Review: LOW by Mike Duke

book cover low mike duke
© Stitched Smile Publications, 2017.


Officer Mark Adams is fed up with God, his wife and the legal constraints of his job. He longs for a life he can enjoy and to see true justice meted out.

Chad Bigleby is a lawyer thrown into a deadly moral quagmire, forced to decide whether he will abide by man’s laws or make his own.

Each man is being driven to the edge of his limits.

Both men are on a collision course.

All because something wicked has arrived in Pleasant Grove, something ancient and obsessed with vengeance, eager to punish the souls of men for their sins.

How LOW will they go to get what they desire most? And what will it cost them in the end?

Hell only knows…

Via goodreads


I received a copy of LOW by Mike Duke in the mail a few months back and I’ve finally finished reading it–my health has gotten in the way not just once, but twice. For the most part, I enjoyed reading the book, but I do have a single bone to pick with it. You’ll see that towards the end of my review.

The two main characters are Mark Adams and Chad Bigleby. While Adams is a bit flat, Chad Bigleby is dynamic. Officer Adams is a good guy, through and through and does what’s right. Chad, on the other hand, is a man with no moral conscience. He’s a cheater, an abuser, and all around, a piece of shit. Mr. Phailees and Phobos are real pieces of work, showing that Duke’s definitely got the ability to create some pretty crazy characters.

Plotwise, the book is steady. There’s always something going on, even in the lulls between major events. That said, you might wonder why it took me so long to read the book if I found it interesting, and in that regard, I admit that I’ve been in a bit of a slump when it comes to reading. On top of that, I’ve had some severe concentration issues as of late.

I loved the way Duke writes his monsters. Some of them have a Lovecraftian feel to them, which I really like. Others are horrifying in other ways, such as Charon and Mortis which are demon-like and massive in their appearance.

Earlier I said I have a bone to pick, and here it is: the women in this book are unbelievably unrealistic. It’s because of this that I cannot give LOW a five-star rating. None of them are strong or independent, and for the most part, they seem like puppets controlled by their men. I would have liked to see Samantha stand up to Chad, or Amy grow a backbone despite her mistakes. It’s actually quite appalling how meek and sexualized the female characters are in this book. Granted, one of the points of view is from a misogynistic asshole of a man.

LOW is a good book and definitely falls into the horror category. In its pages, Mike Duke’s command of language is strong and his words come together beautifully to create a horrifying scene. It makes the reader question their own morality and wonder whether or not their sins would be so grievous as to be judged by Mr. Phailees. I know one thing for sure: I wouldn’t want to be at the wrong end of his bite.

I’d like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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