First published back in October of 2018, UK author Mike Duke’s novella ‘Hate Inexorable’ offered up a tale of uncontrolled violence thrust upon a young innocent family.

DLS Synopsis:
Kendall and Krystal Pittman arrived early at the beach, before the Memorial Day crowd laid siege to the Virginia Beach shoreline.  They planned to spend the day relaxing and enjoying the sunny weather with their thirteen-month-old son, Matthew.  Being an ex-Navy SEAL, Kendall still liked to practice his defensive techniques.  Mores so, he liked to know that Krystal could handle herself should the need arise.  So they inevitably ended up having fun with a little light-hearted pretend fighting whilst Matthew dozed in the shade of his stroller.

Their day had been going well, with Kendall getting to enjoy the waves, and Krystal proving she was more than capable of defending herself against a faux-attacker.  That is until Krystal notices their son starting to wheeze.  It’s another asthma attack.  To her horror Krystal realises she’d accidentally left Matthew’s nebulizer mask and Ventolin in their car, back in the parking lot.

The couple move quick, trying to get back to the car before Matthew’s asthma attack worsens.  But as they near to where the car is parked, their hearts sink.  Spread out across the entire parking lot are throngs of protesters, chanting and brandishing various flags and placards.

It’s an Antifa rally.  Making matters worse, the Antifa are squaring off against teams of white supremacists; lines of riot police standing by, ready to step in should the increasingly hostile protesters turn violent.

Kendall is very aware they have no choice but to enter the throngs of protesters.  Their car is parked in the very heart of the crowd.  Somehow they have to get through them and get to Matthew’s medicine.

The air is charged with hate and on the brink of erupting into violence.  And the sudden presence of a young biracial couple with their kid could be enough to ignite the tension.  To turn a sunny family day, into a bloodbath of brutal savagery and murderous violence…

DLS Review:
If there’s one thing US author Mike Duke knows how to write it’s adrenaline-pumping high-octane fight sequences and bouts of hard-hitting violence.  Duke was a cop for some twelve years, dealing with criminals, and face-to-face with hostility on a day-to-day basis.  He’s also an experienced trainer of hand-to-hand combat as well as being heavily into his martial art.  All of which arms Duke with an in-depth first-hand knowledge of person-to-person combat.  It’s something that stands out in his writing.  It’s Duke’s undoubted forte.

In his novella ‘Hate Inexorable’ we see this in absolute abundance.  This is a novella that really homes in on Duke’s clear comfort-zone in writing.  We have ‘on-the-street’ clashes that shoved right in your face.  Hostility that can only be counteracted with an equal measure of brute force.  An experienced ex-navy SEAL desperately doing what he can to protect his family in the face of a truly terrifying threat.  Tough decisions that have to be made in the blink of an eye.  Dramatic consequences exploding seconds later, as a direct repercussion for such hard-to-swallow decisions.

If you’ve already read any of Duke’s ‘Ashley’s Tale’ (2015) books, you’ll see a lot of similar themes emerging in the writing of ‘Hate Inexorable’.  Not just in the fight sequences, but in the characters’ mind-set.  In how they deal with such savagery on an emotional level.  And of course, the powerfully evocative thirst for retaliation that eventually overwhelms you – and the sheer magnitude of fury that this ultimately unleashes before your eyes.  The way the desire for absolute retribution can swallow you up.  Drive you like nothing else.  It’s worryingly powerful.

What you need to understand about Duke’s work – and very possibly the man behind the words – is he’s utterly uncompromising in what he delivers.  There are absolutely no punches pulled.  This is sheer unadulterated brutality.  Nothing is diluted.  It hits you with the full force of a sledgehammer time and time again.

Do not expect anyone, no matter their sex, colour or age, not to suffer at the vile hands of the savage hate-fuelled thugs within these pages.  No one is safe.  No one is spared the cruel hand of those consumed by hate.  And it’s shown with gloves off and a rabid bloodlust that sinks deep down into your gut.

An absolute strength to the tale is how Duke has taken a clear stance on the truth behind Antifa.  The far leftist movement are shown exactly for what they are.  They’re not modern-day heroes fighting a just cause.  Yes their fundamental message may have been bred from somewhere potentially right and wholly justifiable.  But this has become warped, until they too are almost as despicable as those they oppose.

Admittedly ‘Hate Inexorable’ is a very singular story in its direction and purpose.  There are different levels displayed to the characters and their emotional responses to the dramatic events taking place in the story.  But these are only ever in direct response to the singular drive of the storyline.  It’s all about what happens to Kendall and his young family in this explosive situation, and their responses to what plays out from it.  

For a relatively short novella, this singular and direct approach is enough.  After an initial setting of the scene and characterisation of the protagonists, Duke then takes his tale down a road that just keeps bombarding you with unrelenting bursts of gut-wrenching brutality.  From here to the devastating finale it’s non-stop terror and high-impact aggression, firing on all cylinders as the momentum of the escalating violence catapults you through the mindless chaos of a riot that gets monumentally out of all control.

This is beyond anarchy.  This thrusts the worst of humanity’s ugliness right into your face.  It propels you into the thick of the uncontrollable violence and exposes you to the harshest of outcomes.  And at the bitter end, it will leave you gasping for air.  And angry.  Hurt, bruised and angry.

The novella runs for a total of 91 pages.

© DLS Reviews



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