Monday, July 18, 2005

MICHAEL IN HELL by Dennis Latham (PageFree)

Here's a funny story: I'm having lunch with an old friend when she starts telling me about this great book she had just finished the night before. She said it was about a serial killer who kills pedophiles and other serial killers. I said, "Oh, yeah, I read that, too."

We discussed the book for five minutes.

It wasn't until our desserts arrived that we finally figured out she was talking about
this book and I was talking about this book.

As she left the restaurant, she turned to me and said, "[my name], you really need to start reading real books again."

And as she got into her cab, I said, "They are real." Then I flipped her the bird.

Let me show you how real it is:

Dennis Latham's MICHAEL IN HELL is certainly similar to DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER--thought let it be said it was published four years prior to Jeff Lindsay's wildly popular novel. MICHAEL is the story of Michael Tucker (no, not that funny little guy from L.A. Law), a Vietnam Veteran and child-abuse victim, who lives in a (near future time?) in a cabin somewhere near Cincinnati who preys on the worst, most vile people on the planet (or at least the greater Cincinnati area.) And, like Dexter, we want to see him win.

Note: This book is far more horror than it is thriller, though it is certainly both (and maybe even a little Science Fiction.) It is tightly written and dead-on perfect for its genre. It is grossly shocking. And, at times, simply gross. But it is a page-turner and if your hands aren't sweating by the end, then check your pulse.

For lack of prose-wise comparison, if you liked Saw or Se7en (or the aforementioned DEXTER), you will dig this.

Grab a copy. Hey, it's $14.95. What's the big deal?