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Publisher's Summary

Will has got a secret.

He keeps that secret hidden in the field out back behind his house.

Sam and Artie will do just whatever Will tells them to do because they know what Will's secret is, and they will do anything to make sure that Will doesn't lose his temper on them.

Because you can never tell about Will....

©2016 Steve Vernon (P)2017 Stark Raven Press

Critic Reviews

"Steve Vernon was born to write. He's the real deal and we're lucky to have him." (Richard Chizmar, Cemetery Dance Magazine)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Batter up! Is that Negan?

Vernon is really great at craftin short little stories that carry the weight of a neutron star. Here for instance, he fashions a grim tale of prospective, as well as past, murders all at the setting of a friendly BBQ. What astounds me is the way he can carve a tale so that you don't know how the whole thing began, nor how it will end. Naturally, Vernon leaves it to you to decide if there will be a murder, or if there will be a head bashing MURDER! (I hate that I can't italicize here). And believe me you will wonder. There are a lot of consequences to consider regarding the ordered murder. What happens afterwards, what happens to the kids, etc. As for the head breaking murder you have to ask if a second would soon follow, and again, what about the kids? A lot to think about for such a short story; only Vernon could pull that off. Oh, and you'll never look at a friendly neighborhood BBQ the same way. In the same way you will never listen to Stealer's Wheel Stuck in the Middle with You in the same manner as you did before watching Resevoir Dogs.

Woodall narrates and really puts in the dread and demand the characters project. You feel sorry forthe protagonist because of the way he adds in emotion. On the written page you might not get a whole lot of love for the cornered man. Woodall also provides an air of menace that few could achieve in so short a time. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chilling tale!

Freaking chilling! Yes, this is a frightening little piece of work. Sam seems like a decent guy but he knows he’s stuck in a bad situation. The tension builds as Artie and Will are introduced into the story. It’s obvious that Artie has been cowed by Will at some point in the past and Will still holds power over him. Sam is facing two potential aggressors if he doesn’t go along with the program.

Will calls all the shots and he’s got a mean streak. Even offering up a different opinion while talking smack about baseball can land you in a world of hurt. Yet under all that redneck bravado, there’s a darker secret that the three share. Will is one of those perfect antagonists that you enjoy hating on.

In the background, the kids play. This shared dark secret is about to claim another victim, or three, depending on Sam’s next move. This story was full of delicious tension! As the book blurb says, Will has this big secret and figuring it out was just part of the tale. The ending left things a bit open as we never learn the why of the secret and that is part of it’s charm. I as the reader get to come up with my own ideas as to why Will has this secret. The aggressive baseball bat imagery made me think of a popular evil guy on a certain TV show. Scary!

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Brandon Woodall did a good job with this story. He kept all the characters distinct and had a good little kid voice as well. His gruff authoritative voice for Will worked really well. There were no technical issues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Baseball, Meet Shirley Jackson

What begins as a familiar tale of guys sitting around shooting the breeze soon takes an unexpected dark turn. There was definitely a Shirley Jackson feel, ala The Lottery, or one of Stephen King's short tales that begin as one thing and end as something dark and different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Fine sacrifice.

Audible:Hmmn...Redneck noir indeed.Twisted tale of baseball.It's ok.Steve Vernon was fine as narrator.“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”