- Series: JournalStones DoubleDown (Book 3)
- Paperback: 222 pages
- Publisher: JournalStone (December 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1940161126
- ISBN-13: 978-1940161129
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#5,198,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #109837 in Horror Literature & Fiction
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Dog Days - Deadly Passage (JournalStones DoubleDown) Paperback – December 6, 2013
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About the Author
Joe McKinney has been a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a homicide detective, a disaster mitigation specialist, a patrol commander, and a successful novelist. His books include the four part Dead World series, Quarantined, Inheritance, Lost Girl of the Lake, The Savage Dead, Crooked House and Dodging Bullets. His short fiction has been collected in The Red Empire and Other Stories and Dating in Dead World. In 2011, McKinney received the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. For more information go to http://joemckinney.wordpress.com.
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Joe is an incredible author in that he introduces you into the life of his characters and makes you care about what happens to them, through their accomplishments and defeats. He also has a way of slowly increasing the tension until like those shock scenes in the movies you tend to jump in your seat. Each word he chooses is the best word for the situation. There is no wasted time in his stories and DOG DAYS is no exception. He takes this specific genre and makes it his own. This isn’t the old Wolfman stories with Lon Chaney Jr., or the Hammer Studio and Universal tales. Joe uses the lycanthropic story of the beast from history and then surrounds it with modern day locales. Instead of the British Moors, Joe places locale in the swamps around the coastal part of Texas. The creature himself is not the anthropomorphic monster we are used to but more like an outcast of society.
This is one of the great things about reading Joe McKinney’s works. He takes the mundane and familiar and makes it extraordinary and exotic. DOG DAYS is no exception. This is a novella at 127 pages but then you get to add a story from Sanford Allen, a master craftsman in his own rights and you have a book that will make your nights sweaty and uneasy. Just the reason I read horror!
I'm a big fan of JournalStone's DoubleDown series which is modeled after the old Ace doubles. You read one story, flip the book over and read another. Plus, there's the idea of pairing an established author with a relative newcomer. And although the stories are not of a shared world or even shared themes, they generally have something in common.
This time it's monsters. I chose to start with Joe McKinney's Dog Days which begins with a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles. One of my favorite stories as a kid.
It's 1983 and the Gulf Coast is in the wake of Hurricane Alexis and a shrimp boat has wound up in an old Pecan tree at the end of the road. There are people aboard, dead people, eaten dead people.
Mark's dad, Wes, is a police officer with the Houston K-9 division, his dad's canine partner, Max, lives with the family which also includes his mom, who is a pediatrician.
The best way to describe this story and McKinney's writing style is that it's real. Real people in believable situations and from there the tension just builds.
I also enjoyed how the author made his ten-year old hero a reader. Great line, "But as I read about Tarzan's battles with Kerchak, a real battle, and one far more savage, was raging down the street. The real horror of that summer was just beginning."
Great story with some definite "Oh, Wow!" moments.
The other story is the debut novel from Sanford Allen, Deadly Passage, which starts with a strong opening line, "The beast climbed down its gnarled tree by cover of night." I'm hooked.
Most of the action takes place on a slave ship, the Lombard, where something is causing the deaths of "cargo" and crew alike. "The next morning, the crew discovered four more bodies, this time three women and the only child in the hold. Like the others, their flesh had gone pale gray, and once again, Hicks was at a loss to fully explain their demise."
Deadly Passage is disturbing on multiple levels, not only what's causing the deaths, but the circumstance of the slave trade and the treatment of the "cargo." The truth can be painful.
Allen creates some strong prose in this story. "Then the mate shrieked incoherently. His cries continued amid a sickening tearing noise like a butcher separating the parts from a chicken with his hands."
The third entry in JournalStone's DoubleDown series is not perfect, but it's awfully close. Dog Days & Deadly Passage is available as a signed Limited edition, Trade Paperback and ebook from JournalStone.com and Amazon.com.
I can strongly recommend this one.