Book Reviews

{Review} THE MOTHER, by Brett McBean

{Review} THE MOTHER, by Brett McBeanTHE MOTHER by Brett McBean
Published by Cemetery Dance Publications on September 25, 2016
Genres: Crime, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Horror
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
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Hitchhiking along the Hume Highway, a woman searches for the man who killed her daughter. Her only clue—left in her daughter’s final phone message—is that the man has a tattoo on his left arm saying "Die Mother."

With her daughter dead and with nothing to live for, the mother is on a path of self-destruction. Consumed by guilt and the desire for revenge, her personality and appearance begin to alter. Becoming almost wild, she forgets her real name and where she used to live and work.

Each driver she meets on her dangerous journey could be the killer—and each lift she accepts could be her last.

THE MOTHER, by Brett McBean, was a highly psychological horror story that branched into scenes of brutality, torture, frustration, kindness, and uncertainty–all in the confines of one novel.

“. . . besides, doesn’t everybody have a story to tell?”

When a mother’s only daughter goes hitchhiking along the highway to meet the father she’s never known, it ends in a nightmare–with her body being found days later.

“. . . A highway is the most traveled place, but least seen . . .”

The internal struggle the mother faces is one that she can never win. Consumed by guilt for not being there when her beloved Rebecca needed her the most, she choses to leave her old life behind forever, in order to travel the strip of highway that her daughter was taken from. Somehow, she hopes to find the man responsible, and doesn’t care if she has to die while trying.

“. . . You talk about choice and how everyone should take responsibility for their lives, but life isn’t that cut and dry. Sometimes you don’t choose the life you lead, it chooses you . . . “

At its core, this is a tale of the relentless guilt the mother places upon herself for her daughter’s nightmarish murder, and the obsession that takes over her “former” life. She becomes: “. . . merely a shell, existing for the sake of existing. . . not really living . . .” This is her choice–what she feels she must do. She is well aware that each man she meets “may” be Rebecca’s murderer, and each ride she takes could lead to her own demise.

There’s also the chance that she will never find closure.

Overall, I found this to be a fantastic example of “true” psychological horror, and one that I simply couldn’t get out of my mind once I’d finished.


About Brett McBean

Brett McBean was born and raised in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. A child of the ’80s, he grew up on a steady diet of He-Man cartoons, Steven Spielberg movies and audio tapes such as Summer Hits ’88. And yet, somehow he managed to turn out normal (well, kinda…). He started playing the drums at age ten and after high school, studied music at Box Hill College, one of Victoria’s most renowned music schools, where he earned an Advanced Diploma. Shortly after completing the music degree, he turned his attention towards writing, and he now prefers to pound the keyboard rather than the drums.

His books, which include The Mother, The Last Motel, The Awakening and the Wolf Creek prequel novel, Desolation Game (co-written with director/screenwriter Greg McLean), have been published in Australia, the US, and Germany, and he’s been nominated for the Aurealis, Ditmar, and Ned Kelly awards. He won the 2011 Australian Shadows Award for his collection, Tales of Sin and Madness. He has a keen interest in true crime, in particular the infamous Jack the Ripper murders of 1888, and most of his fiction deals with true-life horrors, often using real-life crimes as a basis for his stories. He still lives in the wilds of Melbourne with his wife, daughter and German shepherd.


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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