FANGORIA Says That Thom Carnell Knows Horror and Damaged Skull Writer Agrees! Check Out “A STRING OF PEARLS” For Great Stories With Heart!

A String of Pearls cover

A String Of Pearls
Thom Carnell
Crossroad Press
February 8, 2019
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Howdy friends, ready to venture into the darkness once more? Then tie your shoes, zip your fly, and throw away that horrible tie (I mean just look at that thing! Isn’t a collection of scary stories enough?) Today’s subject for dissection is A String Of Pearls by the one and only Thom Carnell! While Thom has many fans, one of the most famous is the highly revered Clive Barker. He says, “No one has done more for legitimizing the beauty of the horror genre than Thom Carnell.” How about THAT for an endorsement? FANGORIA also speaks highly of Carnell’s work and now it’s Damaged Skull Writer’s turn to share Thom Carnell’s work with you. I’ve actually been blessed with three of Tom’s powerful books but we’re going to take them one at a time, so that I don’t run out of space!

Something unique about Carnell as a writer, is how personal his work is. You feel like he is talking to you while your read because he adds quotes from people such as Winston Churchill and they really fit. He also offers brief intros to many of the pieces making up A String of Pearls, as if we’re sitting around a campfire listening to his tales. If you like warm and personal in your reading experience, then you are in for a treat! One more thing I really like about these books is all the attention to detail. The cover looks like something from a cheap drugstore magazine rack. Very vintage and weathered as if we’ve plucked this selection from a time capsule. High ratings in coolness are happening here!

Okay, I know you didn’t tune in to hear me ramble on about how great this book looks. What you want is some proof about my earlier claims of greatness, right? Okay then! Let’s start with my absolutely favorite story in here Family Man. This piece of fiction is seriously terrifying! As kids we look up to our parents for values and how we’re supposed to behave in the big, bad world outside the doors of our homes. Carnell paints us a beautiful picture of a conservative All-American family. I mean, gosh, aren’t they terrific? But wait, someone is doing something unusual to some bottles of Gatorade that requires the use of syringes. An AM radio sways oddly in the garage while Dad works, projecting a voice full of anger and vitriol about people who are living their lives “wrong.” It is important that these mistakes are corrected and there are ways to do just that. Very final ways and this Gatorade method seems flawless. How will anyone know what happened? Be sure to check this one out!

People always want to talk about haunted houses as if that’s the only place you could possibly meet up with a malevolent force from the other world. But what if I told you that in a brand new, high tech hospital, a demon lies strapped to a bed? What about that then? Would you just chuckle and shoo me along, or would you listen? In The Sword of St. Michael, a powerful priest is called to a hospital to deal with something more powerful than most people’s worst nightmares. A little boy in a hospital bed? What kind of a threat is that? Do NOT be fooled. When people from “the agency” and Dr. Flemish are involved, this isn’t just a kid with colic. We’re talking about the potential end of the world. Will Father Thorpe’s powers be enough to avert disaster?

There are many great stories in A String Of Pearls, but I’m just going to peek in on one more to leave you fine folks plenty of goodies to discover on your own. The beautiful sincerity of Life, Death, and The Girl in the Cloth Covered Box will touch your heart and make you think a whole lot about what truly is valuable. I’m definitely a fan of Cecil Warburton and of this whole piece takes a hard look at things we humans are most afraid of. Death is scary, but as Warburton says, “Growing old is not for wimps.” But possibly the worst thing is being alone and stuck in a home, crammed full of dope and being cut off from the real world. Maybe not hell, but certainly purgatory to the undeserving whose offspring just can’t be bothered. Great layers of sweet warmth, chilling reality, with a crust of determination. Dig it.

