The Summer I Died - Ryan C. Thomas
Stunning, brutal and not for the faint hearted...but if you like your horror on the extreme then come right in the waters warm!! At the end of the book there is a lovely quote which to me puts this story into some kind of perspective..." I didn't know why. Because everyone has a purpose, right? Because we're all part of God's master plan, a master plan that lets evil men take away the lives of innocent people, that lets some of us live while our friends and loved ones die before our eyes. Or maybe because God's just up there rolling some dice, using us as tokens in a universal board game. Or maybe it's bad luck, or maybe it's good luck, or maybe shit just happens and you deal with it. Or maybe the dice are loaded so your number never comes up, or maybe the game is fixed. Who knows?"... What is so amazing and diverse is the way this story starts out as a faint stroll...two friends Roger and Tooth enjoying the summer just partaking in a little target practice (although I did wonder at there somewhat crazy antics with a 44 magnum)Just before the action really kicks off, Roger contemplates how simple the act of murder is "I hefted the gun while he went and put the can back on the limb. When he was walking back he pretended to dodge bullets. And that was the first moment in my life I scared myself, because I felt how easy it would be to shoot someone in the head, dump the body in the woods, and walk away scot-free. The simplicity of it shook me...Or maybe Id just read too many comics.."
A simple act, a single moment can change our lives and for our two would be heroes that moment comes when they hear the screams of a woman, go to investigate and meet Skinny Man..from this moment on we are faced with butchery and brutality on an unprecedented level which makes for difficult yet essential reading. I think the brutality smoothly blended with Ryan C Thomas's depiction of good and evil and there is a certain justice in the conclusion that will most certainly leave the reader content and glad that he took the ride...but be warned this is a difficult read and in my mind of the best books of this type of horror I have ever read...enjoy but keep your doors tightly locked at night :)