Highway 7 Synopsis: A terrifying tale of claustrophobia reveals a dark secret even more disturbing than the present ordeal. What should be an idyllic family reunion turns to trauma when a demon from the past reappears to claim its victim. An innocent girl investigating a series of brutal murders becomes warped in ways one cannot imagine. And a pit stop along a long highway drive may lead to love, or it may be the final destination in a bizarre twist of fate…
Award-winning mystery novelist Perry Prete returns with Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales, an anthology of unsettling horror stories that are sure to leave you shivering as you triple-check your locked door. Get ready to experience a weird world as you journey along Highway 7! – Goodreads
Highway 7 Review
Perry Prete knows how to write, and it shows in these engaging short stories gathered under the title of Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales. Each tale has the touch of mysterious and mystical that you would find in the tales told by Rod Sterling in the old black and white show that took you to alternate dimensions. What these tales are not, in my opinion at least, is scary. I expect a horror story to at least send a little shiver up my spine and while Prete definitely caught my attention (I read the whole book in one sitting), he never scared me.
However, with that being said, I can see how some of the stories could be scary to the appropriate audience. The Elevator is sure to send a tingle through anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, while The Reunion gives us a literal beast that defies the weary traveler’s attempt to come home safely. Social Studies raised some interesting points in its low-key discourse of current social awareness and dipping its fingers into dangers of obsession and the lure of the forbidden. Highway 7 is the standout piece in the lot, simply for the fact that it seems so different from the others in its tale of the town that time forgot.
These soft-core dark mysterious musings wrap the reader in their embrace easily, with the author not overburdening the senses with unnecessary descriptions. Instead, in what he chooses to emphasize, he allows the reader to fill in the rest of the picture with their imagination. It is an effective technique that is disturbingly under-utilized in this age of spoon-feeding everyone exactly what they should see/smell/hear/feel. A bit of a left-turn from my normal readings, I’ll admit that while Highway 7 wasn’t precisely to my taste, it was still a cozy read to pass a few hours with, and I’m sure other readers will find at least one of the stories to their liking.