Monday 7 November 2016

REVIEW: Adam Howe - Tijuana Donkey Showdown

Genre: Pick One!
Publisher: Comet Press
Publication Date: 9th December 2016
Pages: 230


A copy of Tijuana Donkey Showdown was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Adam Howe in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Comet Press.

It is no secret that I absolutely love Adam Howe’s writing. Anything I have read from him before gives me the greatest of pleasure both during the reading, and once I have finished. You cannot help but have a huge smile on your face for days after finishing one of his books. They are that good.

His mixture of genres is superb. His last book, Die Dog or Eat The Hatchet, mixed up horror and comedy and southern noir with splattering’s of crime and mystery and a host of other genres to boot.

One of the stories in it was Damn Dirty Apes where the unlikely hero, Reggie Levine has to battle all sorts of unspeakable things to survive, and keep his reputation intact.

Tijuana Donkey Showdown is the sequel to Damn Dirty Apes. It was a no brainer that I was going to pick this one up.

This is what I thought.

It’s two for one day at Confessions!


Go buy it. Don’t read anyone’s review, including mine, they will not do it justice!


Reggie is still on the road to recovery after his escapade with the Skunk Ape.

Trying to get on with life, and make it as quiet as possible, he gets roped into helping dodgy car salesman, Harry, when his crested terrier goes missing.

Reggie thinks the job should be easy enough but as per normal, it all goes terribly wrong, plunging Reggie into another scenario that leaves him battered and bruised and wishing he just didn’t bother.

Enter Enrique. A famous donkey with a secret to share but not one that will benefit Reggie.

It’s time for the showdown!

So, characters wise in this one you have a plethora of absolutely wonderful people that will make you warm to them and hate them in equal measure and equally as quick.

Our main man is once again Reggie. A has been boxer turned bouncer at The Henhouse, he seems to attract trouble like a Kardashian attracts publicity. Some of it is laughable and some of it is deadly serious. Reggie would be the sort of man you would feel sorry for on one hand and just walk away from on the other. Walt is back as the owner of The Henhouse and is as ornery as always.

There are loads of other characters in this that are just too many to mention. Nazi drug dealers, strippers, well hung donkeys and the normal run of the mill losers that Bigelow has to offer.

The plot is not easy to describe because of the complications that arise throughout the story. It is simple enough in that Reggie must get Harry’s dog back. The complicated bit comes when the Nazi drug dealers and Enrique, the well-hung donkey, make an appearance. To tell you any more about it would spoil it and, believe me, you really need to read this to get the true effect of the story as it happens.

So, what is the book like? Genius. Pure genius. I have no other words to describe it. This story is perfect in every single way.

Adam Howe is a writing master. I’m forty-eight years of age. I have had many heroes throughout my life. Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, Nicolas Cage. None of them come anywhere close to Reggie Levine. The man is just superb. He is a big soft shite that would do anything for anyone while at the same time being tough as nails and prepared to take on anyone or anything. He attracts problems and shakes them off just as easily. Most importantly, when you read the story through his eyes, you discover the dry, sarcastic sense of humour that will have you peeing your pants as you read.

Again, Adam Howe is a genius. This man hails from London yet this story is set in the deep south and you would think Mr Howe was born and bred there. His grasp of the language, the settings of the landscape, the clothes, the cars and anything else that you read about in his books, make you believe you are truly living in the story. It makes you believe he has been sitting in the bar himself watching everything happen. It makes you believe whatever he wants you to believe.

This needs to be on the big screen. It needs to be a series on TV. It would be the most popular thing since Game of Thrones. It has everything to be successful.

Adam Howe writes some of the funniest stuff I have ever read in my life. I nearly got thrown off a bus for belly laughing. I nearly got caught in work when I couldn’t resist reading another little bit to see what happened next. Again, it was a belly laugh that I couldn’t stop.

I could keep going all night but I just feel like I am talking total crap. I simply cannot put into words just how fantastically brilliant this book is. It is everything I would want a book to be and so much more.

To summarise: if this isn’t on your shelf a week after it comes out then you are stupid. End of.

General rating:

★★★★★ could not give it any less.

Rating for everything else:

★★★★★ and again

As an added bonus, you get another short story in the book.

This is what I thought of it.


Donnie needs some cash. The Kwik Stop seems to be the easiest target for him. It’s late so it should be easy cash with no trouble.

He didn’t bank on a shopkeeper with a history and a thirst for revenge.

This is a fairly simple tale of a thief looking for easy cash and a shop that should have a till full of it. Donnie didn’t bank on coming up against a shopkeeper who has been there before and doesn’t like to part with his cash without a fight.

This is brutal. Donnie is an obvious criminal but when things start to go against him you can’t help but feel for him. On the other hand, when you find things out later in the story you are totally behind the shopkeeper.

This is a totally different type of story to Tijuana Donkey Showdown. No humour in this one. It gives you a slight taste of what Adam Howe can do when he decides to go straight. To be perfectly honest with you, he does the straight stuff as well as anyone. You will cringe and you will gag at some of the scenes in this one. It’s fight or run, live or die stuff and it becomes so desperate that you can’t see anyone surviving it.

Wonderful writing that is so fast paced and full of energy that you will not get a breath until you are finished.

General Rating:

★★★★★ superb again.

Rating for everything else:

★★★★★ yup, again.

So, there you go. Tijuana Donkey Showdown in a nutshell. I’ve said it before but Adam Howe is a genius. His writing is fantastic. He can write in any style and any genre and make it his own.

You will go through every emotion known to man when you read his books. And every single one of them will be used to its maximum.

I have a complaint. Write faster Mr Howe! The world needs more Reggie!

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Tijuana Donkey Showdown or any other books from Adam. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Reggie Levine, ex-boxer turned bouncer, and hapless hero, has barely recovered from his ordeal in Damn Dirty Apes, when he is called back to action. Recruited to a retrieve a Chinese crested terrier from a fleapit roadside zoo, where the ugly effing showdog has been mistaken for the chupacabra, Reggie finds himself embroiled in a deadly criminal conspiracy involving neo-Nazi drug smugglers, a seedy used-car salesman, a wannabe serial killer, an ornery Vietnam veteran, a badass veterinarian, a freakishly endowed adult entertainment donkey named Enrique, and in an explosive cameo, an Academy Award winning Hollywood icon.

From Adam Howe, writer of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, Black Cat Mojo, and the winner of Stephen King’s On Writing contest, comes another slice of pulp Southern crime, 80s action, pop Americana, and pitch-black comedy.


Adam Howe writes the twisted fiction your mother warned you about. A British writer of fiction and screenplays, he lives in London with his partner, their daughter, and a hellhound named Gino.

Writing as Garrett Addams, his short story Jumper was chosen by Stephen King as the winner of the international On Writing contest, and published in the paperback/Kindle editions of King’s memoir.

His fiction has appeared in places like Nightmare Magazine, Thuglit, Mythic Delirium, and Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1.  He is the author of Tijuana Donkey Showdown, and two novella collections, Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, and Black Cat Mojo.

In the pipeline: the occult thriller Scapegoat, co-written with James Newman, a horror/crime collaboration with Adam Cesare, and 80s action throwback, One Tough Bastard.

And for more about Adam, visit his site or find him on social media:

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