That leaves such gems as the novella Song of the Dragon. Sorority-which is about a unique group of sisters, and The Choppa, which continues the legend of Cleese an amazing fighter who we will find out more about in an upcoming review, and a bunch more really cool stories to discover. Seriously good reading with thought inducing quotes tucked into each story. It should be no surprise that I’m rating A String of Pearls FIVE BIG STARS! This will make a great beach read, but don’t be surprised if people keep stopping by to ask you about it. Want to know more? Than check out Crossroad Press at www.crossroadpress.com  Want to order your own copies of Thom Carnell’s works? Then go to http://store.crossroadpress.com and enter the code FIRSTBOOK to get 20% off your first order from their store! Check them out TODAY!

As You Travel This Summer, Watch Out For Sleepy Little Towns In The Middle Of Nowhere. For The Reason Why, Read Matt Hayward’s Excellent Novel THE FAITHFUL

The Faithful-Hayward-cover shot

The Faithful
Matt Hayward
Sinister Grin Press
October 15, 2018
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Sinister Grin Press has done it again! The Faithful by Matt Hayward is a freaking mind blower with an ending that you won’t expect. Under promising and over delivering times ten! I knew this book was going to be good but as the story unfolded and picked up speed, good was left in the dust as GREAT took the lead. Damn, I’m excited just talking about it! But, enough with the flim-flam, let’s head for Elswich!

The Faithful starts in a mysterious way. A fella by the name of Jonesy is hanging out on the porch of a dilapidated rooming house playing guitar when some kids come along. They want a peek at this stranger that their parents are speaking ill of. But chuckles turn sour pretty quick when Jonesy informs one of the boys about a secret he knows. If not for the surprise arrival of a dude in a vintage Winnebago, the beginning of this novel could have been the end. But what the hell is he doing in weird little southern town well off the beaten path?

Vooop! Rewind tape to an earlier date and time. Famous comedian Leo Cartwright is wrapping up his thirty plus year career as a stand-up delivery service for jokes and funny stories with a final show in his hometown. After the night’s over he plans to hop in the big white Winnie and see the good old U.S. of A. It was something he was supposed to do with his wife, Margery, but cancer got her first. Leo is feeling a bit lost until a young man with cerebral palsy insists on talking to him after the show. Christopher Tate tells Leo wild tales about dreams that seem real in a place called No Man’s Land and that its resident, Jarrad Prescott, said they should get together. Not only that, but he says that Leo is a “truth seeker.” Hmm…

Leo is skeptical and very tired, so he kindly wishes the troubled young man well and heads home. But he can’t shake loose of Christopher Tate’s influence while he’s asleep and has a troubling dream that only gets worse when he’s woken by the hard news that Chris is dead. Not only that, but this person he barely knew left him a cryptic note consisting of the word Elswich and a picture of a scary looking creature. At first, he resists, but something tells him that this is more important than he thinks. Why not at least try to find some answers?

Morning finds him rolling down the road in the RV with some freshly printed directions to a town called Elswich even though he can’t find the place on any paper map. Weird. Not only that, but someone or something keeps leaving creepy notes on his vehicle when he isn’t looking. They refer to him as Funnyman and let him know that his trip is certainly not going unnoticed. Leo’s lived multiple decades and is a level-headed guy, but even he is getting unnerved. He hopes that once he gets to this Elswich, that all will be revealed, and he can return to his original plan of seeing the states through a windshield. Turns out that finding Elswich is just the beginning of a frightening journey. Especially when he picks up Jonesy and his kid, saving all three of them from a very unpleasant death.

But their reprieve from danger is a very short one in an action filled story that has them constantly fighting for their lives. See, Elswich ain’t no friendly little hick town trying to sell you eggs and goat cheese. No, it’s the home of The Faithful a very dangerous group of folks who follow the ancient god, Aypep of Otherworld. While they have worship services for their god in that nice church on the front cover, nothing holy is happening in there. We’re talking human sacrifice and hosting of the most awful creatures. We’re talking about a magic book of spells called the Necronomicon that enables its users to summon forces older than time. Leo, Jonesy, Caleb, and Kate might seem an unlikely team to stop The Faithful and their ancient god from fulfilling evil plans. But if they don’t, it might just mean the end of our world. Forever.

