Hunger On The Chisholm Trail (Splatter Western # 2) by M. Ennenbach
Synopsis: The first cattle drive of the season leaves Texas for Abilene, Kansas along the Chisholm Trail, but unforeseen terrors lay hidden in the natural beauty of the land. In the heart of Indian Territory lies the sleepy town of Duncan, a friendly respite from the dusty land. But something lurks in the untamed West-a powerful creature that hunts to satiate its horrifying hunger. The land will run red with blood, and only Karl Beck a chance against this ancient evil.
Review: I read this book in a single sitting. No exaggeration. I didn’t stop to do anything at all. As of late, I only recall doing that with one other book this year. The first being The Magpie Coffin (Death’s Head Press Splatter Western # 1) and I think this series is headed in the right direction. Western themed horror exists but is still a commercially untapped market. I hope it stays that way. Commercialism just shortchanges the experience. If you’ve never read one, though, it’s a missed opportunity.
This is my first journey into the head of Mike Ennenbach and I’m sure it won’t be my last. He ramped up the suspense from the very beginning of this book and didn’t stop until the very end. How can you run on pure adrenaline without neglecting character development? I’m not sure, but he managed to pull it off. The main characters were all well developed in between the creep factor. The nemesis in this novel (no spoilers) is seeded deep in Native American legend and only spoken of in whispers in real life. That’s enough to make any man cringe. The human race believes it has an understanding of nature…until we don’t. To say that man knows all which lurks in the barren plains and undeveloped forests of the western parts of this country is a bold statement. After all, legends are loosely based on experiences from the unfortunate who were lucky enough to survive encounters with the supernatural, right? My grandfather was Native American and a God fearing Christian until the day he died. Conflicting beliefs, right? Regardless of his faith in those beliefs, he told me of places I shouldn’t venture in these modern times because “there are some things in the deep, dark places of this world that weren’t meant to be seen or understood by mortal men.” His words. I’ve always believed him. Ennenbach went there.
In closing, I’d like to mention the Easter Eggs thrown throughout this book. Fun ones. If you’re already a fan of Death’s Head Press or Indie Horror in general, you may notice a few familiar names here and there. After all, the beast must feed. Might as well be someone you know…
Excellent read. Five well deserved stars.