Title: Friday Night Massacre
Author: Michael Patrick Hicks
Release date: TBA (possibly late January 2021)
That’s what I truly got from reading Michael Patrick Hicks latest ‘Friday Night Massacre.’
Hicks must have been laughing maniacally while sobbing hysterically while writing this. Or at least that’s what I pictured reading this. Having been friends with and followed Michael for a number of years now, he’s never once been shy about his disgust over the direction the United States has taken since electing Trump back in 2016.
As well, Hicks is no stranger to writing political based fiction. See both ‘Revolver’ and to various levels, his Salem Hawley Series. Additionally, Hicks is one of the supreme rulers of delivering unsettling, gore-filled bursts of violence. There are very few out there who’ll describe stuff so vividly that you feel repulsed that you just read it, but even more repulsed that it fit so well with the story. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has read book two of the Salem Hawley Series what they think of when you say the word eggs.
I am going to caveat the rest of this review by stating two things.
First. I’m not American. I’m Canadian through and through (and not from the UK as many people seem to have believed). As such it’s an interesting piece of writing to read when you’re detached from the news flow when you live on the ground in that country.
Second. I’ve always been completely shocked that Trump was elected and that time and time again the powers that be have allowed things to just seemingly slip by. I’m not going to go into great details about all of Trumps exploits, I simply don’t have the time, but history will not look kindly on the last four years.
I am truly and completely done with hearing and dealing with Trump stuff. Even living in a neighboring country, so at times this book was a tough go.
What I liked: ‘Friday Night Massacre’ can be split into two distinct stories. Which is what I had to do to really enjoy how it played out. The first plot line is following Secret Service as they struggle to contain an incident involving the President and the First Family in the White House. The second plot line is more of a non-fiction told through fiction narrative where Hicks gets to really share his incredulity over just who has been president for the past four years. We get a decent replay of all of the completely insane moments that have occurred and we get to see the rising up of White Extremist Terrorist groups following the orders from their Commander-in-Chief.
The Secret Service section was fantastic. We get to see how Agent Hutchinson tries to rationally assess and subdue the unexpected event and how he works hard to push aside the more strange and complicated part of what is happening to follow his training and his superiors orders. Now, I know this last sentence is a bit odd, but I need to stay spoiler free. I went in knowing very little about the actual incident that has occurred and I think it’d serve you well to try and take the same approach.
Throughout this, Hicks has really done his due diligence in researching the Secret Service ways and as always his afterword shared some really invaluable resources. I’ve found with every Hicks book you’ll end up wanting to do a deeper dive online after purely from the links he provides.
As I mentioned before, the gore and violence in this are over the top. A press conference at the beginning really sets the table for the fact that nothing is off limits and I suspect if you get through that part unscathed, you’ll be willing to take every single body part that Hicks throws at the reader from then on.
What I didn’t like: Ok, Ok, well this isn’t specifically ‘Trump’ as the President, there is not mistake that Hicks based this abomination off of that figure. Because of this, I really didn’t enjoy the “look back” sections where a character would remember all of the hideous and despicable things that the President had done during his election bid and then during his presidency. I’m 100% completely over anything to do with that family, I actually have been since he referred to another Congresswoman as Pocahontas and mocked a disabled person, but there are some longer sections here where events are noted and cataloged and it did become a bit much.
Why you should buy this: Well, if you are an individual who needs a cathartic read where some of your unspoken fantasy punishments can be realized in the fictional world, look no further. Like I said, Hicks treatment of the Secret Service in this was fantastic and I wish he would’ve set this in a 100% completely fabricated world where I wasn’t connecting the orange President with the orange President. With the precision, military-like care Hicks takes to move this story along, it is a very fast read and one that has a ton of action and viciousness in it, which definitely elevated the story. In a way this reads as a bit of a spiritual sequel to ‘Revolver’ and if you loved that novella then you’ll dig this one.
Rating this for me is tough. I’d honestly go with a 1 star purely for the annoyance of the president character, but that’s not fair to the story or Michael. For a visceral reaction and angry response towards this group of characters, which is what I think Hicks was hoping to evoke, then this is an easy 5 star review.
Overall, this is going to hit each and every reader individually. Michael is used to having slanderous reviews where people call him all sorts of names for his beliefs. I’m not going to ever be one of those reviewers, but I will say Hicks will easily enrage readers here. And as that is some of what he was hoping to do with this, well, he’s knocked this one out of the park.