Favourite authors include John Connolly, Lee Thompson, Ed Lorn, Craig Saunders, Joe Hill, Kealan Patrick Burke, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, Michael McBride, James Newman & Stephen King. Just to name a few.
I also collect Signed first editions, wish I'd got more money, there's so many books I want and there needs to be more hours in the day.
'It’s a mean old world, isn’t it?'
Beginning in 1953 The Incurables by Jon Bassoff is a character driven tale with its heart set in madness and its thoughts desperate for tranquillity amidst the Incurables of society.
Thirty-two hundred lives he’d saved, give or take, and he wasn’t done yet. The famous Dr. Walter Freeman, the pioneer of the transorbital lobotomy but when his time is deemed over, there's no going back so he kidnaps his latest patient and it’s time for pastures new.
'Without hesitation, he grasped the ice pick and jammed the point into the tear duct. He then gripped the hammer and struck the ice pick, once, twice, causing an audible crack. Back and forth, back and forth he cut. Then, with a twisting movement, he withdrew the ice pick, all the while pressing his gnarled fingers on Edgar’s eyelids, preventing hemorrhaging.'
And that is a transorbital lobotomy, Woah WTF, this apparently, effectively treats patients with a history of anxiety, depression, insomnia and bouts of homicidal mania. Dr Freeman and Edgar find themselves on the carnival circuit wanting only to help those in need. And with a sign.
'The Amazing Dr. Freeman and his Transorbital Lobotomy. Ending Mental Anguish Today.'
Durango Stanton, sixteen year old Messiah, is also on the carnival circuit with his father, usually found sat cross-legged on a homemade throne, wearing a crown of thorns while dear old Dad preaches all the truths the sinners don't want to hear. And then there's Scent, a young woman who sells her body to survive, her Mother has loads of money hidden away, waiting for her lover to return, forcing them to live in poverty. So we have one crazy Father, one crazy Mother and as if sent from heaven, the good doctor.
“It’s the town. Out here in the middle of nowhere with all them ghosts whispering from beneath the bloody dirt. A town full of incurables, a town full of sinners, a town run by the devil. And wherever the devil is, God is sure to follow.”
The Incurables sees Jon Bassoff back to his best following a slight stutter with Factory Town, Scent was easily my favourite character, seemingly a fragile young thing with a dark side desperate for reparation but will she get what's due? In a place where insanity blossoms amongst the hopeless and faith doesn't mean a thing, only death.
I've said before that Craig Saunders writing style fits succinctly with my inner core and A Strangers Grave is definitely one of my favourites.
Elton Burlock is out of prison after a long 26 year stretch for murder, longer than it should have been but that's something at the heart of his story, along with the reason he went to jail. You would think a murderer an evil man but Elton is far from that, he's an old man now just surviving.
The only job Elton can get is the keeper of an old graveyard in a small Norfolk market town, the first headstones were laid in 1756 but something much older came in 2007. A trio of angels carved in basalt and polished to a black sheen, the evil those angels bought was older than anything.
And when the first murder occurs, who is the obvious suspect?
'But he screamed, then, because as he came she came, the old one, and she drove splinters into his spine and tore out handfuls of his lungs until he could scream no more, snapped his neck, broke his skull, tore into his brain, her worm-ridden tongue licking and licking and eating his eyeballs from behind.'
So there's death in the graveyard, the odd ghost with evil intent, still-born children buried in a strangers grave, a grave that can never be too deep and some laughs around two fat coppers.
'They both set to running as fast as two fat coppers can in a dark cemetery if they don't want a broken neck or a coronary, because of intuition, but also because both policeman knew that whatever happened next, neither one wanted to get to the screamer alone.'
From reading Craig Saunders work you can tell he doesn't waste much time on masses of research, the writing flows effortlessly from darkness to humour in the blink of an eye and I've got visions of him chuckling away in his legendary shed, maybe it's got a little bar and pool table for relaxing. But at the end of the day I really enjoyed A Strangers Grave, the protagonist carries enough baggage to make for an arresting character coupled with a disturbingly creepy setting and a quite wicked story. Craig Saunders does it again.
I love this fucking series but there's two questions burning a hole in my tiny little mind, first off they did the old change the artist trick for the second volume. Nick Spencer does the story and Riley Rossmo who did the art for volume 1 has been replaced with Ryan Browne. Normally this infuriates me, they have an absolutely top notch winning formula and they bloody change it, how many times does this happen, fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.
I'd ban that shit, have a bit more thought for us muppets who turn into fans and keep these franchises going. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, it does annoy me just a little as you can probably tell. Thankfully the story continues in the violently imaginative vein of the first volume, in fact the stories better, the artworks slightly different and thankfully they manage to get the flashbacks of Madder Red (once chief homicidal maniac and former criminal overlord of the city of Bedlam and now helping the law catch serial killers) absolutely spot on.
Fillmore Press was once Madder Red, now he's cured of his maniacness and psychotic tendencies. Now he wants to help catch killers with his unique abilities and there's a new one just opened up for business, perfect. Bedlam is a desperately scary and brutal world that you just wanna explore.
And finally to my second question, what the fuck happened? Where's the continuation of the story? can't find any info in the geekaverse. It's just ended part way through a story it seems, Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh I wanna fucking scream. One of the best series going and its ..... nobloodymore.
Complete Travesty. I’m pretty sure you’re getting my drift by now.
Rumour has it Bedlam will resume in 2016, after stalking Nick Spencer on twitter, we can hope.
That solo in acoustic - superb
The whole 50 min unplugged show is here and is well worth setting aside a little of your day