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The Trail (by Brian Francis)


Author: Brian Francis
Cover Artist: Matt Truiano
Length: Plus-Novel
Genre/s: Horror / Thriller
Violence: 4
Heat: 3

eBook: 9781615725502

Print:  9781615725519

SKU: 9781615725502 Categories: , , , , , ,


Alone in the woods…think again!

A college reunion camping trip turns deadly when a deranged mountain man stalks the Appalachian Trail. As two young couples struggle for survival, they encounter the bizarre rituals of a backwoods cult and confront the consequences of their own dark secrets.

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6 Responses to The Trail (by Brian Francis)


    Satisfies the intellectual gore-whores among us!

    If you approach THE TRAIL looking for the genre’s expected tropes, Mr. Francis satisfies. He includes enough blood, cracked-open skulls, and dripping intestines to keep any gore-whore at half-chub (and he throws in a few sex scenes to make it okay). “Dead meat” enters and exits at all the right times; in fact, it’s with these secondary kills that Francis displays more skill than expected from a first-time writer. He aims to disgust but also to tickle: it’s this blend that’ll clear the conscience when you find yourself enjoying things (perhaps) a bit too much.

    THE TRAIL is set in a scary place for most Americans: the outdoors. Mr. Francis understands that we’re afraid of the woods because we’re afraid of ourselves, and we’re often afraid of ourselves because we don’t go into the woods enough. Like Martin, the man with the red shirt (read the book for more!), if we never leave the solitude afforded by the wilderness we risk losing our humanity; and, like Scott, one of the thirty-something protagonists, if we enter the “safety” of marriage mindlessly, we risk repressing our wild impulses until they rise up and overtake us.

    Here’s what gets me about the book, though. I have horrific images dancing through my head from reading a bunch of King, Barker, and Poe in my childhood. These guys knew things that scared me and countless others and they found a way to crystallize them into verbal Technicolor. THE TRAIL has some very chilling and darned-near horrifying images (face in a tent wall, anyone?) throughout that have woken me up a few times, but what has stuck with me more since finishing the book is the sort of angst I remember from reading Travels with Charley and On the Road in my late teens and Cat’s Cradle and Portrait of the Artist in my twenties. Mr. Francis has his finger on the jugular of his generation, and our collective pulse has told him what we’re most afraid of: are we on the right path in life?

    I am both Jack and Scott, the shiftless single guy and the seemingly together married man. I want my wife to be both Kim and Susan, the slut and the “mom”. I want the security of a job (like Scott has) and Jack’s carefree, partying lifestyle. In other words, Francis knows me and other Gen-Xers and he understands our day-to-day fears, desires, and dreams. THE TRAIL doesn’t exploit them, though. Funny as it sounds, I did more soul-searching during and after this book than I have in conjunction with many, more “serious” texts. Fortunately for me and for a growing number of other readers, Brian Francis is young enough to keep producing, and I look forward to following his blazes. ~rdubs, Amazon Reviewer


    My Top Horror Novel of the Year!

    I’ve been devouring horror novels like a flesh eating virus all year, and The Trail is at the top of my list. Cleverly crafted with non-stop action and surprises galore. I couldn’t wait to get to the end, then was sorry that it was over. I’ll never have the joy of reading this for the first time again. If you’re a Richard Laymon fan, this is must-read stuff! ~ A. Sheehan, Amazon Reviewer



    I had just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Appalachian Trail (Virginia)..wanted a good scary story that was centered around the trail. The story spooked me(not a easy task)..although I enjoyed the story..anyone that has hiked the trail knows that it is heavily traveled..in the story..not so much..maybe a hand full of hikers. The story is about a group of people camping for 2 nights- they are not hikers. Anyway like I said good scary story. I will read more from this author. ~ T. Marsh, Amazon Reviewer


    Hiking will never be the same….

    Just finished reading this book and I loved it. Very detailed scenes and a story line that sucks you in and you can’t put it down. I’m a hiker and I’m a little scared to go into the woods now……. Get this book, you won’t be disappointed! ~ Amazon Customer/Reviewer


    An amazing read!

    This is a great read. I started the book and could not put it down until it was finished. I highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a good horror story. ~ bigbenchs, Amazon Reviewer


    Serious talent, bright future!

    Brian Francis is a seriously gifted writer. The Trail’s chapter-by-chapter plot twists left me by turns too scared to continue reading and too intrigued not to. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next! ~ ignatius, Amazon Reviewer

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