Straight Men

Jonathan W. Thurston. Black Rose, $17.95 trade paper (166p) ISBN 978-1-68433-093-5
The visceral prologue of this gripping horror story reveals the violent tendencies of Mason, a psychopath who kidnaps and tortures young men. When college student and sexual submissive Sean ventures out to the remote Tennessee woods to have fetish sex with Mason, he ignores some very bright red flags. After Mason drugs and assaults him, Sean wakes up wearing nothing but a shock collar. He is forced to obey his captor’s list of houseboy rules or face violent punishments. Sean’s sense of helplessness and despair is especially palpable when he is raped by several of Mason’s friends and, in an arguably more disturbing scene, sodomized by Mason’s dog. His situation gets worse when a possible savior turns out not to be what he seemed. As Sean copes with his dire situation, his internal thoughts become a bit too didactic; more convincing are a previous victim’s diary and Sean’s exchanges with the ghost of his disparaging father. There is also some real tension during an escape attempt. Anyone who can stomach the graphic sexual violence will find that Thurston (Wolf Warriors) has created a spellbinding treatise on terror and pain. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/11/2018
Release date: 09/06/2018
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