Book Reviews

Muerte Con Carne by Shane McKenzie

Review by Kais

Blurb: The no-man’s land on the United States/Mexico border is the perfect place for getting away with any crime. With the right connections and with the right amount of money you can run drugs, smuggle people, commit murder, and do much worse.

Felix and Marta came to Mexico to film a documentary on illegal immigration. When Marta suddenly goes missing, Felix must find his lost love in the small border town. A dangerous place housing corrupt cops, borderline maniacs, drug gangs and something much worse… something to do with a strange Mexican food cart…

From Shane McKenzie, one of the most imaginative new voices in horror comes a south-of-the-border Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Review:  This was my first introduction to Shane McKenzie, and although I’m slightly afraid he’s going to suplex me to death for this review, I have to admit to being underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong: McKenzie can write. His prose flows well, his descriptions are certainly detailed enough, and the idea here – a Mexican riff on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, minus the actual chainsaw – is intriguing.

However, his characterisations left me cold. The two mains are incredibly frustrating and equally unlikeable, though for very different reasons. And I didn’t buy the dynamic between them, not by the third time Felix was expressing his love for someone who was simply hot, but seemed to have few redeemable qualities beyond that. The villains are pretty much by-the-numbers for this type of material, and their perspective is limited in any case. The pacing of the novella is also very slow. Aside from a few teases, more than half the run time here is filled with arguments, make ups and then more arguments. Rinse. Repeat. Sure, when the gore finally hits, it’s visceral enough, but for me, it was too little, too late.

2 slimy tacos for Muerte Con Carne.

I have an incurable book addiction and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I will buy a book based on its cover alone. I love promoting authors. I am... the Ultimate Reader.

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