Check out Burning Down Paradise by Eric Kapitan!

Burning Down Paradise
Eric Kapitan
February 14, 2017
Reviewed By Brian James Lewis

Okay, I know that I was supposed to review a few other titles before this one, but damn it, Eric
Kapitan’s new book stole my attention! All I did was peek inside the envelope to make sure it had arrived in healthy condition, when suddenly the book attacked and welded itself to my hand! Once I realized that it was horror poetry, I was unable to do anything else until I read the whole thing. Twice.

Honestly, I’m glad because Burning Down Paradise is a great representation of Horror Poetry and using a book of it to write a novel is tres cool. Unlike a lot of poetry that people try to cram into this genre of writing, Kapitan’s is right on the money and easily understood. You won’t encounter made up words or a lot of extreme rhyming. This is reading for real people with smooth flow that connects everything nicely. No dictionary required! Kapitan keeps you turning pages and not scratching your head. Bravo!

Before continuing, I just want to let those folks who are offended by graphic violence and sex know that this might not be their cup of tea. So if that’s the case, please try a different title instead of giving this man a hard time for what he does. These elements are required parts of the story. We need to see the depravity that conveys the evil so we can watch its path through the book. Turns out that evil forced into a teenaged girl multiplies as it is transferred to her child and keeps getting bigger and stronger as he grows up. Eventually the man is gone but the evil remains like Kapitan writes in the prologue. After death the new creature in Hell is so evil he takes on Lucifer himself with surprising results. I like it!

Maybe some of you are asking, “Why tell a story with poems when he could just write a regular novel with prose?” The answer is impact and power. Kapitan wants to drive those images into your head without watering them down with a lot of extra words. Think of it as the difference between a shot of good whiskey versus a big glass of cheap beer. Sure they’ll both get you there, but poetry is going to do it faster with some extra kick. Small but mighty!

Would I recommend Burning Down Paradise to my review readers? YES! Most definitely I do.

This book has some serious horns! A lot happens in forty pages. From theological concepts to the gross cruelty of human behavior, Kapitan has a lot to show us. Including the fact that not all evil comes from people who are white trash from trailer parks. The big government system of schools and correctional facilities is not any less to blame. People either get lost in the shuffle or are forced to follow rules and meet expectations that they can’t.

I think that we are going to be seeing more and more interest in horror poetry and short stories these days because people are in a hurry and they want to be entertained now. If that is true, then Eric Kapitan is right on the cutting edge.

this day in crime history: february 20, 1892

There is something about about Upstate New York that is just not conducive to sane thoughts and acts. After living here for far too long in various locations, I believe this to be true

Nobody Move!

On this date in 1892, upstate NY outlaw Oliver Curtis Perry robbed a train single-handedly. A daunting task to be sure, but Perry had reason to believe he could pull it off, he had robbed the same train once before in the summer of 1891.

By February 1892, the $5,000 that Perry had made from his heist of a train while it traveled between Albany and Utica, NY had just about run out. Being a practical man, he decided to go with what worked before and rob the same train he had robbed five months earlier.

On the evening of February 20th, Perry stood on the platform at the Syracuse, NY train station as the American Express Special arrived. Conductor Emil Laas noticed Perry standing on the platform and found it odd that someone would be there, considering that the Express carried no passengers. As the train left the station…

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Little One Cover Reveal

Check out the cover reveal for Timothy G. Huguenin’s upcoming book, “Little One!” If you haven’t read his fine novel, “When the Watcher Shakes” I highly encourage you to do so!

Timothy G. Huguenin

Guess what’s here? The cover to my upcoming novel, Little One! (Tip: newsletter subscribers have already seen an early version!)

Ben Baldwin is the fantastic artist who deserves credit for this one.

So here it is—Little One, coming July 2017:

3d-book-white

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Review Of “The Ripper’s Time” by Mark R. Vogel!

