The last slaughter - The Last Slaughter by Douglas Ford - REVIEW
Folk Horror

The Last Slaughter by Douglas Ford – REVIEW

The Last Slaughter by Douglas Ford
Published by Vissaria County Dispatches on January 12 2024
Genres: folk horror
Pages: 71
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased Book
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three stars - The Last Slaughter by Douglas Ford - REVIEW

As the land withers under a changing climate and resources grow scarce, a hungry family confronts a dark legacy. An old storehouse holds an ancient secret: an imprisoned girl who can bestow bounties of food and prosperity. But in return she requires sacrifices.

Her ancient power contains the truth they must face. You can deny family, but you can’t deny blood.

“. . . creepy folk horror”
--Kerry E. B. Black
Author of CAROUSEL OF NIGHTMARES

The Last Slaughter is a folk horror story rooted in the have and the have nots. Just how far would you go to ensure that you could eat in the midst of a food shortage?

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CONTENT WARNINGS

Incest, Rape, sexual assault


My Review of The Last Slaughter

This short novella is book two in the Godless Books readathon. If you want to join in, please feel free.

The Last Slaughter is a folk horror novella that deals with some pretty harrowing topics. There’s rape, incest, and sex abuse. The Last Slaughter isn’t a book title – it’s a euphemism. There’s a promise of blood and fate. It opens with the musings of John Teecar. He knows who his father is, even if his mother, Laura doesn’t want to say the words. Pinky Randall. His family being the only ones to provide nourishment to a dying town. His slaughterhouses were akin to goldmines.

John’s mother, Laura has been through a lot. Surviving her father and being put out to pasture in a sense to Pinky Randall. Women throughout history have been treated abhorrently and Laura is no exception. The way her mother and father react to Randall arriving to pick their daughter up for the yearly ball made me sick. Let the girl make her own choices. But she was never given that option.

This horror book reminded me a lot of Kev Harrison’s, The Balance, another book you should check out if you enjoy Folk Horror.

‘He wanted to use his mother’s lighter to set that building aflame, perform a mad dance as he watched it burn.’

The Last Slaughter fell a little flat for me. I felt there was quite a big build up to the main points of action and then very little explanation on the why’s and how’s and then it was over. It was more than a little anticlimactic.

‘We do for family what we sometimes wouldn’t do for just ourselves.’

The story was good. I didn’t think that the build up was bad in anyway, I enjoyed it, but I just felt like I needed more, I wanted the middle and end to be more fleshed out. The reader got a measure of what John and Laura were like as characters, but I wanted more about the folk lore. Horror books for me work when all of those individual strands come together.

via GIPHY

You can buy it from Godless Books.

A solid folk horror book. It has plenty to get your imagination running. The horror scenes are awesome but I was left feeling conflicted.

  • What is your favourite Folk horror book? Let’s chat in the comments.

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Douglas Ford

Douglas Ford’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of anthologies, magazines, and podcasts, as well as two collections, The Infection Party and Other Stories of Dis-Ease, and Ape in the Ring and Other Tales of the Macabre and Uncanny. His longer works include The Beasts of Vissaria County, The Trick, and Little Lugosi (A Love Story), which won the Literary Nastie award for best long fiction in 2023. He lives on the west coast of Florida, a frequent target for hurricanes. 

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three stars - The Last Slaughter by Douglas Ford - REVIEW

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