Ginger Nuts of Horror
by John Boden
A young woman is making her way across the desert, navigating the back roads and asphalt veins of this beast of a country, when she is picked up by a man. An older fellow with yellow teeth and a darker soul than she could ever imagine. He abducts Celia and spirits her away to a ramshackle church in the literal middle of nowhere. There she is held prisoner with other women, of varying ages, all with numbers carved into their foreheads. After the man makes her number 14, he leaves in his big black car and she and the others are watched by his large dog.
Casey is in a hospital; she can't really communicate what her problem is, she sings an old spiritual and tries to make sense of the visions she sees of herself in a dark and dusty place, of others like her but older. With the help of an orderly with a special skill, like hers, she's about to embark on a quest to save this girl from her visions and possibly herself in the process.
We then walk a tightrope between our world, where Casey and Javier race against time to solve a puzzle with pieces missing and that "other" world, that exists between the fabric of them both, where an old man can build an empire of pain and viciousness and still be home in time for dinner.
This book was brilliant. I wish I could delve deeper into the plot but, I feel I would usurp some of its power by giving too much away. Suffice it to say, that Those Who Follow is the first long-form work I've read from Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason AKA The Sisters Of Slaughter, and it is indeed a monstrous slab (in short novella-ish form) of science fiction and unabashed horror. The brutality shown by the villain in this piece is staggering. This one is definitely among the best books I've read so far this year.
Those Who Follow is available from Bloodshot Books and on Amazon.