I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Killer Scarecrow by Scott Donnelly
Published by Self Published on March 20 2021
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The old, dead oak tree in Benny Billings’ front yard had been irrationally feared for years because of its rumored, haunted history - which makes it the perfect place to showcase his latest D.I.Y. Halloween project...an ominous scarecrow decoration. However, tragedy strikes that evening, leaving many victims of emotional distress, remorse, and death.
More than a year has now passed, and as the people who were there that night continue to cope with its horrific events, the scarecrow - who remains in front of the tree, serving as a selfish and morbid memorial - comes alive. Is there someone who has an evil and deadly agenda stalking the neighborhood during the cold nights? Or is there more truth to the rumored “haunted grounds” in which the scarecrow now stands? As the bodies begin to pile up, the shocking and horrifying truth will be revealed.
Dark and haunting. Killer scarecrow is multi-faceted and strips the layers back of the human condition. It is certainly a brilliant example of deciphering logic from trauma. Our ability to cope and compartmentalize grief. It is an intelligent and fascinating novella on several levels. It is a deeply unsettling story that investigates the fragility of life, childhood trauma and the complexity of relationships. The horror is real – no not the idea of a Killer Scarecrow but the horror of death and the consequences for those left behind. A scarecrow in the yard is all that remains of Benny Billings so why does Cash feel like his best friends last act is haunting him?
The prologue to Killer Scarecrow really hits you between the eyes. Its an auspicious enough start but it very quickly gains traction and the evil and malevolence jumps to the fore. Imagine a deer running out in front of your car on a dark country road…its sudden and nerve jangling. Benny Billings experiences things that many young adults go through- fitting in socially and the ever-present threat of bullies. Urban myths are recurring theme, and the two friends decide to erect the Halloween scarecrow in his yard next to the supposed haunted tree…
Back and forward exchanges between Benny and the bullies’ results in a fatal accident with reverberating consequences for all involved. Benny is dead and his father, Gary is catastrophically wounded, now being left paralyzed. Meanwhile Cash, the bullies and the unassuming scarecrow are shocked bystanders. The scarecrow is the innocent party until of course, it isn’t. Multiple POV’s clash together and its like watching the beauty and destructive nature of a supernova. The story had many layers of tragedy and a compelling storytelling that I was unwilling to have my kindle prized out of my greedy little hands!
Killer Scarecrow transported me back in time, I was a young reader of stories like fear street, Goosebumps and Shivers. It had a little bit of everything. The Setting, The protagonists. The horror. It tallied up to an experience. I felt like I was living and breathing the story. I felt the fear. I felt the worry. Killer Scarecrow gave me horrific joy! I enjoyed Scott Donnelly’s powerful way of telling a story. The drama. The powerful edge. The narrative. It made for a heady mix for both young and mature readers alike.
I must give kudos to Donnelly for the way in which he wrote and described mental health. It was realistic and done with class and respect. It was realistic and brought yet more authenticity to the storyline, something many authors struggle to get right.
Killer Scarecrow has all the right elements to keep the reader enthralled. The storytelling is so satisfying you can feel it bone deep.
ABOUT SCOTT DONNELLY
Scott Donnelly in an author who writes in numerous genres and platforms. He is most known for THE WHOOL, THE MILK BOY & THE SCOUT BROOKS SAGA. He contributed short stories to the ELEMENTS OF HORROR (2019) series as well as TALES OF THE WEIRD AND STRANGE (2020). His first young adult horror book, KILLER SCARECROW, releases in 2021, and he is also developing a sequel to THE WHOOL. The first two entries in his children’s fantasy/adventure series are also due in 2021.