Welcome to the Murder in Montague Falls blog tour! I’d like to thank Blackthorn Book Tours for inviting me to participate. Be sure to check out the book and the other stops on the tour!
WHITE HOT THRILLS! PITCH BLACK DEEDS!
3 TALES OF TEENS TACKLING THEIR DARKEST RITES OF PASSAGE
Acclaimed storytellers Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas each present an original novella brimming with enough danger, intrigue, and murder to get readers’ blood pounding and hearts racing.
In Colchamiro’s RED INK, a paperboy with an overactive imagination witnesses a brutal killing on his route—or has he taken his fantasy spy games a step too far?
In Hatton’s THE DEVIL’S DELINQUENTS, a trio of teenage misfits in pursuit of success, power, and revenge practice amateurish occult rituals…with deadly consequences.
In Thomas’s A MANY SPLENDID THING, a sultry high school teacher enrolls one of her students to get rid of her husband. But will the young man really graduate to murder?
- Title: Murder in Montague Falls
- Authors: Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas
- Cover Artist: Milan Jovanovic, art; Aaron Rosenberg, design
- Publisher: Crazy 8 Press
- ISBN: 9780998364186
- Publication Date: October 1, 2019
- Content warnings: ableism and use of the “r” word (both challenged), child abuse
I’d like to thank Blackthorn Book Tours and Crazy 8 Press for providing a copy in exchange for review consideration.
Murder in Montague Falls is a set of three noir novellas set in the title town that explores adolescent firsts in different decades. The young characters experience their first kisses, their first loves…and their first murders. The stories prove that sometimes small-town paranoia is justified, as the teens deal with crimes related to the Cold War, Satanic Panic, and good old-fashioned greed. Though the three stories are quite different from one another, they each stay true to their noir roots, emphasizing the cruel irony of fate and the boundless evil that lives in human hearts.
The first novella, Red Ink, is probably my favorite of the three. It has the most twists and turns of the collection, following a paper boy in the ’80s who sees Communist spies everywhere he looks. As someone who ran around her neighborhood as a kid with a spy notebook and binoculars, I probably enjoyed this one the most because of how much I related to the protagonist. (Though, to be clear, I was never hunting Communists.) Next up is The Devil’s Delinquents, a gory look at ’90s Satan worshippers who turn out to be a little too enthusiastic about doing their master’s bidding. Being a noir collection, all of the endings are dark, but this one had the most acerbic finale by far. The book ends with A Many Splendid Thing ([sic]—the expression is “love is a many-splendored thing,” not a many splendid thing). This is the most straight-up noir story of the bunch, telling the tale of a ’50s teenager who will do anything for love and the conniving woman who’s eager to test that claim. It was also the most derivative of the bunch, so I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the others. Still, it was nice and bleak…the reader sees the freight train speeding toward the protagonist from the very beginning and can only watch helplessly as it inevitably barrels into him.
If you’re a fan of crime or noir fiction, this is a good collection to check out: it has suspense, narrative twists, and cruelly ironic endings that will satisfy those looking for a grim read. Tying the stories together by using the same setting (and by occasionally referring to events of the previous stories, establishing urban legends that remind people of their own towns’ sordid pasts) reinforce the idea that human failings are universal. We’re all capable of greed, weakness, lust, rage…and quite possibly murder.
I give this book 3.5 out of 5 coffins.