The Preserve: Patrick Lestewka
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Most in the horror world know the name Nick Cutter, author of ‘The Troop’. Most even know that Nick Cutter is the pseudonym of Craig Davidson. Many will even know that Craig Davidson also used the name Patrick Lestewka to release a handful of extreme horror releases at the start of the 2000’s. The two most commonly known ones are ‘The Preserve’ and ‘The Coliseum.’ There are some rumours about a book Davidson himself said was so depraved it would never see the light of day, but whether that was going to be a Lestewka or Cutter book appears to be up for debate.
What I liked: the synopsis for this one had me very intrigued. Twenty years after serving in Vietnam together a squad is recruited to track some prisoners in the Canadian Wilderness. This book started out incredibly gritty and grimy and Lestweka’s Vietnam segment would have made an outstanding war-horror book by themselves. Things take an odd turn though, once they have landed in the snowy wild.
What I didn’t like: The turn the book took. This felt like two books mashed into a single release and I kind of wish the crew would’ve just stayed in Vietnam and then reunited to talk old war stories. The action here is great and the carnage is fantastic, but the ‘what’ just turned me off. Some of what happened felt cheesy and it was hard for me to take a few of the folks they battle seriously.
Why you should buy it: two reasons really. The first reason would be the Vietnam segment and what results from that is fantastic. Lestewka had such a great take on PTSD and how they each combated its effects. The second reason would be the ‘historical’ sentiment. If you are a fan of Davidson and/or Cutter, then you’ll want to check this out for curiosities sake. I have ‘The Coliseum’ as well and I’ll be deep-diving into that soon.
In the summer of 1967, seven men, members of an elite combat unit, embarked on a covert operation in the jungles of Vietnam. Two died. The survivors were forever changed.
Twenty years later, the remaining unit members receive a letter from an anonymous benefactor, along with a check for $50,000 and a promise of more to follow—if they agree to one final mission. Their task is simple: journey to the wilds of northern Canada to track down and kill three escaped convicts. The convicts are starving and unarmed. Easy money. A cakewalk.
But they have no idea what lays in wait on the snow-topped tundras and in the dark forests of the frozen north. Waiting with sharp teeth and slitted eyes and an old score to settle.
They have no idea.
But they will.
They have entered…THE PRESERVE
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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