Horror on steroids

Let’s have some fun!

Today I’m reviewing Fresh Meat by Carolyn McCray

I’ll warn you right now this is not a scary story. This is a can’t catch your breath, squirm in your seat, all out horror fest with a cast of characters that Bundy or Gacy would feel right at home with!


**Warning, this book is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. The gore level is a cross between Saw and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Much of Fresh Meat is set in a dungeon filled with vicious serial killers. It isn’t a matter of when blood will spill, it is how much.

No kidding!

Poor Evie. Never in a million years could her mind have imagined what’s happening to her now.

The night started out well enough. She hung out with her co-workers at the nightclub, enjoying herself for the most part. When they all want to move on to the next club, Evie declines. She’s had enough of the smoke and noise. Despite Nancy’s urging to catch a taxi, Evie elects to walk home. It’ll clear her head and her lungs.

She should have taken the taxi. With little warning, she’s grabbed, dragged into the alley, and  knocked out by a chemical filled rag pressed tightly over her mouth and nose. Her world fades to black.

alcatraz photo: Alcatraz alcatraz.jpg

She comes to in what looks like a prison. There are cells on each side of the room. In those cells are men. Dangerous men.

This book had me thinking “SAW” or “DEXTER” on steroids. Some sick twist gathers a bunch of serial killers, controls them with metal shock collars, and brings in a plaything for them to fight over. He randomly opens cell doors and watches as the poor sap tries to survive.

Just imagine being kidnapped and used as fresh meat for a bunch of rapists, murderers, and worse. Oh Yeah, there is worse. One of these guys is a cannibal.

There’s no way out, cameras are watching your every move and then the games begin.

When the cell doors open and the serial killers emerge from their cells, the only reason Evie survives is they are busy fighting each other over who gets her first. The big guy, Clyde, only wants her top half. Back Door wants her fighting and screaming, and Andrew wants to be friends before he kills her.

She’s lucky when she gets knocked into Darion’s cell. He makes no move to hurt her and  the others won’t enter his cell. They’re all afraid of him. You see, he only kills men. Maybe if she’s grateful they can come to an arrangement. Her options are slim to none.

Oh, what a twisted, shocking, psychological, read this was. What made it even better was the writing. The author had me worrying about how bad it was going to get. And it got bad. I like how she had me actually liking something about a few of these guys. She must have done a lot of research into the psychology of serial killers.

You’ve heard it said so many times, “He was such a nice guy, I never would have believed he could do something like this.” I watch the show ID often, and it’s surprising how often the killer is someone no one would suspect. Someone the victim knew well.

I, for one, will be looking over my shoulder, peering  into dark recesses, and never walking alone at night after reading this. It’s my wake up call.

You just never know what or who is out there, waiting to snatch you up for a little fun and games called murder.

scared woman photo: Color Splash Comic option3.jpg  Kudos for freakin me out!

About the author

Image of Carolyn McCray

Carolyn has had a long and extremely interesting road to become a bestseller.

When she head to veterinary school those many years ago she had no idea decades later she would be writing controversial historical thrillers, gut wrenching mysteries and roller coaster-style action/adventure tales!

Born in San Francisco and raised in the beautiful Napa Valley, Carolyn always had an overactive imagination. As a child you could usually find her dragging the neighborhood children out to the haunted barn to make her Nancy Drew-style audio tapes. Oh and did she mention, there was an entire life-sized recreation of the nativity scene in the rafters? Yeah, that wasn’t just a little creepy.

Which of course was great practice for writing such blockbusters as Plain Jane: A Patterson-style thriller with a dash of Hannibal and 30 Pieces of Silver: An Extremely Controversial Historical Thriller.

Carolyn is honored to have a seven book contract with Amazon’s mystery and thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer along with being one of the eight books during the inaugural launch of Amazon’s new Serial program (9th Circle).

With over 250,000 books sold, Carolyn now lives on a beautiful lake in the Pacific Northwest where the fog rolls in over the water, snuffing out all signs of life around her. Yep, she still loves the creepy!

To purchase the book click on the cover

Carolyn has written many books. Go here to see more.


Review: Apostle Rising

Apostle Rising
Richard Godwin

Detective Chief Inspector Frank Castle never caught the Woodlands Killer and it almost destroyed him. Now years later, mauled by the press and traumatised by nightmares, he is faced with a copycat killer with detailed inside knowledge of the original case.

He and his partner DI Jacki Stone enter a deadly labyrinth, and at its centre is the man Castle believes was responsible for the first killings. He’s running a sinister cult and playing dark mind games with the police. The investigation has a shattering effect on the lives of Castle and Stone. The killer is crucifying politicians, and he keeps raising the stakes and slipping through their hands. Dark coded ritualistic killings are being carried out on high profile figures and the body count is rising. Castle employs a brilliant psychologist to help him solve the case, and he begins to dig into the killer’s psyche. But some psychopaths are cleverer than others.

