The small outback town of Morgan Creek has a kangaroo problem, and that’s putting it mildly! It begins with a few missing farmers here and there, but due to the remote and rural location of Morgan Creek and the fact that neighbours are few and far between, nobody notices until it is too late. The inhabitants of Morgan Creek must then rush to stop the menace of THE ROO.
For all of Twitters flaws, sometimes something good comes out of a runaway twitter thread and in this instance, it is the book “The Roo”. It all started with a someone posting a picture and then a bunch of writers and horror enthusiasts ganged up on Alan Baxter and more or less bullied him to write this story (a more detailed recollection of the events that transpired is in the foreword of the book, so I suggest you go and buy this book so you get the finer details of the story!). Btw, I was there following the thread liking and even commenting on it, that is something I will tell my far-in-the-future grandchildren about.
Anyways back to the book. Kangaroos are not the first thing I think of when I hear killer animals, what springs to mind for me are bears, sharks, tigers and lemmings, but not kangaroos. The question now is: has Alan Baxter managed to create a piece of writing akin to that of Peter Benchley’s Jaws or James Herbert’s Rats? The answer is an unequivocal perhaps. Now “The Roo” started out as a twitter joke, but Alan Baxter manages to create an engaging and fun tale here. Filled with brutal and gory killings by a massive kangaroo. Lots of quickfire dialogue and memorable characters. Most of the characters are named after various people in the horror community, most of them were egging Baxter on to write this story, so if you read that your favourite horror writer is being brutally killed by the “biggest fukin roo” ever, well, now you know why.
Now, I know what you are saying; “this is just a silly monster book about killer kangaroos”. Whereupon I will answer “yes and no”. Yes, it is a book about a killer kangaroo. No, its not silly! This is because it also features themes of toxic masculinity and domestic abuse.
Slight side note, Baxter has added a glossary for various sayings and words that are frequently used in outback Australia. This I must admit, was quite useful. If you ever want to know what the saying “We’re no here to fuck spiders” means, well, just buy the book and find out for yourself!
So, all in all, if you are after a demonic killer kangaroo creature feature with deeper themes, then look no further.