Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Within by Keith Deininger

WithinWithin by Keith Deininger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Within is Keith Deininger's take on the fabled town of deceit and deception nurturing the evil within its walls. Existing almost through a tear in the fabric of reality, a place where nightmares are born and clutch at the borders of reality.

'Mesa Rapids on the Colorado River, houses many of the art fraternity, wealth resides in abundance on the hill plateau, so it was with great surprise that the unlimited resources of Klimt bought the dilapidated Upshaw mansion in the valley.'

The two community's of wealth and the other end of the spectrum existed but rarely mixed, the wealthy stayed on the hill and the working community of the valley kept to their own lives.
Klimt changed all that, wild parties followed and the people seemed to change, become more carefree, excitable, they suffered from nightmares and life slowly slipped, careening toward deviance.

‘If Mesa Rapids had been a person, it would have been an easy diagnosis to have her committed, and, in many ways, she was. She’d slipped from the minds of the outside world.’

Struggling artist Colin moves to Mess Rapids and finally amidst the drugs and alcohol, luck falls his way. He is offered a job to paint, to explore his artistic license with no restraint. The Upshaw Manor will be his canvas and blood red his colour, kindred of his darkest nightmares. Pretty soon Colin is teetering on the brink of sanity, existing in a daze from lack of sleep, where time ceases to flow as it should and his purpose at the mansion takes a sinister turn. He never leaves, he only has one thing to do and that is to finish his mural. A young boy who suffers from visions may be his only saviour and the few friends he possesses.

Soon enough the town trips as if possessed with no balance, aimless with but one notion and amidst unprecedented murder and nightmare. Klimt's true motives come to light, more sinister than any imagination could have foretold, the town of Mesa Rapids comes with an evil history that ever clutches for rebirth. Another superb story from Keith Deininger, his writing seems to come from somewhere between dream and nightmare, between solidity and hallucination. That's what it feels like, anyway and I really liked it.

I received Within from Darkfuse & Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and that’s what you’ve got.

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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The Raping of Ava DeSantis by Mylo Carbia

The Raping of Ava DeSantisThe Raping of Ava DeSantis by Mylo Carbia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Raping of Ava DeSantis by Mylo Carbia is a knockout 'I Spit on your Grave' style revenge horror that is perfectly paced and practically impossible to put down.

The first chapter takes place in 2006 and a gentleman's trip to a sex club, his new dominatrix takes things purposely too far and he ends up with a plastic bag on his head, 3 minutes and counting. The whispered words of a name from the past, the last thing he will ever hear.

The story then goes back to its origin and 1991 where 18 year old Ava DeSantis, a grungy looking plain girl, ignored by most, catches the eye of three privileged rich boy's. The good looking nice guy wants to pay Ava to help him with his studies, the details to be ironed out at a party. The three friends invite Ava back to their upper class dwelling, plenty of booze, drugs and a sickeningly violet rape scene.

The characters are scrupulously laid out, the rich nice guy that doesn't remember a thing, wasn't mentally taking part, was kinda forced into it, yeah fucking right. The brash annoying jock that takes everything for granted, a cut above the rest and finally the nobody, he's there to make up the numbers and provide a particularly gruesome ending.

The Rape scene is not overplayed, there's enough there to grasp what's happening and who does what, in fact it's very well described. Morning comes and it finally dawns on these animals exactly what they've done, first thought, how the fuck do we get out of this.

"We'll clean her up. Alcohol, peroxide, we'll fix her up best we can. They won't be able to find a damn thing on her body."
"And what about the inside?" Sebastian looked at the others with deep concern.
After a loud sniffle, David finally spoke up. "My Momma left her turkey baster here at Thanksgiving."

The immediate emphasis going on the tragic after affects and the power plays that people with money take for granted. The rapists don't get what they deserve, not yet anyway, for now they get away scot-free and Ava DeSantis. She gets one million dollars, half now and half in fifteen years, and the gift of giving birth, cruelly taken from her.

Forward fifteen years and its gametime but this isn't a quick kill all and disappear type of revenge. This is a slow seeping suspenseful vengeance that dips into horror and eroticism. Dwelt on for years till madness threatens and not restricted to the three culprits. She inserts herself into the life of her chief assailant with calculated and fearless audacity, confusing his feelings, while at the same time getting friendly with nice rich guys pregnant wife.

Meticulously planned by a beautiful and dangerous woman, an enthralling revenge trip that goes just where you want it to go with a horrific end and a brilliant twist. My favourite part of which there were many, was Mr nobody with the turkey baster idea. David gets his comeuppance in spectacular fashion, a play that’s worth the admission price alone.

The Raping of Ava DeSantis by Mylo Carbia is a disturbingly perfect horror story, one of the best I've read this year. Simple, yet powerfully told, the writing is unabashedly paced with riveting characters and a completely gripping story. This certainly deserves to be filmed and I look forward to reading more from Mylo Carbia.

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2)The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sherlock Holmes sets aside his cocaine addiction for a case. A young woman has been receiving pearls in the mail once a year for four years and now has a chance to meet her mysterious benefactor. Can Holmes and Watson figure out what's really going on without being ensnared in a web of deceit and murder?

I read this with those scamps in the Non-crunchy Cool Classics group.

So, Sherlock Holmes. For years, Holmes has been akin to H.P. Lovecraft for me in that I'm a much bigger fan of the works they inspired than the original works. When Jeff and his cohorts decided to read The Sign of Four in September, who was I to resist? After all, Sherlock is one kick ass show...

Yeah, I'm still not a tremendous Sherlock Holmes fan. I understand that Arthur Conan Doyle was largely inventing the genre as he went but the longer Holmes stories always seem unnecessarily convoluted. Watson is a sycophant with very little personality of his own and Holmes is an ass, although not in an entertaining Benedict Cumberbatch sort of way.

Still, I didn't hate it. It was interesting to see how the detective fiction genre has evolved over time. I wasn't expecting the pulpy boat chase near the end and Holmes actually had a bit more dimension to him than I remember.

Due to its place in the genre and because I couldn't bring myself to actually dislike it, I'm giving this a hard-earned three out of five stars.

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