Published by Independently Published on October 24 2017
Genres: Fiction, Horror
Source: Purchased Book
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Don't talk to strangers...
Faced with his parents' divorce, eleven-year-old Lucas runs away from home in the hope that his family will get back together to find him. While walking through the empty streets, he is picked up by a mysterious woman, who offers to take care of him and provide him with a loving family.
The boy then wakes up in shackles, confined to a bed in a decrepit house in the middle of nowhere and will have to face his deepest fears in order to survive in his new home. Join Lucas in a desperate attempt to get back to his family in Madhouse, the first published book from horror-thriller author Miguel Estrada.
Madhouse is a nice and quick read and the plot was engaging at kept me turning that page. A story that has dysfunctional families at its core and the vulnerability of children. Lucas is a little boy full of life until he hears his parents exchanging cross words in the family home. What child wants to think about his parents splitting up? What child wants to spend his time in two different households? What child wouldn’t do anything to keep his parents together? Lucas’ methods aren’t entirely sensible but alas they are the actions of a child and it is the actions of grown adults that are completely to blame here.
Madhouse is a great premise for horror fans and it isn’t without its scenes of gore and torture. I enjoy these tropes ordinarily but at points it was hard reading when it was involving a child. It didn’t ruin it for me per say it just made the read slightly more challenging. In a different setting it would have worked to its advantage.
Lucas’ upset made him come up with a plan to disappear for a while. His parent’s anguish would bring them together and they would realise what they were throwing away. But little did Lucas know that running away would be the easy part. The boy has a real fear of the dark of but it’s alright for the time being because of the street lighting. He is approached by a kindly woman in her car, aged in her fifties and offers to give him a ride. One thing is for certain – he should have listened to the advice his mum gave him. He is drugged from the air vents in the car and when he comes to is shackled in a room he does not recognise.
He doesn’t see the woman again for some time. He is introduced to a great hulk of a man, Martin. He agrees to untie the boy so long as he doesn’t pull a fast one, otherwise, he and his butcher’s knife will be having some fun…yeah really nice guy! Lucas knows that he has to find a way to escape. At this point you have to admire the guts this boy has. What happens after this point is nothing other than a game of cat and mouse. Revelations are discovered and meeting a waif of an old woman who seems to be Martin’s mother. The house is full of secrets and The Madhouse holds secrets that Lucas will wish he never discovered.
ABOUT MIGUEL ESTRADA
Miguel Estrada grew up in Caracas, Venezuela with a fascination for the mysterious and the occult as he spent his childhood imagining exciting scenarios that now have translated into stories for him to share. Though he has an inclination for horror, thriller, and suspense, he is no stranger to science fiction. His stories are full of colorful characters that always find themselves involved in murder, mystery, and blood, a lot of it.
You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org