Title: Family Business
Series: Can be read as a stand alone
Author: Brett Williams
Genre: Horror, Dark
Heat Level: No rating. This is not a romance.
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Naughty Book Snitch: Mindy
See Mindy’s Goodreads Review Here
Unable to convince her husband they are ready to become parents, Erika decides to buy a puppy. She heads into rural Missouri on a day trip, following up on a lead in the classifieds, and gets more than she bargained for.
After the death of her mother, Bobbie Jean finds herself living with her aunt and uncle in the backwoods of Missouri.
But her relatives have a dark secret.
The family business.
Right off the bat I would like to give a warning to readers. If you’re looking for something safe, familiar or a happy ending, then this book probably isn’t for you. If you have triggers with extreme violence, torture, rape, animal neglect, dog fighting and one (not graphic but it was intentional) baby death, then you should approach with caution. You have been warned. On the flip side, if you have an open mind, a strong stomach and love a twisted tale that will immediately pull you in, give you hope and then crush your dreams, you should totally give this book a try. You will not regret it.
This is the first time I’ve read Bret Williams and most definitely not the last. When I found out he was a local author, I had to stalk him and his books to see what they were all about. I really enjoy reading books that are set in or around my area. Family Business didn’t specifically say where this was located, just in the “backwoods of Missouri” and that sounds like it could be the deepest and darkest part of the Ozark area, or at least that is what I imagined.
The story starts innocently enough, with Erika planning on surprising her husband, Stephen, with a new puppy. While driving to a breeder in the rural backwoods Missouri, Erika has some internal warning alarms going off but ignores them because she really wants a puppy. While trying to decide on just the right pup to bring home, Erika is met with a surprise herself and things take a very dark and disturbing turn.
Meet the hillbillies who are running the family business. We have Levi, business owner and father of Jake and Bub. Bobbie Jean, Levi’s niece, has lived with them since her mother passed away. Have you seen Deliverance? Or The Hills Have Eyes? Well, here you go.
The only part that kind of got on my nerves was an early section with a ton of rape. Yes, it’s necessary for the story progression but let’s move on, I get it. For a minute, it really felt like the story wasn’t progressing but it eventually did. Another thing that shocked me (actually there was a ton of things that shocked me) was the ending and how abruptly it ended. It feels like a cliffhanger, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it’s not really a cliffhanger. Are there questions I need answered, yes and hopefully I’ll get those answered in the other books.
Since I bought the audio version of this book, I need to comment on Joe Hempel’s performance. Wow! He has a smooth and hypnotizing voice. He does character voices effortlessly and I could easily distinguish who was talking by the accent he used. He seemed to really enjoy what he was reading.
Overall, this book is dark, twisted, brutal, uncompromising and disturbing. Family Business made me cringe, laugh and cry. Fantastic writing, world building and character development. I would recommend this book to horror fans, but please do read the warning and read at your own risk. I gave this 5 stars because the overall story and the audio narrator were so amazing. Bravo!
OH! P.s… Stephen… you are a motherfucker! I hope karma catches up to your ass. Bitch!
P.S.S. If you want to know what happens to the baby then read this part. This is a true spoiler alert. Do not read this if you don’t want to know what happens. (These women are being bread like dogs and there is one part where a newborn baby is shot. The baby is killed because he was born deformed and for revenge. The death is not detailed and it does not dwell on it, but it is in there.)
Brett Williams is the author of High Octane Damnation, Family Business and From Murky Depths. A member of both the Romance Writers of America and Horror Writers Association, this multi-genre author writes horror, crime, erotica, and anything else he damn well pleases. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Delirium Books’ Horrorwired Vol. 1, and Fifty Shades of Decay, to name a few. He lives in Kansas with Eddie Blue, a Jack Russell terrier.