Title: The Beast of Barcroft | Author: Bill Schweigart (site) | Publisher: Hydra (site) | Publication Date: 2015-11-17 | Page: 185 | ISBN: 0804181365 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Triggers: Animal attacks | Date Read: 2015-10-21 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Beast Of Barcroft
Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.
First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world.
Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals. – Goodreads
The Beast of Barcroft Review
The title and the blurb of Beast of Barcroft both interested me. The comparison to King made me hesitate. Its been stated before that I’m not a huge King fan. This is still true. So, I looked it up on Goodreads, and when I saw the page count, decided I’d give it a shot. I’m happy to report that the comparison to King – thankfully – is only in regards to the twisted story with an interesting ending. Schweigart does not fumble the ball and go off into tons of extraneous detail or unneeded character exposition like King does. He just delivers an awesome, somewhat corny at times, story that definitely fits the bill for a spooky afternoon read.
The author does a good job of plopping you down in the middle of a situation, and hitting the ground running. The main character has realistic flaws, needs his happy pills, and is a bit of a toe-rag. He still manages to be someone you root for, though. The other characters are all individuals in their own ways, no cardboard cutouts, and you find yourself cheering them on quite happily.
The action is fun, the pace is quick, and the imagery is great. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good afternoon horror story. Especially if you’re also a King fan. The Beast of Barcroft made #2 on my Top 10 “Scifi and Scary Reads” of 2015