Horror World

The Horrorworld Review For "A Blood Of Killers":
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Author:  ttzuma [ Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  The Horrorworld Review For "A Blood Of Killers":

(This appeared in Jan. 2010 and is in the HorrorWorld archives of reviews)

A Blood of Killers, by Gerard Houarner; Necro Publications; 2009; 426 pgs; $21.95

Once in a while a book comes along where the author has managed to capture the true essence of evil. Gerard Houarner has done this in A Blood of Killers with prose so bleak, and with characters so utterly brutal, that readers are convinced that they seen the darkest aspects of humanity. A Blood of Killers digs deep into a reader’s conciseness searching for a buried memory of fear, or maybe a forgotten terror that has been safely tucked away somewhere in the farthest corner of our minds and delights in reawaking these revulsions, first amplifying them, then exploiting them. The author’s goal in this book was to promote paranoia, fear, and excruciating dread in the reader, to the point where the reader is constantly uncomfortable while reading these stories, even after putting the book down.

More often than not, death, and more specifically torture, are the tools Houarner uses to assault his readers psyche. With his disturbing prose, the author forces us to feel his victims pain…we have no choice other than to put ourselves into their place and wonder what its like to die under these horrendous circumstances. Fortunately for the reader, Gerard Houarner, like no other author that comes to mind, loves to remind us that are many painful ways to die. And his fictional creation, Max the Assassin, is more adept than any other character in recent memory in demonstrating them.

A Blood of Killers contains 12 brand new Max stories that take place before the timeline of the first Max novel (for those unfamiliar with Max, no prior knowledge of the trinity of Max books is required before reading A Blood of Killers). In these stories, which take place before Max found love with a pair of seductively deadly twin sisters and before Max gave birth to a son (yes, you read it right), Max knows little else other than how to kill. Max’s every thought, every motivation, the very reason for his continued existence in A Blood of Killers is to kill. And that’s because Max has a hunger….a need to feed a beast that resides in him…a beast that can only be satiated with carnage.

Houarner’s prose in A Blood of Killers is dark, heavy, and intelligent; he doesn’t take the easy way out by presenting us with blood and gore for its own sake. Max’s thirst for the kill, his every murderous craving, is carefully explained, dissected, and discussed. Houarner makes us painfully aware of Max’s distain of life, be it men, women, children, babies, hell, even pregnant women with babies…for Max they are all nothing but cattle begging for a slaughter. Houarner’s prose for the most part is also humorless, direct, and penetrating; there is no winking at the reader as Max tears open the chest of his kill and begins to feast on its entrails. These stories cut to the bone, and then through it.

Along with the 12 Max stories, A Blood of Killers features an additional 13 stories that are not related to his Max character, but they are just a potent. Every one of them bears Houarner’s signature dark and disturbing prose, and they stand admirably alongside the Max stories. Highlights for this reader included “Say No”, about a boy discovering his powers over death; “Dead Mans Park”, about a young man who is pursued by drug dealers in a housing project; and the title story, “A Blood of Killers”, about a man’s introduction into a society of serial killers.

For those that loved the three original Max novels (The Beast That Was Max, The Road To Hell, and The Road From Hell), A Blood of Killers is a no brainer, this is a must read and a brilliant addition to the Max cannon of books. For those who are not familiar with Max but enjoy the darkest of fiction and love that numb feeling you experience after reading a particularly brutal story, I can’t recommend A Blood of Killers enough

-- T. T. Zuma

Author:  ghouarner [ Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Horrorworld Review For "A Blood Of Killers":

Thanks so much for your kind words -- greatly appreciated, as always!!!

For those of you dropping by, A Blood of Killers is now available across a variety of formats from Crossroads Press:

http://store.crossroadpress.com/index.p ... cts_id=400

Of course, the book will also be available through Amazon, B&N, etc.

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