Review: Scapegoat by James Newman and Adam Howe

Scapegoat by James Newman and Adam Howe
Honey Badger Press (October 2018)
215 pages; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

James Newman lives in North Carolina, USA, and Adam Howe makes his home across the Atlantic in England. Thanks to the power of the Internet, collaborations like this one are possible. The result is both wondrous and wonderful.

So what’s Scapegoat about?  Well, I’m glad you asked…

For metalheads Mike Rawson , Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenage girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are being hunted through the boonies by a cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys… a cult that will stop at nothing to get the girl back and complete a ritual that has held an ancient evil at bay for centuries…

Until now.

The end result is equal measures of violence and humor. Junk food horror, if you will.  Or what I like to call “Brain Candy.”

I wasn’t able to attend Wrestlemania III, but I was glued to my TV to see that epic matchup with Andre the Giant colliding head-on with Hulk Hogan. With that event as a backdrop for Scapegoat, I was immediately drawn to this story.

Mike Rawson was the one levelheaded member of the trio headed to the Silverdome:

Mike muttered something about how he’d seen enough horror movies to know nothing good ever came from a shortcut through the woods.

So much carnage, with loads of horrifying images along the way. And be sure to stick around for the story notes after you finish the book for insight into how Scapegoat came to be, as well as a list of recommended viewing and a playlist. These guys have thought of it all.

The end result is a great collaboration and a fun read.  Recommended.

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