A very harrowing start to the book, but wow was I gripped.
It is written as a narrative which works very well later in the book when things are merely eluded too, really builds the tension.
Split into three very distinctive parts of Alex's life, with a finale and, my favourite, an epilogue (tying up those loose, niggley end).
The story of a basically happy man Jeff Strands takes you through those angst ridden, who will like me/my parents hate me/what's wrong or right teenage years, to college life and then on into adulthood.
However, on his tail is Darren, who is just a little bit weird.
The first part is set in a boarding school which brings its own horrors as to the treatment of children and then expecting them to grow up to be nice, productive, socially acceptable people! The issues with Darren come to an alarming conclusion as Alex and his two friends discover their own version of the Law.
As Alex looks forward to the mayhem of college and a chance to be his own man, his life turns into a type of hell with a cat and mouse game of terror.
Life it seems, becomes perfect later on, all trauma is forgotten, but the hatchet vs cactus, the pit and Gallery of Horrors soon come into play; the lovely Alex is soon considering his kangeroo court again.
Whilst I really enjoyed how this was written and the basic story was great, I was irritated by the lead character Alex for mostly being a wimp, but I suppose that IS reality, how would we all react to strange, non socially conforming behaviour?
Having previously only read Wolf Hunt I was also surprised by the lack of humour, other than HeeHee, HawHaw and HoHo which did make me giggle a bit; that said this deals with some seriously disgusting stuff so comedy would probably have been out of place.
Really looking forward to reading all the other novels by Jeff Strand.