by Greg F. Gifune
Published by Cemetery Dance Publications, 2010
Catching Hell is Greg F. Gifune’s follow up to 2009’s Children of Chaos (see my review here). It’s a relatively short and fast paced novella published by Cemetery Dance as part of their signed, limited edition novella series (see here for more details).
Alex, Billy, Stefan and Tory take a roadtrip to Maine but after passing through a major storm they find themselves in the strange town of Boxer Hills. It’s not long until they meet the even stranger residents and decide to leave. However…that’s right you guessed it…they can’t leave as this is not a normal town but a town with a long and tragic connection with the occult.
That’s right folks, tip you hats to the lost town story, this is Brigadoon with demons. Okay, it’s a well used plot device (the Twilight Zone episode A Stop At Willoughby also comes to mind) but aren’t they all? If any author can breathe new life into an old plot it’s Greg F. Gifune..isn’t it?
Well lets make it clear right away, this is not a bad book. It rocks along at a fair old pace and this coupled with it’s paucity of pages will see you finishing it in a couple of hours. So it’s not bad it’s just.. well, insubstantial. The characters are the fairly generic sacrificial teenagers we can see in any Hollywood slasher and the plot as mentioned previously, doesn’t really bring anything new to the party. So what we end up with is a fairly basic teenagers in peril movie crossed with an episode of the Twilight Zone. That’s entertaining enough but I must admit I expected something more from Greg F. Gifune.
So it scores highly for entertainment but in my review of Children of Chaos I described the writing as “deep, thought provoking, emotionally engaging” and this doesn’t really hit any of those high spots.
Rating 3.5 out of 5