ABOUT Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard
Ryan K. Howard was born in Orange County, California but spent most of his adolescence growing up in the rural region of East Texas. Raised by a hard working single-mother with a restless spirit, Ryan frequently moved with his mom to help her chase the next dream. By the time he reached ad More...



Violence and impending hope collide in Ryan K. Howard’s edgy, controversial, and addictive debut.

Ben Wilder is one of the good guys, even though by all accounts he probably shouldn't be. Still, bad follows him wherever he goes and eventually it's going to come to a head. The question is, can he stay good and if so, will he? With so much bloodshed, it's a toss-up—maybe in the end, he'll have to become part of it. Honestly, what choice would any of us really have in the same situation?

Black Machetes is a powerful, page-turning psychological thriller—at times both shocking and endearing—written with gritty cinematic tones that paint a painfully intimate portrait of a world framed by abuse, tragedy, and inhibited love.


What reviewers are saying...

"This book in its entirety is a gritty and compelling tale of triumph in the face of adversity, and the horrors that some have to deal with and overcome to get there." —The Bookie Monster @ Amazon

"I could not put this book down. It was believable, heartbreaking, funny, tragic and heartwarming." —Donna @ Goodreads

"This book is a 'page turner' - I couldn't put it down - the style of writing was clear and sharp, and the story well-woven." —Lorna Kennedy @ Goodreads

"A very quick read. It will make you laugh, cry, cringe, and everything in between. A real emotional roller coaster. Read this book!!" —Michelle @ Goodreads


Book Synopsis...

Benjamin Wilder grew up with sparse shelter, infested provisions, and constant abuse dealt to him by his stepfather: Jessup—a.k.a. the Rabid Dog. Without a sober mother to defend him from the Rabid Dog’s wrath, Ben finds reprieve and adventure in a club of misfit boys called the Black Machetes. But the world as Ben knows it comes to an end when he witnesses an act so psychologically appalling that it forces him to run for his life. He travels as far away as he can until fate steps in and guides him to a small town where he finds the help he needs to assume a new identity and live a life he could only imagine before.

Years after trying to bury the demons from his past, Ben seems to finally settle into a sense of normalcy. But his world continually gets turned upside-down by a series of discoveries, revealing that the evil from his childhood has never stopped cursing him—having over the years destroyed everyone he ever cared for. When the ticking time-bomb within Ben’s psyche finally detonates with a fumed vengeance, it pushes his wife and unborn child into the very clutches of the same malevolence that has forever haunted him. In the end, Ben must again face those demons from his past in order to save his true love, and ultimately his own sanity.


Bottom line: This book delivers on its promise and readers who enjoy intriguing characters and viscerally-visual narrative will not be disappointed.