THE HUNGRY ONES picks up soon after the events that tortured the little family in THE NIGHTMARE ROOM and adds a new setting and several new characters. I read the Nightmare Room in July 2018 so it’s been awhile and my memories are a tad bit fuzzy. I was able to follow along but wish I had read them back to back so things would’ve been fresh in my head.
Jessie, recovering from a breakup with her fiancé – he with the roving penis, as well as a traumatic injury, decides to start anew and purchases Motel Hell! I’m only sort of kidding. There aren’t any people being turned into sausages here (damn because that fiance might've deserved it) but she has purchased a rundown motel where a crazed man shot down several people two years prior. Now I want to be the next Norma Bates as much as the next slightly unhinged person, but I think even I might think twice about this decision!
The motel is not quite open yet but Jessie has a few guests needing a place to rest their weary heads including the Larson family from the previous book who are on the run after their last ordeal. But fleeing the things that haunt them isn’t as simple as hopping in a car and driving away. The arrival of people seems to awaken something within the walls of the motel and the Larson boy, who has already endured so much, now has to battle supernatural forces. Poor kiddo. I really felt for him and his parents. I also enjoyed meeting Jessie who is a resilient, strong and decent person. I know she’s not real but if she were she would be someone I’d like on my side.
Though this is a different book than The Nightmare Room, which was a slow build of creeping dread, it had enough chills to keep me happy and I enjoyed revisiting the characters and meeting the new ones. If you’re an action fan and love a story that moves, you’re going to find a lot to like here. There’s also some “eww” inducing body horror that involves a sliver that just won’t leave and that kind of stuff always makes me cringe also makes me very happy.
The Hungry Ones is a strong entry in The Messy Man series that builds up its world and keeps things fresh. Go grab yourself a large mug of whatever, a comfy blanket and settle in with both books. I’m sure you deserve it!
Source: Received for review consideration