Hammers On Bone: Cassandra Khaw
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Book Content Warning: Spousal and child abuse • assault
Cassandra Khaw is an author who frequently gets recommended to me, but for one reason or another, I still haven’t read their work.
I fixed that today, with Tor offering a digital copy of ‘Hammers On Bone.’ The synopsis was intriguing and the cover was stunning – consider me hooked.
I was excited to dive in and see what type of Lovecraftian horror Khaw was serving up and boy was it ever served.
What I liked: The story follows private investigator John Persons who is hired by a ten-year-old boy to kill his stepdad. He tells Persons that his stepdad is actually a monster and Persons knows this to be true.
From there we get a rollicking tale as Persons tracks down the stepdad and we discover that not everything we see is what it is. We get some fantastic creepy moments, really dark sections and of course a healthy splattering of tentacles and creatures.
I really loved the fast-paced story and we move around the streets with ease, each new place visited offering up more and more regarding the story but also the overarching mythos that is at the heart of the hunt. The character of Abel was really well done and the familial relationship aspect was executed perfectly.
The ending was fantastic and with this being labelled book one following Persons, I’d be excited to see what we discover in future releases.
What I didn’t like: I really wasn’t a fan of Persons dialogue and 50’s jargon. I get that it had to do with his body being stuck in a time due to what’s happened to him, but it was grating throughout.
Why you should buy this: Khaw’s delivered a really engrossing novella, one that has some fantastic creature moments and is filled with darkness and brutality. I really had a fun time with this one.
Hammers On Bone
John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He’s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid’s stepdad, McKinsey. The man in question is abusive, abrasive, and abominable.
He’s also a monster, which makes Persons the perfect thing to hunt him. Over the course of his ancient, arcane existence, he’s hunted gods and demons, and broken them in his teeth.
As Persons investigates the horrible McKinsey, he realizes that he carries something far darker. He’s infected with an alien presence, and he’s spreading that monstrosity far and wide. Luckily Persons is no stranger to the occult, being an ancient and magical intelligence himself. The question is whether the private dick can take down the abusive stepdad without releasing the holds on his own horrifying potential.
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.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can follow Steve on Instagram @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here