From award-winning author Gary A. Braunbeck comes Prodigal Blues, his first foray into non-supernatural horror.
After he finds himself stranded at a truck stop in Missouri, Mark Sieber gets one of the biggest shocks of his life when he recognizes the face of a little girl on a Missing poster as belonging to the same little girl he saw only a few minutes before. Looking around for some sign of her, he comes back to his table in the restaurant to find the little girl sitting there, waiting for him.
"I'm sorry, mister," is all she seems capable of saying.
As the police and media begin to converge on the truck stop, Mark retreats back to his hotel room to call his wife and let her know what's going on, only to be taken hostage by the same people who released the little girl. But his abductors are little more than children themselves.
Ranging in ages from 12 to 19, Mark's abductors are in the process of escaping from a sadistic pedophile known to them only as "Grendel" - a man whose practices include torture and mutilation specifically, mutilation of the face.
Mark's abductors have all been mutilated by Grendel who may be very close behind them and need someone with a "normal face" to help them carry out their plan for justice and returning home.
For the next few days, Mark will come to understand not only the inhuman horror that these children have suffered, but how they eventually learned to fight back and how they discovered that Grendel and his practices are at the center of a very complex network catering to those who tastes run toward the molestation and mutilation of children.
©2006 Gary A. Brunbeck (P)2011 David N. Wilson
Wow, this book blew me away. Be warned, it's very dark and violent. This is definitely not for the faint of heart. That being said, it was an amazing read. The character development was my favorite part of this book. I really cared for the characters in this book, and was nervous as to what would happen to them.
The narrator does a good job of creating distinct voices for all the characters.
Very well crafted characters.
The sort of sing-song chanting voice.
Engaging voice and breadth of characterization
It's very dark. It makes you think.
This is a horror novel. Not for the squeamish.
Expertly performed. This story will take you through the emotional wringer. You will come out the other side, like the characters within it, broken yet transcendent.
I see that a lot of people who have submitted reviews are put off by the subject matter of this story. It is disturbing and horrifying, to be sure. But, if you can make it through that, you will hear a beautiful, haunting, and moving story. I cried at the end. I have read one other novel from this author, and Braunbeck is a very talented writer. Please do not let the descriptive narrations throw you off; it all pays off at the end. I liked the narrator quite a bit - he is very good and has a wonderful moment toward the end. All in all, a terrific story, seemingly hopeless but in the end very redeeming.
This book is twisted. Not in a good way. I stopped listening, and deleted it from my device. I would stay away from this audio book.
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