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A Savage Breed Patrick C Harrison Iii Main

"A Savage Breed" Book Review

Written by The Book Dad

Published by Death's Head Press

a savage breed patrick c harrison iii poster large

Written by Patrick C. Harrison lll
2020, 190 pages, Fiction
Released on October 8th, 2020

Review:

A group of bank robbers known as The Tate Gang are a vile bunch of men on the run from the law and looking for sanctuary in the Wichita Mountains. A grief-stricken man wanders the land in search of vengeance after burying his wife and daughter, whom he found massacred in their home. And the fifteen-year-old daughter of Barrier Ridge's sheriff sets out on an adventure to California when her daddy is killed in a gunfight outside of town. All these people are about to find themselves in a mess of trouble as they embark on the treacherous landscape of the western frontier. It takes a certain kind of someone to survive The Wild West. You need to have your wits about you. Especially when darkness covers the sky and creatures are hunting their prey.

The Splatter Westerns is a unique series by Death's Head Press. They contain some utterly disturbing stuff, including ghoulish monsters, cannibalistic little girls and deadly gunslingers collecting souls for an evil entity. This is dark fiction. Torture and gore are things you come to expect and that's not a bad thing. Unfortunately, that is not the case with A Savage Breed by Patrick C. Harrison lll. It is as if the author wrote a horror western and jammed it full of rape and other explicitly twisted sexual scenes. I am confident there is a good book in here somewhere, it's just hidden under a mess of unnecessary abrasive content.

What I did like is the intertwined plot that connects an interesting cast of characters. Throughout the book readers follow The Tate Gang, Haggard and Liz Sawyer. Each has their own story and the terribly unfortunate circumstances they find themselves in is what makes them vulnerable and what eventually brings them together. I am especially fond of Liz Sawyer. She is a strong female character who is twisted and evil at her core. She is the most entertaining part of the story. Everything about her is unpredictable, dark and witty. One minute she's being friendly and the next she's carving someone up with a Bowie knife while carrying on a conversation with her horse.

My absolute favourite part of this book is the historical interlude that brings some context to this creature-feature survival tale. About three quarters of the way through the book, the author inserted a chapter with various unexplainable instances from our history and aboriginal folklore of murderous winged creatures, which helps the reader understand what exactly is threatening the characters in his story. I liked this because I was able to get a little insight into how the author got the idea for this book. Previous to this chapter, we don't get to see much of the flying beasts, so the historical interlude really gets the reader excited for the bloodbath that is about to ensue.

Death's Head Press is doing something remarkable by publishing the Splatter Westerns. I am a massive fan of dark fiction and for a long while, I had felt there was something missing in the horror genre. They are just what the doctor ordered. So far, I have had a ton of fun saddling-up to read these twisted and gruesome tales set in The Wild West. I'm sad to report that A Savage Breed is problematic. I took issue with the continuous galling rape scenes that add nothing to the story. It is very forced and much like the act itself, I do not consent. In saying that, there are parts of the book I did like, whether it be the wild gunfights with terrifying and bloodthirsty flying beasts or the amusing ribbing courtesy of Liz Sawyer, the young runaway with calamitous intent. This book, unlike the others in the series, is not for me, but do not think I am deterred from reading the next book. I anxiously await the next installment in the Splatter Westerns by Kenzie Jennings, called Red Station.

Grades:

Overall: 2 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.

About The Author
The Book Dad
Staff Reviewer - USA
Andrew Fowlow, "The Book Dad", is a voracious reader and reviewer of horror fiction. You can find his horror drabbles on various sites in the #HorrorCommunity, including LitReactor, Night Worms and Horror DNA. When he's not writing, Andrew curates a horror promotional platform called Horror Oasis, where he hosts an array of editorials from genre enthusiasts and underrepresented voices. He resides in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two children where he aspires to write fiction suitable for human consumption.
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