The sadistic account of one man’s quest to escape a prophecy he never wanted.
Martin’s life was never what he imagined. He started off with a negligent and abusive mother, a friendless childhood and more hurt and terror than most can imagine. It only got worse when his new “Daddy” came on the scene—the prophetic, masochistic and pain-happy Paul who became the only father Martin ever knew—the man who taught (by way of torture) that suffering is merely a feeling that one can overcome. Fast-forward to New York’s grungy, pre-gentrification Alphabet City. It’s a hepatitis-infested, murder-heavy neighborhood; the perfect setting for this twisted tale. It’s here that Paul continues to inflect his torture. And it’s here where Martin meets Rose, a tattooed, pierced and unabashedly vivacious girl who lives in his building. Because of his feelings for Rose, Martin must revisit his past and determine both his own nature and if he will continue down the same warped path of pain as his father. Told in flashbacks from each character’s point of view, including an omniscient, but untrustworthy, narrator, the novel is an easy read. That is, until victims have body parts sliced off and hands nailed to tables and are hog tied, gagged and stuffed in a bag in Paul’s house of horrors. The star-crossed Rose and Martin find themselves on the opposing sides of warring clans. This ensures their thrilling quest for freedom and the power to choose their own destinies, regardless of their pasts. Long’s prose is deft and clear, transporting the reader from one character’s psyche to the next, from Paul’s squalid squatting quarters to Rose’s warm and color-drenched apartment. Heavy on the gore, blood and suffering, this tale is a compelling one. Those who embrace the genre will eagerly anticipate a second installment in the series.
A psychological thriller for readers who are bored with run-of-the-mill horror movies, enjoy the dark side of mythology and science fiction, and most importantly, have strong stomachs.