I’d like to keep on talking. But it’s going to be a lot better if you read Matt Hayward’s book. This thing is a killer and a thriller with more twists and turns than a motorcycle race track. FIVE STARS, BABY!!!  I enjoyed The Faithful immensely! Sinister Grin Press never disappoints. They put out high level books with cool cover art and solid editors such as Erin Al Me-Hairi. This my first time reading Matt Hayward’s work, but after The Faithful, I’m a fan! His writing comes across like a right hook to the jaw. There is mystery and suspense, but he never leads the reader so far afield that there is confusion or loss of the storyline. Bravo!

The balance employed in this novel between Lovecraft story elements and Hayward’s writing is perfect. Nice dashes of reference, but not overly so and I think that’s just as it should be. Those worlds exist and we are all part of the legend, but allowing Hayward’s characters to shine makes The Faithful a very special book that harnesses the power of storytelling. Unlikely heroes are often the best kind and it’s what you can’t see that’ll git ya! I highly encourage you to grab a copy of The Faithful today, so that you can also enjoy the magic woven by Matt Hayward! Check out all that Sinister Grin Press has to offer at www.sinistergrinpress.com and Matt Hayward at www.sundancecrow.com Oh, and one last thing…Watch out for those quiet little towns in the middle of nowhere!

Do You Love Cats and Demons? Mischief and Mayhem? Then You’ll Enjoy OUR FRAIL DISORDERED LIVES by Mary M. Schmidt!

Murphy digs OFDL

My cat and I were enjoying a little sun today and it turns out that Murphy is a big fan of Mary M. Schmidt’s work. It was nice to leave the dark confines of the Skullcave for a bit and Murphy found the cover art highly attractive. OUR FRAIL DISORDERED LIVES follows rogue demon Roach and his pal Scorch, who get up to quite some devious deeds! Stay tuned for a review in the near future!

Corpus Press Is Coming At Ya With Their Brand New Collection Of Fear Inducing Stories “IN DARKNESS DELIGHT-MASTERS OF MIDNIGHT!”

In Darkness Delight-Masters of Midnight cover shot

IN DARKNESS DELIGHT-Masters of Midnight
edited by Andrew Lennon & Evans Light
Corpus Press
May 6, 2019
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

After reviewing multiple books from Corpus Press, I know that they consistently put out great work. Not only that, but each new release is better than the previous one. A feat that is difficult to achieve! In Darkness Delight-Masters of Midnight supports this truth in a most powerful manner. This thing is nearly 300 pages of creepy goodness and features a great roster of writers! Israel Finn, Lisa Lepovetsky, Evans Light, Jason Parent, William Meikle, Patrick Lacey, and Josh Malerman, just to name a few. Before we peek inside, take a deep breath and get ready. This is a dark book, full of scary, suspense-filled stories, that’s not for the faint of heart. All set?  Then Horror fans rejoice! We’re going in!

Who Are You? By Ryan C. Thomas is exactly what I’m talking about! In this strange tale, Tim notices some odd looking folks lurking around town and thinks they notice him as well. It’s a trio of people with odd teeth who seem to be connected somehow. There’s the man in the brown fedora, the woman in the green dress, and a little girl. Wherever he is, they show up and bad things happen. Tim tries to alert others, but they just humor him and send him on his way. Tired of waiting for help, he takes action. This leads to some nasty consequences and zero conclusion. Who are these people and why does it seem like the only person that notices them is Tim?

As one continues the dark and dangerous path through In Darkness Delight-Masters of Midnight the intensity ratchets up a notch with each story. Israel Finn’s The Pipe will put your heart in your throat. Seriously. Once again, Finn tackles multiple difficult social issues and puts them together in one massively gruesome package. Derik Ames is in love with a beautiful girl named Sara and better yet, she loves him too. They plan to marry, but something happens and they have to put it off. Then Sara’s father, Joe, requires a meeting with Derik, but is evasive about the exact reason. Derik finds out soon enough about that when he finds himself in a manmade Hell. Is it possible for a black angel to escape a white devil? An absolute must-read!

