading. Howe and Newman keep getting better with every release. I look forward to reading their future work. Strongly Recommend!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lance Dale

    Wow, what a fun ride! Heavy metal, 80s wrestling, and crazy cults!? The chefs who prepared this recipe of awesomeness did an amazing job. This book has the perfect mix of horror and humor and you will not want to put it down.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark Allen

    If you're looking for a nice, safe, languidly-paced, life-affirming read to help you escape from the dark horrors of the world ... well, this ain't it. 'Cause this sucker will leave scars on your eyeballs, folks. Howe and Newman ain't playin'. Warn your friends and hide your puppies. Despite the moments of outrageous, "oh-no-he-didn't" humor--an Adam Howe trademark--this is ferocious, FUBAR horror fiction that goes for the jugular with its teeth bared. It reads like a cross between "Judgment Nigh If you're looking for a nice, safe, languidly-paced, life-affirming read to help you escape from the dark horrors of the world ... well, this ain't it. 'Cause this sucker will leave scars on your eyeballs, folks. Howe and Newman ain't playin'. Warn your friends and hide your puppies. Despite the moments of outrageous, "oh-no-he-didn't" humor--an Adam Howe trademark--this is ferocious, FUBAR horror fiction that goes for the jugular with its teeth bared. It reads like a cross between "Judgment Night" and "Red State" and if you don't think that sounds like must-read fiction, then you're browsing in the wrong section of the bookstore. Howe and Newman have created a howling good literary masterpiece here. Yes, I said masterpiece. Forget "War & Peace," THIS is the kind of book they should be teaching in English class. And that ending ... without giving anything away, let's just say the ending will hit you in the nuts like an uppercut from a pissed off gorilla. Thank God these two twisted horror twins had the balls to take the road less traveled. Bottom line is, you don't want to let this goat get away. Crank up some '80s metal, suck some suds from a beer helmet, and then just sit back and enjoy the blood-soaked craziness.

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