Non-Review: “Satan’s Highway,” Tim Miller

Every once in a long while I post a non-review: a brief blurb in which I tell you why, exactly, I was unable to finish reading a book, so you can decide for yourself whether it might interest you anyway. (When I do this, I don’t review the book on Amazon or Goodreads.) In this case the book is Tim Miller’s Satan’s Highway.

I was expecting something bloody and cheesy and fun, which I was in the mood for, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also want good writing, characters, and story. All men in this book are lecherous, dangerous assholes–that’s pretty much the extent of that characterization. The pacing and tone of the book are rather monotone–things go from a character musing about driving to having a tire blow with no real change in tone, pacing, tension, etc. The whole thing just feels very straightforwardly presented, which doesn’t do much for the atmosphere, something I see as vital to horror.

Lawyer Katie and her four friends get kidnapped after their tire blows. A family of rednecks kills one of them and engages in some necrophilia and torture, and then the lot get kidnapped by a second set of crazies. Now, I don’t mind blood and gore when it builds the atmosphere and tension and such, but it was so straightforwardly presented in this case that it just felt like straight-out “torture porn”. There was no real atmosphere, tension, etc. If that interests you, great, you’ll probably enjoy this book. I, however, saw no real point in it and shut the book about 20 percent of the way through.

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