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susanvoss18

The 3 H's Trilogy

The 3 H's Trilogy: The Head, the House, and the Hell - Brian Barr, Rick Gregory, Brian Barr
The Head
 
What would you do if you found a lone human head in the yard? You’d probably do something practical, like dial 911 or bury it. What if that head started talking to you and begged not to be left alone? Yep. That’s the situation our heroine Elizabeth finds herself in.
 
This tale is equal parts horror, suspension, love story, and humor. First, it’s a decapitated head named Bill complaining about a headache. Ha! Poor Bill doesn’t have many memories but he does enjoy Elizabeth’s company. As time goes by, Elizabeth comes to care for Bill as well despite Bill’s off-putting odor.
 
Things move along as Bill insists they go in search of his body. More memories come back and Elizabeth is drawn into a twisted paranormal situation. Let’s just say that Bill comes from a messed up family.
 
It was fun and I wasn’t expecting so much humor nor the love story. Also, on a personal note, my husband’s name is Bill and I couldn’t help but picture his head as The Head in this tale. That just added to the enjoyment of this story, not that I want to decapitate the man. Just if he ever ends up in that situation, I’d like to think I would love him all the same. For such a short story, it was full of entertaining surprises.
 
The Narration: Rick Gregory did a great job as Bill the detached head. He fluctuated between serious and caring, pleading and decisive, with ease. His character voices were distinct though I felt that Elizabeth could sound a bit more feminine without sounding slightly cartoony.
 
The House
 
Retired cult buster Daniel Paine often chats with his long dead wife, a woman who he couldn’t save from a cult. Now the ghost of Alexis Bailey haunts him, begging for his help so that she can truly be free of the cult her family built. Daniel may be retired but he’s not useless!
 
It took me a little bit to connect The House with The Head but I was probably a bit slow due to allergy medication. Yep. I’ll go with that. So Bill, the detached head from The Head, is Alexis’s brother. The house at the ending of Book 1, The Head, is the same house referred to in this book, being the Bailey Cult family home.
 
What I loved about this book was that I often wasn’t sure what was Daniel’s reality and what was his hallucinations or products of his schizophrenia. It gave a very supernatural aura to the tale. Also, this story is quite a bit more serious than Book 1. There’s not much humor and no real love story unless you count Daniel talking to his dead wife off and on throughout the story.
 
There’s little glints of the true messy horror that is contained in the Bailey cult house for much of the book, adding to the suspense. Of course, as we near the end of the tale, those glints turn into solid imagery complete with body parts and blood.
 
The Bailey cult was interesting in that they do ancestor worship but in a very unhealthy way. I loved that Daniel used to be an excellent cult buster, world renowned. I think this would be a very rewarding, if tiring, job. I think a whole series could be written about Daniel’s career. (Looks hopefully off to the author).
 
In the end, things don’t go as Daniel thought they would. The House seems to have a spirit all it’s own and that is a malevolent one. I enjoyed Book 1 quite a bit but I enjoy Book 2 a little more. The serious tone coupled with Daniel’s character really reeled me into this tale.
 
The Narration: Rick Gregory is doing this series justice! I really enjoyed his narration. His female voice for Alexis was well done. Daniel has quite the ups and downs emotionally in this story and Gregory did a good job capturing those.
 
The Hell
 
This final installment is quite a bit more serious! Book 1 had some humor and even a touch of romance to it. Book 2 showed us how twisted that romance was but still had some quips and sarcasm here and there. This book is quite a bit darker. We take a walk through the Bailey family tree as we meet Gregory, the grandfather, and he reigns down a type of hell on the occupants of the house. Never fear though! The ladies have been coming up with an escape plan…. of sorts.
 
So eventually we get to meet the paranormal investigators Susie and Mac. They’ve been doing this for some time and both are sensitive to the paranormal. Susie receives a desperate plea from a client to take out the Bailey house. Alas, arson is not in Susie’s skill set and pretty much goes against her morals.
 
But then we meet Mac’s new friend. That’s a game changer for Susie! This story was full of unexpected twists and I was delighted with each one. The ending winds up and up to a fever pitch as evil throws punches at good and good-ish kicks back. Not everyone gets what they want by the end (and that’s great for us rooting for Susie and booing Gregory) but things end on a rather positive note. I wasn’t expecting that but it was nonetheless quite suitable for this trilogy. 5/5 stars.
 
The Narration: Rick Gregory has done a good job narrating this series but I found this book narration could have used just a little polishing. There’s a few mispronounced words and sometimes the pacing is just a little off. Over all though, it’s a good performance. I can tell that Gregory is fully engaged in the story (perhaps because the Big Baddie is named Gregory?). He had distinct voices for all the characters and his female voices were feminine. 4/5 stars.