BOOK REVIEW – Savage Highway – Richard Godwin

Savage HighwaySavage Highway by Richard Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

DISCLAIMER: I received, at my request, an ARC of Savage Highway from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review. I give only honest reviews; my reputation depends on it. Thank you. vmls

Richard Godwin’s Savage Highway is an intense, shocking and riveting blend of contemporary noir fiction and Faustian drama. Sparingly drawn characters and short, sharp dialogue, trademarks of the master storyteller that Richard is, tell a story so brutal and visceral one hopes that such things could take place only in the realm of the fiction writer’s dark mind.

The thing about fiction though… it all springs from at least a grain of truth.

The setting for Savage Highway is a desolate area of the American Southwest where a group of men, yearning for “more than earthly meat and drink” take their fill from the lost souls unfortunate enough to stumble across their path. These men, from both sides of the law, have little regard for women, seeing in them little more than an entrée to satisfy their twisted appetites.

From the beginning of the story and Patty’s ‘encounter’ in a truck stop restroom to the startling conclusion, the pace of Savage Highway is not unlike that of one journeying one of the highways in the American Southwest. One moment moving at breakneck speed as the protagonists race to prevent another death… or escape their own… and then slowing for the curves and hills of the rolling landscape ahead as Richard introduces another twist and turn to the story.

The duality of several of the characters… constantly shifting between responsible, law-abiding citizens and sexual sadists… is something that the author does quite well and is one reason his stories are so absorbing and memorable. The characters Richard draws are indelible and one of my favorite parts of any Godwin tale.

Well-paced action, sharp dialogue, and terse descriptions of both character and place make Savage Highway a story not easy to put down and will leave imagery in the reader’s head long after.

I hesitate to use such over-played phrases as ‘pulse-pounding’, but it is apt in this case as Richard brings us a story filled with suspense, danger and virtually non-stop action. If this doesn’t get the adrenaline surging through your veins, you’re probably dead and just haven’t fallen over yet.

Savage Highway is ‘five-star’ in every sense of the word and well-deserving of accolades. This is classic noir… taut and unapologetic.

Savage Highway is Richard Godwin at his ‘noirest’. A must-read story I recommend without hesitation.

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
27 January 2016

View all my reviews


About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found at and, and
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