So, the first thing to know about this review is that this is the very first horror novel I've ever read. I was told it was a pretty rough place to start, so I was expecting to be grossed out. Now, yes, the things that happened in Hell, Texas were disturbing and horrific, but I wasn't especially shocked or even upset. Maybe I'm damaged, or I was able to shut off the "plugin" necessary to bring it home, but I thought the descriptions were too clinical to get me emotionally invested in the characters. And I have to be emotionally invested for the horror of a situation to really hit me. Not that I really wanted to be invested in these characters, given what happens to them.
That being said, I thought the story was well constructed. There were twists and unexpected outcomes for predictable escape attempts. There were just enough incidences where hope for survival unfolded and yet the ultimate outcome of the story was not what I expected. The backstory as to how the town came about was interesting, and the main characters were sympathetic enough that I was rooting for their survival. I was pleased when certain of the baddies "got theirs" toward the end.
Other than the clinical nature of the writing, which I think stems from more telling than showing, the writing was strong. A few narrative tense issues, and the consistent misuse of the form of "lie", but no errors distracting enough to make me want to throw the book in frustration, just shake my head a few times.
In summary, I liked this story - more than I expected to, honestly - but I can't say I "really liked it" so it gets a solid 3 stars on Goodreads, and 4 on Amazon.