Review (Short Story): Hell Hole by Marie Loughlin (bonus story by JW Manus)

Hell Hole - Marie Loughin

Book Description:

Whoever said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” probably shouldn’t have said it to Dent Bergman. For twenty years, he’s been trying to beat Peter Gaston—at golf, women, anything. Peter always won. But today, Dent Bergman's unlucky streak is about to end. Or is it?

Plus bonus story The Devil His Due, from Jaye Manus:

Bub works for the devil. In fact, he’s the Big Boss’s top producer. This month, he’s on track to make quota in record time. All he needs is one more soul…

Also included—the first chapter of Marie Loughin's Valknut: The Binding, a dark urban fantasy about hobos, trains, and Norse gods.


My Thoughts:

With my recently realized attraction to hellishly humorous books, I was quick to grab this demonic duo of short stories when I stumbled across it on Amazon. Yes, I'll stop with the alliteration now. Sometimes it just happens and you have to go with it. ;)

The title story, Hell Hole by Marie Loughin, and the bonus story, The Devil His Due by JW Manus, both explore the humorously hellish happenings (damn it...I did it again) that result from bartering one's soul. Sometimes the consequences happen to the one selling their soul and sometimes it happens to the one buying the soul.

I liked the trollish devil (or whatever it was) in Hell Hole. The character jumped off the page for me and I could easily imagine this character in my head-movie right down to the gravelly voice. In The Devil His Due, the demon starts his day on top of the world but then his unlife rapidly spirals down to a bittersweet end. I guess all it takes is one bad deal to completely ruin a demon's day. I almost felt sorry for him...almost ;)

Hell Hole and The Devil His Due both have a devilish twist at the end and I was happy with how the scope of the stories fit the length. They were an enjoyable and fun lunchtime read for me.


Word Count: unknown (Short Story)
Print pages: 55 total (estimated)
Epub pages: 51 - Hell Hole pgs 1-15; The Devil His Due pgs 19-29
Kindle Locations: 740 - Hell Hole 1%-28%; The Devil His Due 32%-53%
- Includes 1st chapter of Loughin's novel, Valknut: The Binding
- Includes Table of Contents
Source: My personal library