Sometimes you have to put cheese on the broccoli to get the kids to eat it. And sometimes a clever writer uses a horror story as the wooden stake by which he impales the far more demented (and real) horror of homophobia. Armando Munoz’s follow-up to “Hoarder” is such a novel. It is a bloody (and bloody good) suspenseful whodunit destined to keep you guessing and will – I assure you – surprise you when finally the killer’s identity is revealed. Along the way, however, you’ll need to endure the Thanksgiving from hell. When two female lovers attempt to break bread with the family of one of them, the pair come face to face with a most virulent strain of self-righteous, rube-soaked, Bible-banging hate that not only reviles but seeks to destroy everything the two young women represent. Sensing right off that their presence and gay lifestyle is – to put it mildly – “most unwelcome,” the two commence to fighting a two-front battle, the vile poison that is the backward-thinking religiosity of their hosts and – in keeping with the genre – a killer upping the body count by the minute. Who will survive? Will they survive? You’ll have to read to find out, but along the way, this meticulously-crafted horror story will seduce you into – gasp! – actually learning and empathizing.
(reviewed the day of purchase)