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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Beast of Rose Valley: Lorestalker #1 is a horror novel written by J.P. Barnett. Something was killing livestock in Rose Valley, Texas. Steve Witmer and his friend, Jake Rollins, were stunned and saddened at the sight of one of Steve’s lambs which had been savagely ripped in two. Sheriff Cam Donner actually considered briefly that the two of them had pulled this as some sort of deranged publicity stunt, but this was not the first such killing in the area. Donner wanted the matter dropped and forgotten, dismissed as the actions of coyotes or maybe even the cheetahs from the nearby animal reserve, but Jake and Steve knew no coyote or animal would have sufficient ability or inclination to rip a creature in two and leave it uneaten. The sheriff’s interest in keeping the matter under wraps was instantly thwarted, however, by the arrival of Shandi Mason, the local investigative journalist. Jake had made sure to send word to her before the sheriff locked it down. They all had history together, having grown up in Rose Valley, but Shandi had the rare ability to stand up to Cam Donner and actually win.
J.P. Barnett’s horror novel, The Beast of Rose Valley: Lorestalker #1, is a marvelous romp into the little-known world of cryptozoology as townspeople and a world-renowned cryptid hunter try to survive repeated encounters with a powerful and deadly creature. The author’s characters spring into being in that opening scene wherein childhood friends play very different roles as adults. I loved the rural setting with the town’s football games and the solidity of a place where everyone knows just about everyone else, and that bucolic ordinariness makes the bizarre aspects of the story work so very well. Barnett’s plot is clever and irresistible, and his book is a sheer pleasure to read. Horror, thriller and mystery fans alike will find much to their liking in this intriguing story about the unknown. The Beast of Rose Valley: Lorestalker #1 is most highly recommended.