“Book Review: The Pope Lick Massacre”
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
Some things are better left undiscovered.
Sam is a single waitress in charge of taking care of her little brother (Kenny) after their mother’s death. Life is average for the two siblings in their small Kentucky town. Sam makes her ends meet working at a local diner while Kenny attempts to improve his social life in the Boy Scouts. All seems normal.
But soon, Kenny and his troops disappear during a forest expedition. Losing her mother is one thing, now Sam might lose her brother too. She joins a search party desperate to find the missing scouts, unaware of the dark secret waiting for them.
Eric Butler’s The Pope Lick Massacre is a bold take on a cryptid monster based on Southern legends. In Louisville, Kentucky stands the old Pope Lick trestle bridge where the infamous Goatman haunts the area. Some say the ax-wielding monster can mimic voices and hypnotize people. Curious visitors have died on this bridge. Not by the Goatman himself (they say), but from train-related accidents. It’s really interesting how Butler manages to bring this cryptid legend to life.
If you love horror and cryptozoology, you’ll get a kick out of this book. There are plenty of bigfoot and UFO stories out there, but not many about the Pope Lick Goatman. Butler delivers suspense in each chapter of his book, and there are plot twists hiding where you least expect them.
And yet, the terrorizing monster in this book isn’t the only monster you should be worried about. Tobias, for example, is the town’s pastor, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This shady character is associated with murder, lust, and criminal associates. Tobias is the living example that not all monsters have horns, and I enjoyed this subtle inclusion from Butler.
The only missing element in this book for me is Sam’s character depth. You’ll follow her to the end of the story and hope for the best, but we really only know one layer of her. She’s a waitress, a big sister, and a former athlete. While reading, I longed to know her real motivation to go through the blood, sweat, and tears for Kenny. What internal force made her face her fears? Prove she could be a better caretaker than her mother?
Overall though, The Pope Lick Massacre is a bold, brutal horror story that’ll remain in your mind long after you read it. Legend trippers may be especially interested in checking this out, but here’s your warning: This book is not for the faint of heart. The title says it all; it is as violent as you’d expect.
This is the type of book you read while you’re in the comfort of your home during a lightning storm. And I know one thing for sure: it’ll encourage you to stay far away from the woods, especially near Pope Lick Creek.
Paperback: 263 pages
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Thanks for the awesome review. You guys are great at helping the Independent writer find readers.
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