A Stalled Ox (1888: Novellas) by Dean Moses #mf #review @dean_moses


An isolated religious cult has reportedly been consuming meat while the rest of the planet has been forced to live a life without it. Presuming this sect has resorted to cannibalism, two agents from an organization known simply as The Agency are dispatched to investigate. Will they find evidence of humans eating one another? Or is something even stranger taking place?

“In the tradition of Serling and Bradbury, A Stalled Ox is a gruesome, yet beautiful story that wraps a complex morality tale in an engaging and fast-paced horror story with a touch of espionage. Crafting a world where no one is truly innocent, Moses invites the reader to follow Agent Howard Harrington as he discovers what true evil is.”addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14Tbird_s ThoughtsTAG

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book.  The synopsis intrigued me as I am now beginning to find myself craving more books about cults and the ramifications of their actions.  So when I read that the country was now without livestock, no longer providing meat to the people, yet this cult appeared to have meat to eat, my curiosity went wild to find out if my sudden predictions were correct.

The book did not disappoint me with its storytelling, and kept my interest throughout.  What I was more impressed with was the added elements of mental illness, failure in professional careers, the desire to belong and the fear of finding freedom from choices made in the past.  The writing style is very unique and may take the reader a little time to get used to.  The scenes are described in a manner that forces the reader to visualize the story for themselves.  I appreciate that at times because it allows me to invest more into the plot and gives me a feeling that I am living the story as it unfolds.

I won’t go into details of this story as it would be a risk of spoiling the experience for the reader, but I will say the three characters that drew me into the story were Howard, Linda and the man known as God.  Howard was given the job of investigating this cult so he asked Linda, another detective to go along with him and pose as his wife. Once in there they were to locate the hidden agent among the followers and gather information as to how this cult is able to provide their following with meat to eat. The chemistry (not sexual but intensity) between Howard and God took my breath away at times.  It was like they could truly see the souls and motives of each other by staring in people’s eyes.  Linda was a strong woman who was fully aware of Howard’s failures in the past and kept him grounded as best she could.  As the truth began to unfold I found I was glued to my kindle, unable to stop till I had my answers.

Recommending this book is easy for me to do, but only to those readers who enjoy a dark read with a level of mental manipulation that allows you to begin to understand the evils of this world.  “God” created his cult and reality based on his demons and trust me, it is not for the faint of heart.


Purchase LinksTAG