Hell's Gates

Fiction - Supernatural
304 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Hell’s Gates by Mary Masters is a supernatural thriller. The story starts with the past; with Jason Torrent, a golden mask and the deaths of two powerful people, Thorn and Sameal Mastema. But what do they have to do with the present? Chris Samuels has returned home as sheriff to bring up his family and finish his career in a peaceful town. It’s not to be though. Soon enough, weird things start happening, and evil emanates from the old Mastema mansion. Why – or how - did the holy water freeze to a block of ice? And why is there so much interest in an unborn child? The answers to these questions can only be found after a battle of demonic proportions – at Hell’s Gates.

Hell’s Gates by Mary Masters was a thrilling read, thoroughly scary stuff. The jump back to the past at the beginning was helpful as it made sense of a lot of the story. It was a gripper, a page-turner and one that I thoroughly enjoyed as it had a good story and no dull parts. The whole story flowed well and was clearly the product of a great deal of work and energy – it showed – and there were none of the dead spots that often litter novels today, making them hard work to read. On the contrary, I found this one easy to read and follow and I very much appreciate the work that has gone into it. Look forward to more of the same from Mary Masters.

Jack Magnus

Hell's Gates is a supernatural horror novel written by Mary Masters. Chris Samuels is the new sheriff of Plummet, a small town in the Hudson River Valley. It promised a nice change from the danger and violence he saw as a policeman in New York City. He and his wife found a small home for their family and left their house in the Bronx. Jason Torrent, a wealthy philanthropist, has had posters printed announcing a reward for an infant who's been reported as missing. Torrent had returned to Plummet after many years away. He took the old mansion, which had belonged to Thorn Mastema, and turned it into a nursing home. He also endowed nearby Broderick University with a wing, but Louise Larsen, an elderly woman in town, knows that something is very wrong.

Mary Masters' supernatural horror novel, Hell's Gates, is exciting and well-written. Plummet is a town with a history that goes all the way back to Lucifer's downfall, and the golden mask of a young boy seems to be at the root of the problem. Masters' tale is dark and intense with even the dark wintry season contributing to the gloomy atmosphere. At times, the plot seemed a bit over-the-top, especially when the author portrays the villain Mastema as an abortionist who plies his trade in the company of his evil cohorts, their mouths smeared with blood. However, the characters, especially Chris Samuels, the new sheriff, and Father Anthony help to elevate this story above the typical zombie apocalypse paranormal tale.

Amanda Monell

Welcome to Plummet, New York, the sleepy town setting of Hell’s Gates by Mary Masters. Thirty years ago, the villain of the tale, Thorn Mastema, is hunted down and killed for unspeakable atrocities committed in town by a mob headed by the sheriff. Prior to his demise, Thorn conducts one last ritual with a haunted golden mask. As time passes, the town heals and things start to settle. As the new sheriff in town, Chris Samuels thinks that moving from the Bronx to Plummet will make his life easier. However, with Jason Torrent, the heir to the Mastema estate, returning home this job may not be the cake walk that Chris was hoping for. After a series of murders happen on his watch, Chris and a group of townspeople start investigating, discovering that these crimes have a connection to the past as well as the future: each act committed causes one of the six Gates of Hell to open. With five of the gates already open, will Chris and his posse be able to stop the last gate from opening?

Hell’s Gates by Mary Masters is one intense read. At first I was lulled into the normal humdrum sleepy town life. As the book started to intensify, I began to realize that my pages were flying past as I devoured the tale of horror, hungry for its resolution. Mary Masters balances dark and light in a stunning display, where her monsters and townsfolk meet and interact, creating an absolute horrific feast for the imagination.

K.C. Finn

Hell’s Gates is a horror novel by Mary Masters which promises supernatural and terrifying delights. It includes every horror trope that a fan of the genre could wish for, from its law-enforcing hero in the form of Sheriff Chris Samuels, to cemeteries, haunted artefacts, the birth of a prophesied child and an old, looming mansion with a dark, long-buried secret. The plot revolves around Sheriff Samuels and his initial quest to have a quiet life in a tiny, idyllic town where nothing bad ever happens ... until, of course, the strange and brutal past of the dead Mastema family starts stirring up some demonic trouble. What follows is a tense and pacey thriller that rockets readers straight towards the gates of Hell itself.

I loved this book. As a fan of classic horror movies from the twenties to the sixties, I felt that Mary Masters had captured a true and timeless spirit of horror in her writing that would make fans of that era both laugh and cry. Her descriptions are delightfully witty in their explicit yet beautiful gore, and her characters are straight-laced types whose emotions don’t interfere too much with the intrigue and surprises of the plot itself. Hell’s Gates reminded me quite often of the 1965 movie, The Skull, and I adored every demonic twist and turn as the plot almost seemed resolved, then went off into a whole new horror again and again at the end. Overall, fantastic storytelling and great fun for fans of the classic horror genre.

Faridah Nassozi

In Hell's Gates by Mary Masters, the usually quiet and peaceful town of Plummet witnessed four gruesome deaths thirty years ago, deaths that could not be explained. Unknown to the residents, on that day the torch of darkness had been passed down to the next custodian when young Jason Torrent inherited Thorn Mastema's mega estate. When Jason turned eighteen, he left town and was not heard from until recently when he decided to return. Many saw only his numerous charitable deeds and had no reason to question his motives; after all, he had inherited billions. When a baby went missing, the town had no comprehension of the events that were being set in motion but, for those like Louise Larson who knew the truth behind the horrific events of thirty years ago, darkness was coming. One of the products of Jason Torrent's generosity was a nursing home, and when six residents of that nursing home died - all on the same night, at the same time and from the same cause - the sheriff knew it could not be a mere coincidence. However, not even the sheriff and his team had any comprehension of the magnitude of the horrors that lay ahead as a very dark legend started to unfold right before their eyes.

Hell's Gates by Mary Masters is a captivating horror novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat and send chills down your spine at every single turn. The story was developed to gradually build gripping anxiety. The more pages I read, the more intense the anticipation got as I went deeper into the twisted plot that portrayed a fierce battle between darkness and light. The setting of the story is so vivid that it makes you feel as if you are there, in the moment. The tone and pace of the story were set from the very first page and immediately I knew I was in for a chilling treat - and I was not disappointed. You might want to sleep with the lights on after reading this epic novel. Hell's Gates by Mary Masters is simply a masterpiece and fans of stories that involve horror and supernatural beings will find it a thrilling read.