Sharp and Deep and Merciless: Reviewing Gone to See the River Man by Kristopher Triana

Hello everyone! I hope you are still making your way diligently through your TBR list and not buying more books right now. I need to put myself on a book-buying ban, but I don’t have that level of self-control. I stumbled upon this particular novel via “Book Tok” and did not even bother looking up the synopsis before buying it. I did not realize that this fell under the category of “splatter punk,” which is reserved for only the goriest of books. If you have a weak stomach, I am going to tell you to stop reading this review right now. If you are a braver soul (or just kind of weird), then join me as we talk about Gone to See the River Man.

MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic scenes of violence, Extreme Gore, Offensive Language, Explicit Sex Scenes, Eating Disorders (Do further research if you are still interested in reading this novel)

Lori is a young woman trying to find solace from her dreary life and she does so by befriending serial killer, Edmund Cox. After gaining his trust, he entrusts her with an important task: she must go to his hometown, find a hidden key, and give it to the River Man. Lori undertakes the task with zeal, but must take her sister with her. The trip turns into an odyssey of nightmares that forces Lori to confront her dark past. As she and her sister journey to find the River Man, Lori realizes that they are facing a being much more powerful and terrifying than she could have ever imagined.

This was the first book I have read in a while that genuinely made my stomach turn. For better or worse, Kristopher Triana knows how to write a gory thriller that will make you morbidly curious. Honestly, though, I find the best horror media to be the ones that mess with your senses. Gone to See the River Man certainly succeeds in that with its incredibly graphic imagery and taboo subject matter. Being that is my first time reading a true “splatter punk” novel, I was not disappointed. I would recommend not going into this one blind like I did. My trigger warning is a little vague on purpose. Do a little more research if you are still semi-interested. If you are looking for something that will make your skin crawl, then I would definitely have to say go ahead and read this short but disturbing novel.