Written by: Vitina Molgaard
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.” Eleanor Roosevelt
This Ketchum adventure deposits us in Arizona. The year is 1848, and the story takes place at the end of the Mexican War. Yes we are going to journey through a western adventure rather than an outright piece of terror. But, make no mistake, there’re definitely elements of horror involved in this. Once again the nightmare is the most dangerous animal known to inhabit the earth: man.
Here we are going to meet up with three men in a bar (setup for a joke?), one Mr. Marion Bell, a writer for a newspaper, another well-known man, John Hart, who’s fought in the war and bares many scars to prove it, and lastly, Mother Knuckles. Mother is a gentle giant so to speak. Their meeting involves a woman who is searching for her sister. They have both been captured, tortured and raped by a group who are under the control of a trio of sisters that practice an Old Ancient lifestyle of black magic.
Fortunately the older sister, Elana escapes and eventually meets up with our men. While Mr. Hart is not fond of Mexican people, which Elana and her sister are, he still finds that help is needed here. With some reluctance they set out to give aid and assistance. Our antagonists consist of the group of men who do the bidding of the Valensura sisters. There is no good thing that comes from these women.
While I found this to be a fairly easy read, I also found that this focused more on just being a good old fashioned western. Even with the Valensuras and their magic, it really just does not feel quite like a full-fledged member of the genre we call horror. I personally would venture to say it is possible that in this particular book Mr. Ketchum may well have not been writing with that in mind. So with that said, yes I do recommend this book. Read it with the intent of finding some horrific activity in regards to what humans will do to each other. Do not enter into this one expecting a particularly frightening tale though, because that’s not quite what waits in store.