You know a book is really, really good when you find yourself coming to the last page and groaning with dismay that it’s almost over. Three Men Seeking Monsters is a thrilling, rollercoaster ride through the world of cryptozoology and the paranormal that will leave you breathless and begging for more. It’s like The X-Files on acid…or at least some really strong British ale.
The book’s subtitle tells it all: Six Weeks In Pursuit of Werewolves, Lake Monsters, Giant Cats, Ghostly Devil Dogs, and Ape-Men. International bestselling author and paranormal investigator Nick Redfern, who wrote such titles as Cosmic Crashes: The Incredible Story of the UFOs That Fell To Earth and Strange Secrets: Real Government Files on the Unknown, takes us along on a bizarre and downright scary journey as he and two British paranormal researchers, Richard Freeman and Jonathan Downes, set off in search of the monsters and ghostly creatures of English legend and lore.
Set in the wilds of England’s more remote locales, our three fearless monster hunters set out on their incredible trip into the fantastic in a motor home they appropriately dubbed “The Mystery Machine.” As they pursue such phenomenon as the Loch Ness Monster, the Man Monkey of Ranton, giant underground worms, the Shug Monkey, spectral cats and creatures that defy names, they encounter even stranger human witnesses who claimed to have encountered the very quarry our three courageous questers are hot on the trail of. Problem is, the humans seem just as weird as the creatures, making for some hilarious scenes as Nick, Jon and Rich struggle to get to the truth. Not even Shaggy and Scooby encountered such bizarre entities as the creepy witch Mother Sarah, or the strangely secretive Alfred and his eerie mansion, where “the boys” are warned to stay away from the cellar (yeah, right!).
As we follow our fearless hunters into the unknown, several things become quite clear. First and foremost, these three guys are hilarious in and of themselves, and I often found myself imagining a TV show or feature film centering on their gonzo adventures. Any producers out there game enough? Second, this is one adventure that screams for a sequel, if these guys are up for another six weeks of fun on the moors anytime soon. Third, this book is more than a page-turner, it’s a page-burner; so exciting and fun to read you cannot help but tear into each page with lightning speed, eager to see where these guys end up next. Finally, they seem to be having the ride of their lives, and that translates directly to us, the lucky readers. I could almost taste all that British ale…
The only major flaw I found with Three Men Seeking Monsters is the lack of any visual content. I would have loved to have seen photos of these three characters, especially the booming-voiced giant Jon Downes and the goth-wardrobed Rich Freeman (at least we get a face shot of Redfern on back cover). I also would have loved some line-drawn maps of the places in England that warranted investigation. For those of us who have been there, or may want to go there someday, this would have only added to the intrigue and given the reader a sense of where these legendary creatures hang out. But most of all, I wanted some witness drawings of the creatures themselves. Yes, they are described in detail, but nothing beats a good visual representation, especially when you are dealing with half-man half-monkey beasts or six-foot long worms that live under military bases!
But don’t let that stop you in any way from running out and climbing on board this Mystery Machine. This is one book that will keep you up at night for two reasons: sheer excitement and sheer terror. You will forever be looking over your shoulder as you read Three Men Seeking Monsters and savoring every second of the freaky funhouse ride. And as for the monster hunters themselves, I won’t give anything away, but suffice it to say, their search ends with a bang.