If you enjoy participating in social media, the next step is to make a name for yourself. Most people have some sort of blog, or use a platform like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to share pictures, thoughts, or maybe something cool like book reviews. For those that really want to achieve internet greatness, the big thing is to get as many “hits” on their posts as possible. Those that want more, have to put the time and effort in to garner them. The four 18 year olds in One Million Hits by Evans Light want to achieve that huge level of popularity on their last Halloween trick or treating session together. These boys really push the envelope, get a ton of candy, and many reactions to their behavior. Most of them are unfavorable, but they push hard enough to reach a horrifying level of deadly. From there, it’s a high speed, downhill run to Holy Shitsville. You will not believe how crazy this story gets! And yet, through it all, someone is happy. Be sure to dig One Million Hits, so you can see who it is and how they express their feelings!

Well, I guess that gives you a pretty good idea of…HONK-HONK! Oh right! How could I forget the beautiful, yet frightening Ford Thunderbird in Lisa Lepovetsky’s story KRUZE NIGHT? Just look at that sparkling red paint, see the gleaming chrome, and hear the rumble of that V-8 engine! For a car nut, this story reads like a dream that slowly evolves into a nightmare. There’s classic cars galore and they’re all going to be at KRUZE NIGHT! Hugh Spafford cannot believe his eyes when he sees the event poster on a telephone pole. A sign, letting him know that a window has opened to the much happier “good ol’ days” of his youth. A chance to escape the dull modern day for a bit. Who doesn’t want that? A look around your neighborhood will probably reveal a lot of people involved in this activity. But is it possible to go too far with it? Hugh is about to find out that a lot of things have changed since the last KRUZE NIGHT at the Dairee Kreme. The results might make you throw the tarp back on that old project car in your garage and run for your life!!!

Does In Darkness Delight-Masters of Midnight get a 5 star rating? You bet your ass it does! Not only that, but it also gets a prominent place on the Skullcave’s “Wall of Fame!” This is powerful stuff, jagged edges, hot to trot, and skip the happy ending Horror. There are seventeen great stories that make up In Darkness Delight-Masters of Midnight and they’re all awesome! This review has touched a fabulous four, leaving you thirteen more mind-bending spine chillers to explore all by yourself. But remember…Just because you run The Dogshit Gauntlet successfully, don’t expect safety on the other side. Want to better understand that last statement? Then get yourself a copy of this great collection today! Check out Corpus Press at www.corpuspress.com to find out more. Available from Amazon.com and your favorite booksellers NOW!

DO NOT GO QUIETLY From Apex Book Company Is A Powerful Collection of Writing About Resistance Wrapped In A Beautiful Cover!

I Will Not Go Quietly arrives

Excitement was in the air as I pulled this amazing book out of the shipping envelope…I mean, as a supporter of this project and my communications with Jason Sizemore and Lesley Connor, I knew that this was going to turn out well. But DO NOT GO QUIETLY has grown into something much larger than imagined. How cool is that?I will definitely be writing a reviewing of  this powerful collection in the near future! But for now, check out this list:

Marcela Bolivar–Cover Artist

Contributing Writers

Sarah Pinsker
Maurice Broaddus
Sheree Renee Thomas
Brooke Bolander
Rich Larson
Cassandra Khaw

And that’s just the  tip of the iceberg! For more information about Apex Book Company, go to ApexBookCompany.com

 

Publishers Weekly reviews Little One

Timothy G. Huguenin’s great novel “Little One” Gets Reviewed by Publishers Weekly!

