I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.BROKEN SHELLS by Michael Patrick Hicks
Published by High Fever Books on February 6, 2018
Genres: Creature Feature, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Supernatural, Thriller
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Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore. Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keep them hidden, but occasionally sacrifices are required, sacrifices who are penniless, desperate, and who will not be missed. Sacrifices exactly like DeWitt. When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle’s secrets do not kill him first.
BROKEN SHELLS, by Michael Patrick Hicks is an adrenaline-fueled, no punches pulled, onslaught of gruesome action! I’ve read several other titles by this author, and can honestly say that I find his style both original and consistently good. Here we have Antoine DeWitt, a man who is working hard to overcome a minor criminal past, and take care of his wife and baby boy. When a ticket from Dangle’s car dealership–on the far outskirts of town–comes in the mail, he is stunned–and naturally dubious of–his $5000 win.
After all, there’s always a catch.
Literally commanded by “his girl” to make the journey “just to see”, Antoine sets out.
“. . . despite how overwhelming his home life was, he honestly did love his girl and his baby boy . . . “
Unfortunately for Antoine, the Dangle brothers, Jon and Jensen, are the descendants of Native American “gatekeepers”, who are tasked with keeping a certain . . . species . . . safe and secured away from the rest of the world. That responsibility comes with–other–duties.
“. . . We keep them fed.”
Hicks does an amazing job of bringing Antoine’s character to life! Even when things quickly go to hell, we continue to learn about–and root for–his perseverance, not to mention, his sanity. On the proverbial “other side”, even the elder Dangle brother’s motives are understandable in the context of the story. They are just as trapped in their lives–albeit in another way–as Antoine is.
“. . . Nobody wanted murders or abductions, but the stories gave them an entertaining outlet to stoke and stave their worries upon.”
What really makes this story stand out so vividly to me is Hicks’ imagination and his mind-bending descriptions of the . . . inhabitants . . . and their domain underneath the remote car dealership. Infusing Native American lore and creation myths, we are introduced to this bloodthirsty, savage new species. While they brought to mind some great Lovecraftian elements, these creatures–and their unique behaviors–are something entirely distinctive in their own right.
Overall, an amazing tale of what “could be” lurking right underneath you, of one man’s unfortunate luck, and those tasked with “keeping the balance” in check.
“. . . All he had to do was make it home . . . “
Another hit from author Michael Patrick Hicks! I’m looking forward to what tales his twisted imagination brings us next.
*** I have to mention the incredible cover, created by Kealan Patrick Burke. The details are not only perfect for the story, but are chilling enough to give one nightmares before even reading the book! ***
About Michael Patrick Hicks
ABOUT MICHAEL PATRICK HICKS
Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of a number of speculative fiction titles. His debut novel, Convergence, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist. His latest release is the subterranean horror novella, Broken Shells.
He has written for the Audiobook Reviewer and Graphic Novel Reporter websites, in addition to working as a freelance journalist and news photographer.
In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.