Tag Archives: Bill Russo

A Review of The Killer Catfish of Cape Cod

Book cover for The Killer Catfish of Cape Cod by Bill Russo. Image on cover shows a few dead trees in a flooded area that could be a swamp or the overflow area for a river. The sky above the trees is blue with a few puffy white clouds in them, and you can see a forest of healthy trees in the distance. The water looks like it has been recently disturbed as it is not perfectly still.Title: The Killer Catfish of Cape Cod

Author: Bill Russo

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: September 9, 2017

Genres: Horror, Contemporary

Length: 26 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 5 Stars


This is not a Halloween story though you might find monsters in it, depending on what your definition of a monster is. Rather, it is the tale of two young men in search of an eerie pond they read about in a book – a strange lake said to be filled with man-eating catfish. Against the counsel of a wily old Cape Codder who claims there’s no truth to the story, they venture into the wild, uninhabited area in hopes of collecting specimens to sell to a museum in Maine. You could go to that Museum (It really does exist) and see if there are any collections of Killer Catfish on display – or if you find it more convenient, you may read the story!

Content Warning: Murders. I will not discuss it in my review.


If you know better, will you do better?

There wasn’t a lot of time for character development in such a short piece, but Mr. Russo definitely made the best of what he had. I especially enjoyed getting to know Anse, a slightly crusty old man who worked at a tackle shop and often gave tourists advice on the best fishing spots in the area. He was a little gruff at first glance, but he had excellent reasons for coming across this way that I’ll leave up to other readers to decipher for themselves. Honestly, I probably would have behaved the same way if I were in this character’s shoes. He didn’t exactly live in the safest part of the world, after all, and dealing with constant streams of visitors who weren’t always keen to listen to reason only made things worse.

I liked Anse’s explanation for why Rico and Angelo, the visitors, decided to brush aside his warning and go fishing at Kaycee Pond despite its scary reputation. Not everyone in the world has common sense or is willing to consider other points of view. Sometimes this only leads to minor inconveniences, but occasionally it can be wildly dangerous to ignore the advice of people who have many years of experience on a specific subject like, say, catfish that are much larger and smarter than they should be.

The ending was perfectly frighting. While I can’t go into much detail about what happened in it without giving away spoilers, I can say that it added new layers of meaning not only to everything Anse already knew about that area but also to why nobody lived near that pond anymore and why everyone else in the area was also terrified of getting too close to the water. This was one of those cases when basic details about what happened were more than enough to tickle my imagination and make me feel very glad that fishing isn’t one of my hobbies.

The Killer Catfish of Cape Cod made me shudder.


Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy