Benny Rose, The Cannibal King: Hailey Piper
Reviewed By Steve Stred
This is my third full-length read of Hailey Piper’s and she’s easily catapulted into a must-read author for me. I first fell into her dark worlds with ‘The Possession of Natalie Glasgow’ last year. It was a completely unexpected gem and one that totally caught me off guard. It made Piper’s name one that I would anticipate just what would come next.
Then Demain Publishing released book #33 in its Short Sharp Shocks! series – from Hailey called ‘An Invitation to Darkness.’ (Side note – I do have a release out through Demain in that series. I read and reviewed Piper’s release well before my release was accepted.)
Then Eddie Generous and Unnerving announced their open call for the exciting Rewind or Die series. A throwback to the type of VHS movies fans of the horror genre would want to rent on a Friday night.
‘Benny Rose, the Cannibal King,’ is the first one in this series I’ve read, but it absolutely won’t be the last. This was both a fantastic slasher/gorey/folklorish story, but also another leap forward for Piper.
We are transported into a small town – no mall, no theatre, no future. But – the kids all live for Halloween. You see, the entire town gets excited and decorates. The town also has its own urban legend/folklore tale – Benny Rose. Some say he has a hook instead of a hand, some say he wears a suit, but everyone can agree that he only comes out on Halloween night and devours kids.
Piper sets up the back story deftly but also plops us into the action immediately. There’s a new girl, one that rumours have been spread about, who a group of friends decide to play a Halloween prank on.
So the scene is set, the characters descend on the new girl’s home and then – all hell breaks loose.
This one hums along and I would have read it in one sitting if I didn’t have so many books on the go! As the story unfolds, as we would hope, the body count increases and things grow more and more horrible.
I loved every bit of this release. Hailey created some great characters, ones we want to see live, others we want to see get devoured and a creature in Benny Rose that was just repulsively delicious.
Looking forward, as always, to her next release, but now I’m really excited to see what else Unnerving and Rewind or Die has coming down the pipeline!
Benny Rose, The Cannibal King
Blackwood, Vermont has one legend to its name—Benny Rose, the Cannibal King. Every local kid knows him and tells his stories, especially on Halloween. When a new girl moves to town in the autumn of 1987, the legend inspires high school junior Desiree St. Fleur and her friends to pull a Benny Rose-themed prank. A few laughs and screams, and they’ll have a Happy Halloween.
But a vicious storm crashes into Blackwood and interrupts the festivities. Soon the girls find themselves trapped and hunted in a strange neighborhood where no one will help them. There’s nothing made-up about Benny Rose this Halloween night. The truth is coming, and it’s hungry.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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