I KILL IN PEACE by Hunter Shea
Hunter Shea is one of my current favorite authors out there. His style is easy access, yet fun and exhilarating. I tend to love the majority of his characters and look to his latest works for action-packed, character-driven horror.
That brings us to his latest (and last) for Samhain Publishing, I Kill in Peace.
This novella is about a man named, Peter, and the sudden twist in his ordinary life. He gets a tip from someone referring to themselves as AO (I couldn’t help but think of Rocky saying that to Pauly–AO, Pauly, it don’t have to be that way…). AO’s “you’re about to get canned” tip comes true and he finds himself heading home that afternoon jobless and trying to figure out how to tell his wife. Peter thinks somebody is messing with him. Well, AO is just getting started.
Killing in the name of….now you do what they told ya….
AO starts sending Peter out on missions of death. His targets are pretty unsavory, but still, take a normal guy and set him out to kill? What the hell? Peter has a wife and daughter at home that he loves very much. Shea did a decent job in setting it up to be reasonable as to why Peter would obey AO’s commands, but I’m not sure I would have followed any of these orders were it real life. But for the sake of fiction, it works.
There’s plenty of brutal stuff going on in here, and being that it is a novella, the set-ups are quick and delivered upon just as quickly. That’s not to say that they come across forced, it just moves at a lightening-quick pace. You do get a good dose of blood and satisfying kills here, for sure.
As for the characters in this one…I thought Peter was done well, but that doesn’t mean I cared for him. He’s crafted well, I just didn’t like him all that much. As I said, prior to AO’s involvement, Peter is pretty ho-hum/ordinary. The wife and daughter are definitely side characters here just to show Peter’s motivations. and that works. AO is pretty straight forward, but definitely an enigma. You have to find out who it is. And Shea does a great job setting that under your skin like a nice juicy tick.
My only real, not really problem, but just kind of huh? moments are the sex scenes. Alone, they work great. Hunter works them as well and as effortlessly as Richard Laymon. That’s a good thing. My issue was that they just felt out of place in this story. Again, reader’s preference here, others will have no qualm with their inclusion and probably get off to Shea’s Laymon-esque stroke. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
And who is this “AO” that is giving these orders? And why the hell is Peter listening? Here’s where I KiIl in Peace gets an A in concept! While it takes a while to get there. I loved the idea of this book. I won’t give it away. You have to pick it up and read it for yourselves.
The execution had its ups and downs for me, but overall, behind a very strong idea, I KILL IN PEACE is totally worth the read.
I give I KILL IN PEACE 3.5 stars!
Synopsis for I Kill In Peace
- Publication Date: April 12, 2016
- Publisher: Samhain
- Publication Length: 104 pages
Killing gets easier…with practice.
Peter Blades is, in every sense of the word, an ordinary man. Hard worker, father, husband, a man content with small-town life. Except for one small fact—he’s slowly being turned into a ruthless killer.
Compelled by mysterious texts to murder, he’s provided a fiery red Mustang and an ancient sword to carry out an ever-growing hit list. His jerkoff boss is victim number one. You always remember your first.
By the time his sword sings through the air to dispatch a would-be school shooter, taking lives is as easy as breathing. And if the world is going to hell around him, all the better. No one wants to burn alone.
Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.
Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel,Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”
Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.
He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.
Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.
Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.
Praise for Hunter Shea
“This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster
“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre
“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast
Want to Feature Hunter Shea?
If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Hunter Shea, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: firstname.lastname@example.org