Book Review: Sepultura by Guy Portman

Book Review: Sepultura by Guy Portman

Hello Addicts,

One of my favorite of slasher-style tales is where you get to see the crime from the killer’s point of view. Being able to get a glimpse into the mind of a serial killer to find out what makes them do what they do so brutally as well as the lengths they’ll go to remain hidden. I thought Sepultura would be a good one to try, and the results were mixed.

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries Department and is a very meticulous person in his tastes, fashion, food, and drink. He has a son with Rakesha, an ex-girlfriend he still has a physical relationship with, and is very much a player when it comes to women in general. He is a judgmental person who not only looks down his nose at those he believes are beneath him because of how they dress or carry themselves. His interactions with these people give you an idea of his level of sociopathic tendencies. One of those individuals is Rakesha’s boyfriend, who Dyson refers to as Free Lunch. He hates Dyson but has no problem living off the money he provides for Rakesha and their son.

When Free Lunch gets physically confrontational, you see just how efficient of a killer Dyson is. He kills the younger man and cleans up enough of the mess to immediately spend time with one of his girlfriends in bed. Like most serial killers, he has a plan on disposing of the body and takes a souvenir to remember the act. As the story continues, you see his talent at making people disappear first hand. He gets rattled only a couple of times when he runs across people who bear a likeness to some of his previous victims but is cool when it comes to speaking with the police. It isn’t the only murder in the book, but it best illustrates just how much thought he puts into his crimes.

As I said in the beginning, I have mixed feelings regarding this book. It is the second book in the series, but the story stands alone well. You don’t need to have read the first book, Necropolis, to know anything about Dyson Devereux’s character. I can say that I wasn’t a fan of his, but because of his arrogance, pretentiousness, and disdain for people. That shows how good of a writer Guy Portman is. Dyson is one of those main characters who you either love, hate, or love to hate. Some people likened him to Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, a comparison that seems a good fit. I liked the attention to detail of viewing people he looks down on as not people, but things. With some, the only given names are the labels of what he dislikes about them.

One of the things I disliked about the book, however, is the dialog written with very heavy accents. It worked well for some, like the Italians, but made understanding others practically impossible. Multiple times I had to reread sentences to decipher what the character said. Also, how Dyson establishes himself as being above everyone else felt overdone at times. The ending felt kind of rushed as well.

Overall, I thought the book was okay, but not exactly a home run. If you can get past the heavy Cockney style accents and the heavy-handed descriptions, you will enjoy this book. If you can’t, then you might want to skip this one or go for an audio version. I recommend it for those American Psycho and Dexter fans out there.

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J. Pitsiladis

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Dawn’s Dark Music Corner: New Years Day

Seattle Sounds-New Years Day- By Dawn Wood

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AnthonyI had the pleasure of opening for New Years Day and the Birthday Massacre with my band Murder Weapons in Seattle at the end of 2014. I was pleasantly surprised at the charisma and talent of New Year’s Day. Their music appealed to Metal/Gothic and Industrial fans and their humility in relating to the audience/fans was refreshing.

Their new 5 song EP entitled: “Epidemic” is brilliant, with the title track “Epidemic” being a huge fan fave.

New Year’s Day formed in 2005 and began an aggressive DIY promotion of their music on Myspace.  They were featured on “Myspace Record 1 Compilation”.  Since that time, they have toured with the likes of: The Birthday Massacre, Motionless in White, Blood on the Dancefloor just to name a few.

They describe their music as:
Ash”Imagine if Dexter Morgan with side kick Eric Northman, hosted a late late late night talk show in a haunted mansion deep within the enchanted cemetery, then NEW YEARS DAY would most assuredly be their house band with warm blood-spattered bottles of True Blood offered in the red room for the visiting undead.”

Members include:
Ash on vox
Tyler & Jeremy on guitars
Nick on drums
Anthony on bass

Check out these links to New Years Day:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nydrock
Twitter: NYDROCK
Lastfm: http://www.last.fm/music/New+Years+Day
”Epidemic” download:https://play.spotify.com/trackset/mediabar/6JE2QBD2FmzMgYqu65Uzhb%2C1J4FkTOZNz9ooQjZPszM5W%2C165QuY1DUqXzqqA1IZ3Unm%2C049O57ssi7ReAFOmPCPHOZ%2C4B6oGnWjAfnLIApzHkHkDm%2C0gpTgDbkZczXoXiTlGch4t%2C0jVXpiW37MVzkDAptUOXle%2C12hm7s2WGdIFLo13FXoeuy%2C1LY0tTpCaNIqQSqWheIX5l%2C2d6iLsfggnvjl1dep2rpuE%2C5gLMuCZKVpbshie2OpT10M%2C20qReIgUUTYLhojoWyNObg%2C6QmBmb9PaVUqNJaRHrxFkH%2C1JgkDsrK8nnwP8lxhpJXgS%2C031S2FIn62EYApsRJXNAFU/%23/12

NEW EP: http://www.nydpreorder.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKFyoG_RFbY

Tyler

Necropolis

21898627Dyson Devereux is not your average person, he doesn’t like slow sad love songs from artists like Celine Dion and he hates reality shows like the X Factor. He lives in England and he works in the burials and cemeteries department for his local council. To say that Dyson doesn’t relate to people would be an understatement. He forgets people’s names, he doesn’t show any emotion when his co-worker Dorthy dies and in the beginning of the book when he is at her funeral he thinks how glorious his funeral will be and about the promotion he will get now that Dorthy is dead.

