Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review: Lee Goldberg's New Series THE DEAD MAN

Mix one part lurid crime thriller, one part Stephen King-esque weird supernatural horror, add in a dash of colorful sex and a few sprinkles of gratuitous violence, then shake well over ice and pour into a tall frosty mug of icy death. You've just mixed up Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin's new short novel series, THE DEAD MAN.

I've been asked to avoid any spoilers, so I'll just say that the plot involves a young man who suffers a traumatic event, and afterward, finds himself exposed to a mysterious secret he never knew existed. To quote the page for THE DEAD MAN - Face of Evil:
Matthew Cahill is an ordinary man leading a simple life...until a shocking accident changes everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld of unspeakable evil and horrific violence that nobody else does...

For Cahill, each day is a journey into a dark world he knows nothing about...a quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become...and a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.
The short novel (only about 25K words) is fast and tightly written. There isn't a lot of action (this is the first book, so a lot of things have to be set up first), but what violence there is counts as definitely cringe-worthy - in a good way. After reading Goldberg's book JUDGMENT I have definitely become a fan of his over-the-top depictions of murder and mayhem, and this new book doesn't disappoint.

Face of Evil has some sex thrown into the mix, which is always a good thing. I for one think there needs to be more sex in action novels; like peanut butter and chocolate, the two go so well together. There's some sharp humor as well, although the humor is rather bleak - just the way I like it in a crime / horror novel. The random asides given to minor characters throughout the book are especially amusing.

With the soaring popularity of the eBook format, I think we are going to see a great resurgence in the short novel and novella as a legitimate book length, something that's been largely missing from genre fiction since the late 80's. Despite the book's modest word count, I felt it is worth every penny of its $2.99 price tag, and would have been more disappointed if the story had been "padded out" to give it bulk. Face of Evil is a lean, mean story that does well to whet your appetite for future DEAD MAN releases.

1 comment:

Lee Goldberg said...

Thanks for the great review!