*3.5 out of 5*
Alan Baxter’s The Roo started a humorous creature feature series of sorts this year, but so far his has been the best entry. That being said, Sean Seebach’s contribution is way better than Stephanie Rabig’s Playing Possum, which was incredibly boring and soft for a horror novella. The Buck Stops Here, on the other hand, has plenty of action – much of which is gory – and excitement. There were, however, a couple concerns along the way I’d like to address.
For one, I found it odd how easily and quickly the townspeople accepted the craziness going on (one scene in particular was laughable). Luckily, I enjoyed the characters well enough throughout, which is good because there are plenty of them coming and going.
Second, the how and why of everything didn’t quite land for me. I felt there was a lot of potential in the worms behind the curtain, but felt that the reveals came too easily thanks to the old lady. We also didn’t get to learn much about her journal provided to the sheriff, though it was supposedly full of some wild stories.
Imagining were-deer didn’t come easily, but I eventually decided upon an image in my head I could get behind. It didn’t seem like they were all that scary, though. Aside from their antlers, all they had was size. I just didn’t feel the threat as strongly as I would have liked. Something furious and beastly should have conjured in my mind with ease; I shouldn’t have had to work for it.
All complaints aside, The Buck Stops Here is a quick and enjoyable read. It’s short enough to read in one sitting, but long enough to feel like a complete story. I could see this one being a fun horror flick someday, like Black Sheep. If you enjoyed Baxter’s The Roo, I think it’s safe to say you’ll dig this one as well. After Playing Possum, I wasn’t expecting much out of this book; but luckily, The Buck Stops Here proved me wrong.