It is the one-year anniversary of the accident in which Jeffrey, Sierra Sowell’s brother, was killed and now a mysterious man known as Corliss, has resurrected Jeffrey. But Corliss doesn’t stop there. He transforms a few other people in town who have connections to Sierra – cursing them with an emphasis on their own vices. Jeffrey, Sierra discovers, is not quite alive. He’s a walking corpse with a Midas-like corpse touch, sending those he touches to immediate death.
Corliss offers Sierra a bargain – he will return Jeffrey to being fully alive, but she must do something for him. How far is she willing to go for family?
I liked this book.
Be forewarned … it is extremely graphic. There is violence that makes Pulp Fiction look like an animated DreamWorks film, and the sex would make Mae West blush. Then vomit.
So … yeah, I liked this book!
My previous experience with Tim Waggoner were with his Shadow Watch books. Those books had a very ‘bizarro-world’ feel to them (which I love) and there was some of that same sense here. The character of Mandy and her succubus, sex-crazed actions are some of the most bizarre fiction I’ve ever read.
But here’s the thing about Tim Waggoner’s bizarreness … as wild as it seems on the page, it is tightly controlled – the antics don’t get away from the author – and there is a purpose. This isn’t just a case of being strange for the sake of being strange. Even these odd behaviors and occurrences conform to a set of rules.
Despite the gore and despite the sex, Waggoner’s biggest success is how he builds anxiety and fear. Not too long ago I read another book (which shall remain nameless [and I have not posted a review, so don’t bother searching for it]) that was page after page of gore and splatter. And it was boring. Waggoner is never boring.
When I have taught theatre/drama to college students, I talk about the development of a dramatic story. And Waggoner successfully follows this pattern. We start off with a status quo and then something happens to create conflict. There is rising action as our characters must overcome obstacle until there is a resolution and a denouement. It’s quite beautiful to see this in fiction, done so well.
Looking for a good book? If you think you can handle the heavy stuff … the violence, the sex, the strangeness of it all … then I highly recommend you give They Kill by Tim Waggoner a read. It is very well-written horror.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, through the publicist, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Tim Waggoner
publisher: Flame Tree Press
paperback, 240 pages