Timothy G. Huguenin

“Kelsea is forced to face a little girl’s ghost from her past and the devastation she brings—as well as other, even more unexpected threats. The heart-racing mystery will keep readers wondering who to trust and how the story will end.” — Publishers Weekly

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Well this was kind of a surprise—as I submitted Little Onefor review through BookLife back in… June 2017! After a few months, I had just assumed that it was not selected for review and then forgot about it. Another weird thing about the review is it refers to the book as my “chilling horror debut” when it is actually my second book. Maybe they didn’t consider my first one as horror? To be fair, when I was getting ready to publish When the Watcher Shakes, I was wishy-washy and insecure about what genre it really fell into. At one point I was calling it…

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this day in crime history: june 1, 1948

Nobody Move!

On this date in 1948, bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson (not to be confused with another musician who had appropriated his name), was murdered during a robbery in Chicago, IL. Williamson was walking home after playing a gig at Chicago’s Plantation Club when he was attacked. His last words were reported to have been, “Lord have mercy.”

Further reading:

The Blues Harp Page – Sonny Boy Williamson I

Fact Monster – Sonny Boy Williamson

Wikipdeia – Sonny Boy Williamson I

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Looking For A Cool Mixture of Speculative Poetry and Prose? Then Check Out Benjamin Blake’s Collection SOUTHPAW NIGHTS!

Southpaw Nights Cover shot

SOUTHPAW NIGHTS
Benjamin Blake
James Ward Kirk Publishing
February 8, 2015
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Hello there dear readers! I think it’s fair to say that most of us like weird and scary things, right? Heck, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading book reviews here! With that thought in mind, today’s review is about a book that combines speculative poetry and short prose pieces to produce a feeling that the author likes to call “down and out.” While some of the pieces are chilling, others are more of a personal statement about the state of the world or Blake’s characters. He covers a lot of ground in Southpaw Nights, so we’d better get a move on if we want to see the sights!

Inverted-An Introduction of Sorts kicks things off and sets the tone of what’s to follow. The narrator wakes up in uncomfortable circumstances and finds that his home has been vandalized by an evil creature who inverted all his crucifixes. There’s something red on the walls, along with words, dates, and crude drawings of demonic creatures. In a nervous revelation the narrator wonders if there really was a creature. Could it have been himself who caused this chaos?

The story continues as we read poems that are like illuminated billboards on a dark road to the next piece of flash In The Beginning The vicar of a church calls its secretary to report something rather bad. All of this occurs in A Fictional Town where things are never what they seem to be. Look to the poems for clues because someone could be watching YOU. Here, have a cookie! Let’s pretend it’s not laced with arsenic. It’s a much nicer, and quieter way to go than taking a ride with Vincent. His hunger is only sated for a short while, but Little Miss Cheer Captain will be missed.

Leaving town won’t help him escape though, because the hotel holds The Phantom Scent of the Midnight Lady. One whiff is enough to drive any man mad with desire until he’s just a trembling mess. He’d better get the hell out of there before it’s too late! No matter which method of escape is chosen, the nightmares stay close. No matter if one is Ascending in a darkly sexual mass, or attempting to Drive, trouble follows until reaching The End of the Line.

Some never even try to leave this strange Necropolis and they are rewarded with strange sex Against Autumns Discarded Leaves where a lover cannot stay. In very rare cases, true love is forged and wraps you in unbreakable chains that dictate your actions. Spaceboy doesn’t want to leave his soulmate in a deep dark hole, so he rescues her. In Love, In Death, Our Love Stays True. There is no choice in that statement, just commands. Whiskey, pills, beer, wine, and some mighty unique lovemaking will keep Owen and Jean together. Forever.

Southpaw Nights’ combination of poetry and prose really works because things fit together well thematically. But the poems can certainly stand on their own just fine. The Ghost of a Smile is a chilly piece that puts us in a house with someone who could be alive, but it’s not definite. I like the ending:

Making long distance phone calls
and hanging up after the “hello”

How’s that for creepy? I also like the imagery of Bird Watcher. Somebody is watching the birds, but it’s not the lead character. He’s watching the watcher. Perhaps he’s the owner of a special Woodland Retreat that likes to hunt does wearing Daisy Dukes? It’s in one’s best interest to be somewhere safe when darkness falls and even that might not offer enough protection.

