Scapegoat by Adam Howe & James Newman Review

Here's a fun-filled ride into Hell!

Scapegoat by Adam Howe & James Newman

Released October 2018

Horror Fiction  |  Goodreads  | Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration

March 29, 1987... For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are being hunted through the boonies by a cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys… a cult that will stop at nothing to get the girl back and complete a ritual that has held an ancient evil at bay for centuries… Until now.

From Adam Howe, writer of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, and the winner of Stephen King's On Writing contest... and James Newman, acclaimed author of Odd Man Out and Animosity.

My 2 Cents For Free!

If you’re feeling like you need some fun, gory 80’s insanity then do I ever have a book for you!

This is the review quote that won me over:

"As if Joe Lansdale wrote, and John Carpenter directed, the Jonestown massacre. SCAPEGOAT is Howe and Newman's Kool-Aid and you'll want to drink it to the very last drop." (Eryk Pruitt, What We Reckon)

It doesn’t lie.

This book is pure madness from beginning to end. Set in the late 80’s, that fabulous time before cell phones and back when hair-metal reigned supreme, a group of old childhood friends reconnect to head out to Wrestlemania III. Mike is now a family man and because of the wife, the baby and work he hasn’t seen his old buddies Lonnie and Pork Chop in far too long. After spending a few minutes in a smelly RV with them, Mike remembers why! Pork Chop is half in the bag, wearing a Rowdy Roddy Piper kilt with nothing under it (ahhh!) and Lonnie’s drinking, driving and doobie smoking have Mike wondering if he’ll make it home alive but he’s trapped in the passenger seat and quickly embraces the mayhem. Along for the ride is a scantily clad beauty and a trunk load of counterfeit wrestling merch.

Sound like fun? It is! And it is so much more.

Lonnie gets stuck in traffic and freaks out that they’re going to miss Wrestlemania and decides to get off at the next exit - remember these are the days before GPS. Little does he know that he’s just driven straight into a scene from hell and it’s only going to get worse from here . . .

There are religious cults, carved up ladies, buckets of gore and an ending that isn’t afraid to go there! I loved it. This book is an experience. If you enjoy the madcap adventures of Joe Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard series I’m pretty sure you’re going to love Scapegoat too.

The writing is terrific and the dialogue is spot-on and sometimes hilarious. I’m pretty sure I knew some of these people in the 80’s. Hell, I might even know a few of them now. The story moves fast and somehow the writers manage to fully flesh out the characters and create a plot that continually surprised and sickened me in the best way. It made me laugh and it made me cringe and that’s not something that usually happens when I read because I am grumpy, tired and jaded at the end of the day.

It is the darkest kind of fun and if is this is your thing and you haven’t read Scapegoat yet I think you need to fix that!

4 1/2 Stars out of 5


  1. Oh hey! I've actually read James Newman before. We've actually been friends on FB for years. I met him online a long time ago when we were both members of a horror group. I don't read horror too much anymore but this sounds pretty good and I do like his writing.

    1. I haven't read any of his previous work but this one was great!

  2. Going on my list now! This sounds made for me:)

    1. I'm pretty sure you are going to love it, Laura!

  3. adam howe does have a quirky sense of humor and i love his writing. glad you do too
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. 80s horror are usually deliciously campy. Lol. So I'm not surprised this one was a gooder.

    1. I love 80's horror books and horror. It was a magical time, lol.

  5. I'm not sure about this one with the mention of scantily clad females and doped up drivers! But I do like 80's retro horror kind of things. I'll need to check out a lot of reviews before I decide!

    1. Haha, it was fun and things aren't always as they seem in this book . . . and I will say no more!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Between Naps: January 28 Edition

Retro Review: The Woods by Harlan Coben

Ten Underrated/Hidden Gems I've Read Recently