Slaughter Box by Carver Pike

Readers of Carver Pike’s Diablo Snuff books will have first met Kong in Passion & Pain, after his first encounter with the sinister organization. His torture at their hands drove him to seek any information he could find, only to discover they were like ghosts. Our next meeting with Kong is near the end of The Grindhouse, where he appears as a member of Psalm 71. A lot had clearly taken place between those points in time, and Slaughter Box provides us with a glimpse of that missing period of Kong’s life.
Still traumatized and emotionally damaged from his first experience with Diablo Snuff, Kong returns to his hometown where he finds a flier for the grand reopening of a local movie theater. Violating the trust of his childhood best friend, Kong invites that friend’s younger sister, Sammy, on a date. With the flier fresh in his mind, their venue is obvious.
Unfortunately, as the reader suspects, this is a trap.
William Castle, had he been a homicidal monster or a psychopath, would have fallen in love with the painstakingly engineered and hideously cruel alterations to the theater. Bringing the film to life in the most awful ways, Diablo Snuff intends to punish Kong for his persistent search.
I won’t spoil anything, but we know Kong makes it through the events of this book, but will anyone else survive the malicious and inhumane machinations of Diablo Snuff? You’ll have to read it for yourself if you want to find out.
Carver Pike does an excellent job of balancing high stakes, tense horror with more human elements of the story. We learn a great deal about Kong, his life before we first discovered him in that hellish warehouse, and the miserable life he’d been leading subsequent to his escape from the organization’s clutches. We get to know Sammy, and the deep affection between she and Kong is so well-crafted on the page as to feel as palpable and sincere as a relationship between two real people.
As one might expect, Pike manages to fill the pages with a fair amount of sex and smut, in addition to the violence. If you’ve read The Grindhouse–as you certainly should have–you’ll be well aware of what Diablo Snuff is capable of when they’ve got a movie projector available.
This is the penultimate Diablo Snuff book, leading the way into the (sure to be) intense conclusion, The Maddening. It’s been a long ride, getting here…but one cannot claim it hasn’t been enjoyable.

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