So what’s this reviewer’s verdict? I give Southpaw Nights FIVE STARS! This is the third book I’ve read by Benjamin Blake and I have to say that he consistently writes good stuff. His poetry is especially strong, like a double shot of espresso in your coffee drink of choice. Blake has created a unique style that blends together the grit of Bukowski with the grace of Poe. His work will stick with you and you’ll find yourself remembering certain lines that apply to your situation. I highly recommend Southpaw Nights, which is available from Amazon.com and other fine booksellers. Want to know more about Benjamin Blake and his other books? Then follow his page on Amazon or go to www.benjaminblake.com for more info. Be sure to mention that you heard about him from Damaged Skull Writer! Otherwise, I’ll have to send Vincent your way and you really don’t want that…

Warm Weather Means More Reading On The Move, So Take TRAJECTORY JOURNAL Along For The Ride! The Miles Will Fly By And You’ll Be The Envy Of Your Fellow Beach Readers With Issue 18 In Hand. Available NOW!

Hey fellow readers! Do you ever want to take your entire library on vacation? Just rent a snazzy U-Haul trailer and some shelves and a couple good lamps and an espresso machine and…I think you get the point. While it’s true that you can take your Kindle, Nook, or other electronic device, do you really want to risk dropping it in the ocean or having the screen all messed up? Luckily, TRAJECTORY JOURNAL is easy to carry, requires no additional power source and will provide hours of entertainment. Not only that, but it just looks classy! So if you’re looking to read some poetry, short fiction, cnf, and dig some groovy artwork, click the link below and check it out.  Poets, writers, photographers, and artists-TRAJECTORY JOURNAL accepts submissions on a rolling basis. It’s a great way to start your career or add to your portfolio. Happy Travels!  

Issue 18

Richard Chizmar’s Excellent Collection THE LONG WAY HOME Is A Must Have For Lovers Of “Uniquely Portable Magic”

The Long Way Home cover shot

 

THE LONG WAY HOME
Richard Chizmar
Cemetery Dance Publications
May 21, 2019
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Remember those commercials that used the catchphrase: “If it’s brand name here, it’s GOT to be good?” After multiple decades of working himself into the position he’s in as an independent publisher, editor, NY Times bestselling author, and regular contributor to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, I think Richard Chizmar deserves that sort of instant recognition. He’s always doing something new and contributing stories to a multitude of publications. Widow’s Point, his excellent collaboration with son, Billy, has become a movie and just this month he’s announced that there will be a sequel to Gwendy’s Button Box which he collaborated on with a young hopeful from the state of Maine, Stephen King. So call me bold if you want to, but I say “If Richard Chizmar is involved, it’s going to be AWESOME.”

When I got the opportunity to review The Long Way Home I said, “Yes please!” This is a super cross-section of Chizmar’s work that includes 5,000 words of autobiographical notes and two heart-on-the-page pieces. My Father and Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine is about love and what drives Richard Chizmar as a writer and publisher. This essay is something that most of us can relate to, even if they lacked a parent like this. There was somebody-a teacher, librarian, friend that helped us to keep going. The other piece Stephen King at 70-A Tribute to the Gunslinger is about magic. Most specifically, the magic created by the written word and a magical friendship between an author and his rock star. This writing community we’re all part of is built on this kind of magic. Richard Chizmar is a warm, friendly person who makes time to do interviews and podcasts with independent publications. He is constantly talking up creative projects by other writers, and even responds to Tweets from reviewers like me. In The Long Way Home he shows us that he knows what we’re going through and how we feel because he’s walked through the fire more than once.

