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Home | Books | Book Reviews | Book Review: Backwaters | Author Lee Rozelle

Book Review: Backwaters | Author Lee Rozelle


By Lee Rozelle

Montag Press

324 Pages

“Dare swim these waters?

Welcome to Tallapoochee, a Southern backwater plagued by an experimental toxin that’s turning townsfolk into genetically modified freaks. Follow a puzzling trail of atrocities committed by an enigmatic river cult. Delve into thrilling tales of body horror, bizarro and the weird. Read the unthinkable testimonies of the living and dead.

This “water breaking” collection of twelve intertwined stories combines body horror and Southern Gothic humor in a clash between a cabal of dark scientists and gospel-preaching wrestlers with a secret past. In turns, terrifying and bizarre, Lee Rozelle’s new fiction is a shocking journey into murky medicine, conspiracy and the horrors of watershed destruction.”*

Stories include:

Lyle and The Spaceman

Mandibular Fixation


Lord of The Fishes

A Dead Cat Christmas



Slapjack: A Case Study

Baby Face

The Peckerwood Case


Hydromaniacs: A Novelette

Backwaters written by Lee Rozelle is genre horror presented in anthology format. Broad, abstract and intense the pages within will surely whet the thirst of even the most jaded of horror enthusiasts and rednecks alike. We can all agree there is a little something for just about everyone.

When shining light and casting shadows to epitomize the fear elements the author utilizes a fine blend of satire throughout. It provides just the right degree of levity. Tossing the readership’s psyche into a roller coaster of emotion the broad spectrum moves the plot of each twisted tale along at a decent pace. We each see a little of ourselves immersed within the tale, (and if not, then at least someone we’ve once known) in the larger-than-life characters. A sense of relation is established, and we are each deeply invested within the tale.

The characters from tale to tale are cut from a lowbrow cloth. Simple. Naïve, yet primal and unpredictable in their intention and action. These characters manage to accentuate the suspense factors. The reading audience has no idea what may unfold or transpire next. Many may ponder what it is that they have just read. Rozelle has a profound gift in creating characters that in equal parts gravitate us towards each and unnerve us just as much. Unleashing memorable characters makes Backwaters a certifiable page turner, rendering the reading audience ravenous for more.

What makes this short story collection so special is the authors ingenuity to interweave each of the characters from one tale to the next. Rozelle manages to interweave each of the characters from one tale to the next (not necessarily all characters from one to the other). Ordinarily one may suspect this is simple the blueprint of a novel. However, this anthology and its design is much more than that. We just don’t know when our loveable halfwits are going to be exhumed and pop up in the next story. While each plot is just as effective as the last, each vies for creeping on our most primal of fears. The spell binding conclusion may very well render you spell bound until the summer’s end.

The timing in release of this collection is impeccable. Backwaters is an ideal read to lazily consume by a cottage lake, fishing or around a campfire. Readers will look back at the summer of 2024 with cherished memories, knowing Backwaters will be shelved among the annals of fond time.

Rozelle’s anthology may readily become its own marketing machine as friends begin to refer and recommend the title to one another. Word of mouth of course is often the most effective advertising and marketing there is. In this instance the product quite literally sells itself.

This collection has the potential of a formidable franchise. Backwaters could easily translate forward with increasing momentum into and adaptation on the streaming screen, to audiobooks, podcasts, etc. The potential knows no bounds.

Would be aficionados of Backwaters, should this be their inaugural exposure to the works of Lee Waters, Readers may also gravitate to The Ballad of Jasmine Wills as well as two additional non-fiction releases. Horrornews.net will be keeping a close eye on the endeavors of one Lee Rozelle.

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