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Madhouse: A Suspenseful Horror Paperback – August 8, 2018
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Faced with his parents' divorce, eleven-year-old Lucas runs away from home in the hope that his family will get back together to find him. While walking through the empty streets, he is picked up by a mysterious woman, who offers to take care of him and provide him with a loving family.
The boy then wakes up in shackles, confined to a bed in a decrepit house in the middle of nowhere and will have to face his deepest fears in order to survive in his new home.
Join Lucas in a desperate attempt to get back to his family in Madhouse, the first published book from horror-thriller author Miguel Estrada.
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- Publisher : Independently published (August 8, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 114 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1718004842
- ISBN-13 : 978-1718004849
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.29 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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"At only eleven years old, Lucas would live through all the horrors the human being is capable of."
This novella had me wondering if I would be able to make it to the end. As a mother, anything with the suffering of children is a tough read. Knowing "Lucas would live through" gave me some comfort, but left me wondering what condition Lucas would be in after the nightmare he's put through. Estrada's ever-increasing suspense overwhelmed any attempt to predict what would happen next. I felt as helpless as Lucas...more so, in fact.
Of course, I also wondered how his kidnapping would affect his parents. Nothing could have prepared me for the final blow delivered by the author. In hindsight, Estrada left a clue here and there, but, even after reading through a second time, the final horror remains shocking and I am fearful of the adult Lucas might turn into.
Things are not always what they seem. I gave it four stars.
He sneaked out of the house after his parents were sleeping.
"Lucas wasn't afraid of the night. It was the darkness that made his hairs stand on end, but he didn't have to worry about it at the moment, all of the streets were brightly lit."
I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion.
That did not change my opinion for this review.
Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076SJWBR9/
Lucas was a clever kid. At eleven-years-old, he liked to play games with his parents. Every afternoon coming home from school, he would sneak into his house in a different way to surprise his parents. They never knew where they might find him in the house. That kind of behavior inevitably led to Lucas discovering a secret about his parents. He knew from other kids the meaning of what he heard from his parents. He did not intend to live the life his friends did, one week with mom, one weekend with dad. It was time for action. Lucas would run away from home. His mom and dad would come together in an effort to find him. Only then would Lucas come home.
Running away from home was the easy part. But where was he running to? It was only the first night and he needed to find shelter. He knew never to accept a ride from a stranger, but the woman appeared friendly and acted like someone’s mom. When she offered to help, Lucas got in the car.
And woke up on a narrow bed with his hands cuffed. He didn’t see the woman next. There was a huge, hulking guy with a knife who promised that he and Lucas (and the knife) would soon have fun. The giant seemed to move in a funny way, hesitantly and slowly. Lucas didn’t immediately know that the giant was drunk. When he left, presumably for more liquor, it was time for Lucas to begin his escape attempt.
What follows is a cat-and-mouse game between Lucas, the giant man, the nice lady who has lost her niceness, and a scarecrow wraith of an old woman who might be the giant’s mother. There are several graphically described violent action scenes which the author seems to believe warrant a trigger warning about violence. I disagree but this is a genre I read often.
Reader suspension of disbelief is required when it comes to the actions of Lucas but the overall short story should please and surprise readers. At this price, what can you lose? The believability of many Lucas actions caused me to give three Amazon stars. More would have been unbelievable.
Overall, pretty good semi short story.
Top reviews from other countries
Madhouse is a great premise for horror fans and it isn’t without its scenes of gore and torture. I enjoy these tropes ordinarily but at points it was hard reading when it was involving a child. It didn’t ruin it for me per say it just made the read slightly more challenging. In a different setting it would have worked to its advantage.
Lucas’ upset made him come up with a plan to disappear for a while. His parent’s anguish would bring them together and they would realise what they were throwing away. But little did Lucas know that running away would be the easy part. The boy has a real fear of the dark of but it’s alright for the time being because of the street lighting. He is approached by a kindly woman in her car, aged in her fifties and offers to give him a ride. One thing is for certain – he should have listened to the advice his mum gave him. He is drugged from the air vents in the car and when he comes to is shackled in a room he does not recognise.
He doesn’t see the woman again for some time. He is introduced to a great hulk of a man, Martin. He agrees to untie the boy so long as he doesn’t pull a fast one, otherwise, he and his butcher’s knife will be having some fun…yeah really nice guy! Lucas knows that he has to find a way to escape. At this point you have to admire the guts this boy has. What happens after this point is nothing other than a game of cat and mouse. Revelations are discovered and meeting a waif of an old woman who seems to be Martin’s mother. The house is full of secrets and The Madhouse holds secrets that Lucas will wish he never discovered.
Lucas is a lovely kid who is mixed up because his mum and dad arn't getting on. His plan of running away in the hope of keeping them together seriously backfires when he is picked up by a strange woman who wants him to become part of her family.
From the moment that Lucas wakens in the house, I was screaming in my head for him to get out. When he meets the woman's husband, I think I was as scared of him as poor Lucas.
To say this is a short read, I really didn't feel like it was rushed or missing anything. Lucas's situation played in my head just like a horror film would do. I wasn't expecting some of the surprising twists either.
A great little read for lovers of horror/mystery that want a quick fix in this genre.
I also struggled with the language used for the child. He’s meant to be 11 but apparently talks and thinks like a cynical adult?
The story was contrived and the ending was poor, I wouldn’t recommend this book at all in fact I’m irritated I wasted my lunch break reading it. Gimme my hour back!
One of the most touching moments was Lucas meeting an old lady who was also a prisoner in the house as Lucas made a friend. Though she didn't speak, she showed her feelings through her facial expressions, which he understood. It was sad she died, she gave Lucas one last smile and gave him a gift to remember her by, and what I liked here is that the lady was Lucas's motivation to carry on trying to escape and it gave him hope, as if she was telling him to continue fighting for his escape and never give up.
Great book! Wanna read more!
However, having crept from his house and out onto the street, it’s mere moments before Lucas notices a large black car with tinted windows, following him. Although reminding himself that his mother would tell him never to speak to strangers, Lucas decides to get in the car with the unknown woman. And when she offers to adopt him and have him live with her husband and her mother-in-law, it’s not long before Lucas finds himself losing consciousness in the passenger seat.
Thus begins a very scary story, with violence, peril, a heartbreaking history and a shocking conclusion. The writing was simple and effective, the characters well-drawn and frightening. More than once, I found myself pleading with the book for Lucas to find safety, or a weapon, or an adult, that’s how far I was pulled into the narrative.
Dark and heavy, but if you’re into your horror, this is a great story.