What he lacks in empathy he makes up for in intelligence and attention to detail. Dyson sees himself as the smartest person where he works and he thinks Dorthy’s death will lead him to bigger and better things. Dyson knows a lot about death but it doesn’t necessarily get him anywhere when it comes to higher pay. That’s ok though, because he just found out that a war criminal may be working under a fake name in the cemetery and there is a big reward for his capture. Dyson’s skills may not help him on the job  but it will get him that reward money.

The first thing I thought when I started Necropolis by Guy Portman was: “Hey it’s Dexter, he must have moved to Great Britain and started working as a funeral director. In reality the only similarities between Dexter and Dyson is that they are both sociopaths trying to fit into society when they don’t relate to people. The story to Necropolis isn’t why you should read this book. What really makes this book good is Dyson himself.Dyson has a different view on society than most people have and its told entirely from his point of view. One thing I kept wondering about him was if he cares about the people that he interacts with?

Dyson has a girlfriend named Eve who has a drug problem, at one point he says he doesn’t love her but he says he does tolerate her. That being said he takes it upon himself to pay off her drug debts and get revenge on the dealer that has threatened her. Because he does that you think maybe he does care but then he gets embarrassed when she gets emotional and he has other women on the side. Another point in the story after a drug fueled threesome he asks himself if this is love which proves that he doesn’t know what love is and he even admits he has never felt it.

Necropolis shows you what goes on in the mind of a sociopath from what made him to how he lives his day-to-day life.  Death does not bother Dyson, its his business and the other funeral workers aren’t bothered by it either.  I found myself wondering if all people who work in funeral parlors are like this since all the characters shown in the story come across as uncaring. One point where they were preparing a body for a funeral made me almost stop reading. There were times that I felt that Dyson was the normal one among his coworkers. Necropolis is a different type of book and a dark twisted comedy that is not for the squeamish.

 

Mr. Peepers and The Quarry

There are three books that I want to talk about in this post. The first one is a short story by a new author named Akela Cooper. Akela has written a few short stories that are available through Biting Dog Press and she has been a staff writer for ABC’s V, She was also a writer’s assistant on Dexter and worked on CBS’s Jericho. She is currently a staff writer for the NBC series, Grimm.

One of Akela’s short stories is called Mr. Peepers and centers around a cat that may be more then just a cat.  A woman named Genny just found out that her brother died mysteriously in a farm house that he recently bought. She goes to the house to investigate and finds out that three other people had also died mysteriously in the house over the last year. When the bodies were found there was a cat named Mr. Peepers by the body and the look in his eyes is not the look of a normal cat. Could Mr. Peepers be the cause of the deaths? If so does Genny have what it takes to put an end to Mr. Peeper’s reign of terror?

When I read Mr. Peepers it kind of reminded me of a Tales From The Crypt episode. It has some humor to it and it has some violent moments that come across as funny and creepy at the same time. The story itself  is well written and even though I thought the ending was predictable, it still worked.  One of the best scenes in the story is where a woman has a run in with Mr. Peepers and things get a little heated. After that, lets just say that she doesn’t see to clearly anymore. 

Another short story by Akela Cooper that I recently read is Tinderbox Blues. A confederate soldier returning from war one day comes to a house of an old slave woman. The woman offers him some treasure if he gets a tinder box out of a pit for her. The solider decides that if the box is more valuable to the woman then the treasure, he must have it for himself and steals the box. Little does he know the box is cursed and he now must suffer the consequences.

Tinder Box Blues has over the top violence with a story that’s a little confusing. It reads a lot like one of Grimm’s Fairy Tales or like a gothic ghost story of the 1800’s. I think the point of the story was to gross out and scare the reader and it does a good job of that. There is some great imagery to this story and it makes the story well worth reading, if you like scary old folk tales you will like this one.

The last book I want to talk about is a novel by Mark Allan Gunnels called The Quarry. The Quarry takes place at a picturesque college campus on the edge of a Quarry named Lake Limestone. The lake is 400 feet deep and the students are warned to stay away from it. It was formed in the 1950’s, when a work truck tapped into an underground spring, filling the quarry and leaving all the work vehicles at the bottom of the lake.  At least thats the story that everyone thinks is the truth.

One student on campus named Dale decides to find out what really lies at the bottom of the lake. He scuba dives to the bottom and comes back forever changed and this is when the horror really starts. People start dying on campus and something evil is stiring. Dale’s friends go on a search for answers to what lies beneath, but what they find has been there since the dawn of time and may be unstoppable.

The Quarry is one part mystery and one part horror. You dont know for sure what is in The Quarry and what is truely responsible for the killings until the very end. The book leaves you subtle hints as to what is going on, but leaves you guessing. The Quarry is not an over the top bloody horror story, its much more reserved then that. While none of the death scenes are gruesome or very long, they are still scary because  Mark Allan Gunnels makes you care about all of his characters and you don’t want to see them meet an untimely demise.

That is what maked The Quarry a great read, because you are invested in the characters. Even for the bad ones you get to know them, you feel for them and you see them change throughout the story. You see Dale change from a popular kid to a raging psychopath. You see his girlfriend go from self assured and confident to questioning everything she once believed and Dale’s freind Emilio goes from a timid coward, to finding out what kind of person he truely is. You also see the supporting cast go through changes, with each one being different from how they started out.

I had a couple of minor complaints about The Quarry. One was  that I wanted a little more action, I think the maint point of the stories was to build strong characters and see how their lives change when faced with extreme circumstances. So I guess to much action would have taken away from the character development, but I thought there were parts where a little more action could have made the story more interesting. My other complaint was that I was a little disappointed with the end. The ending was satisfying but I wanted a happy ending for all of the characters because I liked them so much. I guess its not horror if you don’t kill off a couple of people and make your main characters suffer. The Quarry is a masterpiece and I look forward to reading more from Mark Allan Gunnells.