Super fans. Groupies. Stalkers.
These people will give anything for the idols they worship, be they rock stars, actors or authors. Or even serial killers.
Lori is just such a fanatic. Her obsession is with Edmund Cox, a man of sadistic cruelty who butchered more than twenty women. She’s gone so far as to forge a relationship with him. Lori visits him in prison and sends him letters on a regular basis. She will do anything to get close to him, so when he gives her a task, she eagerly accepts it.
She has no idea of the horror that awaits her.
Edmund tells her she must go to his cabin in the woods of Killen and retrieve a key to deliver to a mysterious figure known only as The River Man.
In her quest, she brings along her handicapped sister, and they journey through the deep, dark valley. The trip quickly becomes a surreal nightmare, one that digs up Lori’s personal demons. The river runs with flesh, the cabin is a vault of horrors, and ghostly blues music echoes through the mountains. Soon they will learn that The River Man is not quite fact or folklore, and definitely not human. The key is just the beginning of what is required of Lori to prove she’s worthy of a madman’s love.
Title: Gone to See the River Man | Author: Kristopher Triana | Publisher: Cemetery Dance Pub. Date: 12 March 2020 | Pages: 145 | ASIN: B085W6B9ZL | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Source: Received a copy from author for review consideration | Starred Review
Gone to See the Riverman Review
The publisher Cemetery Dance certainly has an eye for quality horror. This novella by Kristopher Triana is no exception. Coming in at 145 pages, Gone to See the River Man is fast-paced, boasts hard-to-love characters, and deals with some transgressive subject matter.
Lori cannot stop herself from chasing after serial killer Edmund Cox. It is clear she is different from others who enjoy connecting with those convicted of heinous crimes, as the reader realizes she wants something more than just a love connection. As she goes on this journey the readers, ready or not, are pulled along as she traipses down the river to complete a task for Cox.
Triana wastes no time and makes no apologies for the break-neck speed of the book, nor the revelations contained within. Lori has a shocking backstory and it is woven into the present day happenings with skill. She is a HARD character to like, and it’s clear readers probably aren’t supposed to fall in love with her. This is a tricky undertaking, but readers are in good hands here as they are relentlessly driven to see what happens next despite their misgivings.
The pacing and character development are stunning not only in skill level, but in how they are used as the vessels for truly transgressive horror moments. There will be a few content warnings below (hidden by a spoiler tag) as is the norm for reviews on Sci Fi and Scary. I will say, that while a bit extreme, this content is organically inserted into the story and not just done for shock value.
I have several other books by Kristopher Triana to get to, including his extreme horror book, Full Brutal. You can bet that I will be picking those up sooner, rather than later. Be sure to check this book out and let me know what you think.
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Tracy joined Sc-Fi and Scary in September 2018. She reviews horror books for the site and bemoans our general lack of grammar, but puts up with us because she loves us anyway. Feel free to reach out on Twitter and Instagram at @tracy_reads79, or on Goodreads as well!
Tracy is also part of the Ladies of Horror Fiction crew.