Prisoner 489 by Joe R. Lansdale

Prisoner 489 (Black Labyrinth Book 2) - Joe Lansdale, Chris Morey, Santiago Caruso

Two islands, one a prison containing the worst of the worst, those never to be released, each known only by number. A place where the electric chair practically sings with use. The second, a giant cemetery amongst other things where every grave is marked with just a number.


I was definitely intrigued, three men inhabit this giant grave yard island, digging the graves, tending vegetable patches and a bit of general maintenance. Their slow sedentary lives are about to change however and the shit’s seriously about to hit the fan with the arrival of the corpse of Prisoner 489.


Okay I'm liking it up to that point, then the story takes a decided turn for the worst and rapidly cartwheels downhill. The author decides to give the game away early on with an explanation of the horror about to encompass the island, given away by one guy and his trusty encyclopaedia and even how to remedy the horror’s about to descend on them. Pretty cheap if you ask me, ruined the story and gave the game away early on with an almost casual reveal, no element of surprise and it was only ever going to end one way. Disappointing.


There is the occasional glimpse of the Lansdale humour but it couldn't rescue a tale that didn't even attempt to hide the path it was going to take.