King Carrion: Rich Hawkins
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Recently, I dove into the stunning ‘The Cold‘ by Rich Hawkins. A brutal slab of blackened horror set in an unexpected winter snowstorm, I simply couldn’t put it down. Once I was finished, I knew I wanted to read another Hawkins book.
Some time back, Sinister Horror Company had reached out to Kendall Reviews and offered some of their back catalog for us to review. I chose ‘King Carrion,’ but I really struggle to force myself to enjoy any vampire related stuff lately. After I posted my review of ‘The Cold‘ a lot of folks said I needed to read ‘King Carrion.’
So, I put aside my mental prejudice and decided I’d dive in.
What I liked: ‘King Carrion‘ is horrifically brutal. The story follows Mason, recently released from incarceration after causing a car accident, he travels to his former wife’s home to try and reconcile. Once there, he finds her cold and unforgiving, throwing him headfirst into homelessness. That night, he meets another drifter.
The start of the story is straight forward. Once our friend, Mason, ends up at a flophouse, Hawkins decides to thrust this small town into total chaos and carnage. The deaths are repulsive and so well done that I needed to keep reading, wanting to see just how someone would be eviscerated next.
Hawkins really does have an easy way of telling a story. We quickly grow to root for Mason, even after knowing what happened to send him to jail.
What I didn’t like: NOT ENOUGH OF KING CARRION!!! The vamps in here are creepy as hell, we know that King Carrion wants to meet this Mason human, someone who keeps surviving. When the time actually comes, things happen so fast and the epilogue doesn’t do us any favors.
Why you should buy this: Hawkins is a fantastic writer and I’m glad I read this. While I typically don’t look forward to reading vampire fiction, if he was to write a sequel to this, I would absolutely read it. The book is a quick read, and if you love gruesome, blood-soaked deaths, you’ll get your fill in this.
In a town in southern England, people are going missing.
Mason, a homeless ex-con, arrives in the town to beg his wife for a second chance and atone for past mistakes.
A vampire god once worshipped by ancient Britons has awoken from hibernation and plans to turn Great Britain into a vampire isle. But first, people of the town must be converted, and the gospel spread.
Within a week, the town is quarantined by the military, and the nights belong to the undead.
There will be no escape for the survivors.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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