Red Fox (Experiment in Terror #2)
Publication Date: March 24, 2012
Publisher: Self Published
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With Book Two of the Experiment in Terror Series, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray trade in the stormy Oregon coast for the unforgiving deserts of New Mexico.
In the forgotten town of Red Fox, a Navajo couple is tortured by things unseen and by motives unknown. Wild animals slink through their house in the dark, a barrage of stones pound their roof nightly, and mutilated sheep carcasses are turning up on their property. Armed with a camera and just enough to go on, Perry and Dex travel to the desolate locale, hoping to film the supernatural occurrences and add credibility to their flailing webcast. Only their show has a lot more working against them than just growing pains. Tested by dubious ranch hands, a ghost from Dex’s past, and shapeshifting deception, the amateur ghost hunters must learn to trust each other in order to fight the most ancient of myths…or die trying.
* Warning ~ mild spoilers may occur here *
My first experience with Karina Halle was last year. I was lucky enough to be part of the tour for The Devil's Metal and I loved the mix of humor, rock and roll and terror. Because I enjoyed it so much, I later picked up Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1). It was free and I wanted to see if Halle's other series would live up to what I had already experienced from her. It did, to say the least. I enjoyed all the same things in it that I had in Devil's Metal but at a much higher scale. Needless to say, after finishing Darkhouse I was anxious to get to Red Fox.
Red Fox takes the kooky ghost hunting duo of Perry and Dex to the New Mexico desert. Dex has been contacted by an old college chum, Maximus (frickin' awesome name, no?), who needs some help sorting out what appears to be a haunting at a ranch.
Maximus is a 'ghost whisperer' and is the embodiment of Josh Homme from Queens of The Stoneage, at least in my little obsessed mind. You mention tall, sexy and redhead in the description of any man and Josh is immediately where brain flies. He has a southern drawl and sticky-sweetness to him and takes a pretty immediate interest in Perry.
But this little ghost-busting adventure turns to something far scarier than a traditional haunting. Ghosts creep me the hell out, but what's scarier? People. People who will harm, rape and kill for power. This town does not harbor only your average happy go lucky Navajo. There are a few who are dark and evil and have the means to take everything from you. Love, sanity, life.
The ranch at Red Fox is...well...creepy! It's run by a man and his blind bitch of a wife. She scared the crap out of me as soon as she entered the story. It's set outside of a run down, isolated and desolate little town with unfriendly locals and crow riddled barren trees. The ranch and town are home to rocks being thrown out of the night sky, random animal attacks, wild animals who find there way into your home and run around in the middle of the night (um...wtf?) and various other equally crazy ass weirdness. Add a heavy dose of shape shifters and witch doctors and you've got me shaking like a leaf and hiding under my blankie.
The circumstances will push Perry and Dex even closer together, and let's not forget the handsome ginger who started this whole terrifying adventure. Trust runs thin here and these three must learn quickly to rely on each other, or die trying.
I really loved the turn in Perry and Dex's relationship and their growth as characters. We learn a bit more about Dex but the man is still a walking mystery with the sharpest tongue and a glare that paralyzes Perry more often than not. Perry is learning to throw all his wit and ire back at him and the banter between these two is, without question, sexy and hugely entertaining.
Halle's writing is such a great mix of everything I love in a book. The characters and their utter uniqueness take center stage but when you add in the giggle worthy humor, sexiness of the music that is always thread through her stories and the 'don't read by yourself late at night' horror ~ you come up with a winning combination of pure reading entertainment.
First book in series - still free, by the way: