Monday, July 18, 2011

Don't Wet Yourself

Tomb it May Concern nearly wet himself reading THE DEAD MAN: RING OF KNIVES.
 These books WILL kick you in the ass and make you sit gingerly on the edge of your seat before punching you in the gut with awesome bursts of horror!  [...] Well, it sucks to be Matt, this we know, but damn!  He ends up in an Institution of Fleshy Dissolution completely by accident, but fate deals the cards and the Dead Man will play them through.  He gets tortured, he battles evil. He kicks a ton of ass. There is horror. There is action. There is tension.  I wet my pants.  I...wait, I didn't wet my pants, thankfully I was on the toilet when I read the part that has Matt laying the boots to nuts on a cloddish foe.
Sinister Urge has discovered THE DEAD MAN and likes what they've found.
They’re fast-paced action stories with some genuinely creepy horror elements in equal measure. There’s also enough (dark) humor to keep things from getting too depressing. They’re quick reads, but at only $2.99 each, they’re good value for money. I’m looking forward to getting caught up on the series, and then reading each new one as it comes out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Bloody Good Read

THE DEAD MAN #5: THE BLOOD MESA by James Reasoner was released today and is already garnering rave reviews throughout the blogosphere. Permission to Kill says:
This month’s instalment in The Dead Man series is The Blood Mesa by James Reasoner and a bloody good read it is too – with the emphasis on the word ‘blood’ – but you knew that from the title, didn’t you? [...]The joy comes from, not only a story that delivers what it promises, but told at such pace that it will leave most readers breathless. This story is the literary equivalent to a drag strip race, with the title page being the starting line, and the first paragraph being the green light. From its opening, the story keeps accelerating until its brutal climax. That truly is its strength – it’s rapid fire pace and its unflinching brutality (which you’ve got to expect from a series featuring an axe wielding hero).
Post-Modern Pulps also enjoyed the exhilarating pace and non-stop action.
The story riffs off of some creepy western themes, with a hefty dose of cannibalism, whacko/zombie-movie mania, and did I mention there's a few sticks of dynamite thrown in for good measure? The Blood Mesa [is] another excellent yarn from the Texan author - it is highly recommended.
And our friends at Wag the Fox are onboard for the fun, too.
 If you ever read Scott Smith's The Ruins, or watched the film adaptation as I did, then you might be familiar with the idea of a supernatural force inflicting itself on a group of isolated students on an ancient archeological site. There was a lot of drawn out suspense with that film, as I recall, gradually building the tension until they finally decided to make a break for it. Reasoner doesn't mince around with any of that and goes straight for the jugular, ramping up the danger almost immediately, plunging Matt, the professors, and students, in a blood-soaked rampage that echoes the kind of tragedy that may have befallen the Anasazi. While you aren't too worried about Matt making it out alive, he's got several freaked out college types about to be plunged into his world--and not all of them are making it out alive. [...] I really got a kick out of this one and I think it holds up very well with the rest of the series.
If you haven't read the DEAD MAN series yet, this is the perfect time to start!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Five Stars for THE DEAD MAN

There's a short review of DEAD MAN: FACE OF EVIL in the June issue of Crimespree Magazine. 
THE DEAD MAN: FACE OF EVIL by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin is the first in a series of novellas that harken back to the days of serials. Different authors will be writing different chapters in this battle of good and evil with Matthew Cahill at the heart of it all. An accident leaves Cahill able to see a shadow world normal people can't, and now he's driven to save us all. Damn good fun. 
And Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine gave five stars to James Reasoner's THE DEAD MAN: THE BLOOD MESA.  They say, in part:
If you like horror with a dash of suspense then you should read the DEAD MAN series. They are not only fun but addictive [...]This series is a delightful journey in good versus evil. There is a mixture of fantasy, horror, with a sprinkle of suspense. All of the books in the series are great and THE BLOOD MESA is no exception. As Mr. Reasoner takes on the journey with Matt, we are thrown around with evil. We experience the pains Matt feels.[...] We can see the sores, feel heat, and feel pain as Matt does! The BLOOD MESA is excellent as are all the books in the DEAD MAN series. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5!


When Lee Goldberg asked me to be part of the Dead Man series that he and William Rabkin created, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.  For one thing, I’ve been an admirer of their writing for a long time, since well before I knew them, and I was excited about the opportunity to work with them.

For another, I thought they had come up with an intriguing concept and a great protagonist in Matt Cahill, the man who should have died but didn’t and now wanders the world battling against evils that only he can see.  This is a perfect set-up for a series, because the writers can take Matt almost anywhere they want to and tell a wide variety of stories.

And I was excited as well by the chance to tackle a different sort of yarn from what I usually write.  Even though I started out as a mystery writer and had sold more than a million words of mystery fiction before I wrote much of anything else, there’s no doubt that I’ve been best known for most of my career as an author of historical fiction, using settings and time periods ranging from biblical times to the Vietnam War.  But the Dead Man series is set firmly in our own time, even though THE BLOOD MESA has some historical background to it, and it’s nice to get back to something contemporary.

Not only that, but it has strong elements of horror and the supernatural, and for the most part this is unexplored territory for me in my work.  True, I’ve done a few Westerns that had mild supernatural elements (often of the Scooby-Doo variety!), but THE BLOOD MESA is the first real horror novel I’ve written, even though I’ve been a reader and fan of horror for many, many years.

But most important of all for me, writing THE BLOOD MESA was fun, just as I thought it would be.  I had an absolutely great time with it, for all those reasons I’ve talked about, and I hope the readers can tell how much I enjoyed it.  If they can, then chances are that they’ll be entertained by it as well.