Review: With Tooth and Claw by Jim Goforth

Book Description:

Chad, Vincent and their friends are going camping. Chad doesn’t even like camping. The only reason he is even here is because the delectable Denise has come along too.
Now they are all assembled around the campfire drinking and trying to scare one another with lame horror stories. None of which are particularly scary. Chad is hoping they hurry it up and move along to some more risqué games, preferably involving Denise.
However, Vincent has one more tale to tell…
Nick and Maree just want to have a good night together. But people won’t stop messing with them. The town bully, the self-perceived beauty queen, even the local cop want to give them some sort of hell.
Maybe that is a very bad idea…
Stu just wants to get himself as drunk as possible and visit all the strip clubs in town, ogling and deriding all the naked dancers he can. Pretty much the same thing he does every night. He thought he knew all the exotic dancing bars and strip clubs, but apparently not. Club Styx isn’t somewhere he has ever been before…
John has come home from the war, a deserter, sneaking back into the country. He hasn’t come back the same as he went away. He’s brought something with him, a curse, a contagion. And it isn’t something he can contain. When it starts to spread, it is going to spread like wildfire and there will be no stopping it…
Cody and Jeff are supposed to be on a simple stakeout mission, warned by their brutal criminal boss to follow his orders to the letter. Boredom and curiosity are going to get the better of them, and this basic job is about to get a whole lot more involved…
Donna can’t let herself fall asleep. Because when she does, the same thing happens every time. People die in a grisly violent fashion. She’s tried everything to halt the inevitable, but she’s so sleepy. And drifting off…
Josh and Megan are hiking with their group, aiming to reach the peak of notorious Mount MacGinnis. When a freakish thunderstorm drives them all to seek sanctuary in the many caves existing in the mountainside, the duo take the opportunity to explore their developing relationship. However, there are others in this group who appear to know a little more about the mysterious cave network than they are letting on.
Before long, it isn’t just going to be heavy rain and blustery wind pouring havoc down on these unwary shelter seekers…
There is a whole lot of gruesome death and violence inflicted within this collection of macabre tales, but the majority of it contains one common element. Weapons and tools are not utilised here, bloody havoc is caused, with tooth and claw.

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If the titles of these stories aren’t enough to grab your attention, the bloody gore present in the pages of this book will do the trick. Jim Goforth, author of the very successful Plebs is back with a new collection of stories, most of which will keep you on the edge of your seat and all will make you a little sick to your stomach.

The first of these seven short stories is called Dead Tree Creepers and it tells the story of Chad and his friends, who head out on a camping trip. Chad hates camping, but he goes along in the hopes of scoring with the woman he likes. The friends all gather around the fire telling lame scary stories until one tells the story of the Dead Tree Creepers. The campers head to bed or otherwise become occupied, (wink, wink) and all hell breaks loose. This one is gory, suspenseful, and one of my favorites in this collection.

As a person with multiple tattoos, the next story in this collection, Living Ink disturbed me on a couple of different levels. Strange and unique, this is a great little story.

Strip to the Bone is the third offering in With Tooth and Claw and was my favorite, hands-down. Ladies, you’ll love reading about what happens to the jerk in this story, although you may find yourself feeling a little sorry for him if only for a second.

I love the title Apocalypticism, the fourth entry in With Tooth and Claw. This is a unique twist on an old favorite – zombies.

Speaking of unique, Astraal‘s Hands is one of the most unique stories I’ve read in awhile. This one easily held my interest from start to finish and there’s a lot going on, so pay attention.

Entry number six is a story called Incubus. Donna is a troubled woman who sees horrific events unfold every time she falls asleep. Not one of my favorites, but a good little story nonetheless.

Finally, Cavedwellers is the story of a group of hikers who seek shelter in a cave when it starts to rain. Although the group are all friends, things turn ugly when they begin removing their clothes so they can dry by the fire. Eventually, some people begin exploring the cave and other things begin exploring the humans. This story dragged on a little too long for me and although I enjoyed the ending, it was probably my least favorite in this collection.

The interesting thing that each of these stories has in common is that the humans never seem to have many weapons available to them to fight the evils they’re facing. The phrase ‘with tooth and claw’ fits each story perfectly.

Here comes the warning, ready?

In With Tooth and Claw, there is a fair amount of blood, gore, violence, bad language and sex. If these things easily offend you, stay away from this one.

If you’re like me and love to see these horror elements used in unique and twisted ways, give With Tooth and Claw a try. I have a feeling Jim Goforth is an author we will be seeing a lot more of in the future, and I’m okay with that.

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