The Ripper’s Time
Mark R. Vogel
January 9, 2017
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

WOW! This is a book that hits the reader from all angles! There is Jack the Ripper, a timeless romance, mystery, and time travel. Not only is The Ripper’s Time multi-faceted, but author Mark R. Vogel goes into great detail on each of these topics. He’s done the research, and in fact, regularly lectures on the infamous case. Not only that, but his doctorate in psychology gives him more access to the “whys” of the puzzle than the average Jack the Ripper buff. He obviously has a great store of knowledge about London in the 18th century that makes his characters breathe. We’re not reading a boring historical tome, we are there. You smell the filth, feel the cobbles, and taste the blood as the Ripper’s unfortunate victims are slain. Into all of that, Vogel splices in the year 2014 and Henry Willows, a man who wants dearly what he cannot have. Or can he?

After a lifetime of researching the enigmatic Jack the Ripper cases, Henry practically knows everyone involved. He knows all the streets, the locations, and the events to come before and after the Ripper murders his victims. Not only that, but Henry is quite sure that at least one of the victims has been misrepresented. Catherine Eddowes is not just some stupid cheap floozy whom no one should care about. She’s a unique and lovely lady with more of a story to tell. If only he could meet her, talk to her, and see her alive! Henry feels deep in his heart that Catherine is his one true love. Not only that, he wants to rescue her from being felled by the Ripper’s blade so that there might even be a chance for romance between them. His best friend, Flugey, tries to dissuade him from his dreams by pouring on the reality. Henry hangs on like a bulldog, yet there’s a deep frustration that his dreams cannot be satisfied. Catherine will be killed, the Ripper will remain unknown, and the world will move on.

Amazingly enough, Henry gets his chance to travel back in time and make his dreams come true, thanks to a physics professor who most of the campus shake off as being insane because he believes in time travel. Henry boards the time machine and is transported into London, England circa 1888. Is it wonderful? Hell no! Awful is more like it. Things do not go according to his careful plans at all and it looks like the whole rescue mission might be a bust. He gets beat up numerous times and even becomes a suspect in the Whitechapel Murders himself! Not exactly saving the day. Henry even loses his chance to return to modern times. So he’s pretty well fucked. But one thing he has on his side that no one else has, is knowledge.

Against all odds, Henry prevails. Among much turbulence, he wins Catherine’s heart and they have some time together. It is wonderful until Henry finds out that you can’t screw with the fabric of time without some very serious consequences. Instead of stopping, the Ripper continues killing people. Not only that, but he somehow knows who Henry is and sets his sights on destroying him. Bollocks! The overworked London police are not interested in any help from some know-it-all Yank. Neither will they help or protect him. Henry does make a few solid friends, but he needs more than that to save himself and Catherine. The Ripper is closing in and looks like the end for Mr. Willows and Ms. Eddowes until something miraculous happens…

Since I’m no spoiler, that is as far as my teaser is going. I will tell you that the book positively gallops in the last third and many interesting details are revealed in the mind blower conclusion (for now — there could be a sequel). This is a deep read, not a skimmer. Because there are so many tiny pieces, if you miss one, you will have to go back and retrieve it. That being said, Mr. Vogel knows how to make all of his story elements work together seamlessly. Do I recommend it? I bloody well do! Buy a copy of The Ripper’s Time and tell me if ya don’t think this blighter puts together one hell of a case! As for me, I’m off to the Ten Bells for a pint and to meet up with Slug and the boys. We better see you with the book in your hand soon…

this day in crime history: february 15, 1936

Always Leave a Card to Show You Care!

Nobody Move!

gutterball

On this date in 1936, former Chicago Outfit trigger man “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn was gunned down in a Chicago bowling alley.

McGurn was born Vincenzo Antonio Gibaldi in 1902 in Sicily. He changed his name as a teenager while trying to make it as a boxer. McGurn would later go to work for Chicago mob boss Al Capone. He was believed to be the mastermind of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, but the cops were unable to pin it on him when Louise Rolfe – dubbed “The Blonde Alibi” by the press – claimed that she and McGurn had spent the entire day together.

By 1936, McGurn had been cut loose by the Outfit. His notoriety had made him too hot for the low profile the Outfit was looking to maintain.

A day after the seventh anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, McGurn entered a bowling alley…

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