But wait, don’t let your guard down just yet. Because along with all that warmth come short stories that may cause you to water your leg like the narrator of Roses and Raindrops, who discovers that it’s not always best to know the truth. Aberdeen, Virginia is a really nice place to live, except for one weird problem. Every time there’s a thunderstorm, small children end up dead. No one can figure out the reason why or who is committing these murders. Our narrator is among them until he makes a special delivery to a residence outside of town. He sees everything and although he can’t believe it, he can’t avoid what his eyes are taking in. You’ll be surprised too. Make sure to use the facilities before you start reading this tale!

You’ll also feel that kind of icy terror while reading the first story in this collection The Man Behind The Mask. A woman hoping for some kind of closure after enduring hell as the captive of a mask wearing man gets the chance. The mother of the other female captive agrees to meet with Jennifer. Yes! A chance at redemption and to talk to someone who truly understands what she’s been though. The woman even offers to host their get together at her home. How nice! Jennifer is nervous but knows she has to do this in order to move forward with her life. Unfortunately, neither of the women benefits much from the meeting. Quite the opposite happens. But someone is very pleased with the results! Oh man! This one took my breath away.

A Nightmare On Elm Lane starts off as a harmless sounding story about a kid living in a nice suburban neighborhood with one of those dads who always seems to have a “great idea” for a project. This one is a goldfish pond that Kevin and his Dad need to dig a hole in the backyard for. Despite his initial trepidation, Kevin finds himself enjoying the process and hanging out with Dad. It’s a great summer, until their digging uncovers things that shouldn’t be there. The police are called and the neighborhood becomes obsessed with what is going on. If that’s not creepy enough, someone starts visiting their yard after dark. They’re looking for something special, but only one person knows where it is…Holy Aqua Velva!

The two pieces in The Long Way Home that contain the police detective duo of Ben Crawford and Frank Logan are a treat. I really hope that Richard Chizmar does produce a collection featuring these guys and the unique cases they handle. They are the imperfect yin and yang that mix like chips and dip or tennis and a couple of overweight cops. Their back and forth makes the stories they live in funny as hell and amazing as they unravel puzzles that seem to lack answers. The Witch finds the fellows zooming out to handle a murder that happens on Halloween. Is their suspect just wearing a costume or is there something else going on? The Hunch is a complex psychological mystery that starts with this profound discussion.

“Your doctor’s an asshole”

“Really mature, Frank”

When Frank Logan doesn’t like something, he lets you know right up front. That’s a trait that makes him really refreshing to read and funny. But don’t be fooled by his demeanor. Inside that stubborn head is razor sharp brain that picks up on clues that no one else sees. When Ben tries to force his doctor’s idea of playing tennis to lose weight on Frank, he gets what he deserves. Ben Crawford is the “good guy” in this partnership and possesses a lot more people skills than his partner. Alone neither of these guys would be very effective, but together they are unstoppable.  Great detective stories with highly memorable characters that you can see in your head as you read Chizmar’s words.

I’ve only touched to tip of the iceberg in this vast collection of “uniquely portable magic” written by a man who is a hero to many of us. Not only is he amazing in what he’s achieved, but he’s faced adversity many times and beaten it down with the help of that fellow from Maine I mentioned earlier. The Long Way Home has definitely found a home on the “Wall of Fame” here in the Skullcave and gets a VERY enthusiastic 5 STAR RATING! To cut to the chase, YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK. Every story is a gem and the autobiographical portions are gold. Richard Chizmar is a high level practitioner of storytelling magic. You will feel it in your heart when you savor the pages of this this amazing collection. I only wish that Ben Crawford and Frank Logan were not fictional characters so that we could vote for them to be our next presidential duo.

Want to find out more about Richard Chizmar? Then visit his website: www.Richardchizmar.com or check him out on Twitter@RichardChizmar. Thanks for visiting Damaged Skull Writer! Please check in with us on Twitter@skullsnflames76 and visit http://damagedskullwriterandreviewer.com for news and reviews!