Review: Godwin offers a brutal tale of murder, trauma and heartbreaking suffering. Castle and Stone face a villain whose chutzpah is matched only by his malevolence — and his seeming inability to get caught. Castle, haunted by the elusive killer years before, has been consumed by the case, drinking his way out of his marriage and nearly his job. Stone finds herself slipping toward the same fate, and begins fighting her way back from it. The addition of a second set of serial murders seems impossibly vicious — the only thing worse is that the two killers seem to be working in concert.

Not for the faint of heart, Apostle Rising offers a bloody bouquet of excruciating murders and bizarre religious mania. Right down to the final, cruel twist of discovery, each page offers more horror. But you read on in hopes that Castle and Stone will survive ad that they will finally stop the unrepentant mastermind behind the crimes. Prepare your heart for darkness — and like most of the characters in this book, you’ll probably want a strong glass of something to help you bear it.

~ K. A. Laity

A Serial Killer’s Unraveling

Serial killers are a morbid curiosity for many people. The most often asked question is, “Why are they the way they are?”

Ted Bundy, one of America’s most infamous serial killers, was asked this question by Dr. Robert D. Keppel, the man who took his confession, and by Anne Rule, the true crime author who knew Bundy personally.

His answer, “It’s just the way I am. It is what I do,” only raises more questions. There are no real answers to be had.

Obsessed, by Rick R. Reed, is the story of serial killer Joe MacAree.

Like a lot of psychopaths, Joe has a successful job, is happily married, and is well-respected and liked by many. No one would suspect the twisted, dark compulsion that drives him to kill again and again. Everyone has heard the comment, “He was such a nice guy, I never would have believed it.”

He wants to stop. Each kill puts him at risk of being caught. His fear of exposure is well founded.

When Randy Mazursky discovers his pregnant wife’s mutilated body, he disconnects from reality and becomes consumed with vengeance. If he can figure out the connection between the killer and evidence that was left behind, there will be no mercy.

Bad luck or Karma comes calling on Joe. It was only a matter of time. His wife knows something is wrong and begins to question his absences.

Then there’s Pat Young. Wheelchair bound and a recluse, Pat lives across the street from Joe’s latest victim and witnesses his exit from the crime scene. She now knows who he is and puts the screws to him. Now he is no longer in control.

Joe starts to unravel. He can no longer govern his evil urges.

At risk of losing his job, his wife, his freedom and his sanity, if he ever really was sane, Joe starts to lose it. He is not in control of his sick, driven needs any more. The noose is tightening around his neck and he begins to crack under the pressure.

Obsessed is psychological horror at it’s best. Told from the killer’s point of view, I sometimes found myself feeling sorry for Joe as this pressure-cooker builds and builds and finally boils over. I felt his desperation. Several times I thought to myself, “Wait a minute, this is a sadistic serial killer we’re talking about!”  The author had me so caught up in Joe’s plight, I had to stop and remind myself of just what he was, the bad guy.

If that was the author’s intent, it was very successful.

Read Obsessed, meet Joe, and see into the dark, convoluted mind of a serial killer. Experience his hideous past and discover what drives him to kill.

An excellent, brilliantly executed thriller.

Rick R. Reed is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas and short stories ranging from suspense/mystery to thrillers, horror, paranormal, romance and gay/lesbian. He is a two-time EPIC e-book Award winner (for Orientation and Blue Moon Cafe).  Lambda Literary Review has called him, ” a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

For more about Rick and his books:




A few of Rick’s many books, just click on the images to purchase them.

Review: Requiem in E Sharp

Requiem in E Sharp by Joan De La Haye (Fox Spirit Books)

Blurb: Sundays in Pretoria are dangerous for selected women.

A murderer plagued by his childhood, has found a distinctive modus operandi to salve his pathological need to escape the domination of the person who was supposed to cherish him.

As The Bathroom Strangler’s frenzy escalates and the body count mounts, Nico van Staaden, the lead detective on the case, finds himself confronting his own demons as he struggles to solve the murders of the seemingly unconnected victims. The lack of evidence in the sequence of deaths and pressure from his superiors are challenges he must overcome.

Review: In Requiem in E Sharp De La Haye offers up a chilling look not only at a hate-filled serial killer but at the grim world of modern South Africa. In her novel we glimpse a Pretoria that’s filled with random violence, police corruption and internecine mistrust between racial groups. The book is dedicated to her brother Johan, “who survived 17 bullets.” Against this backdrop a serial killer finds it easy to get away with a string of violent deaths for some time before the police put together the clues — and then elude capture when the lead detective finds himself hampered at every turn by incompetence and outright hostility from his colleagues. Add to the mix his new relationship with Janet, a strikingly beautiful woman but one who’s also wrapped up in her recently suicidal friend Natalie and her often overbearing partner Louis. The women want the guys to get along, the better to patch over the strains of their past. De La Haye offers up a story of twists and psychological turns that will keep you entertained.

~ K. A. Laity