Published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing on May 15, 2018
Genres: Creature Feature, Crime/Serial Killer, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Haunted House, Horror Western, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Psychological Horror, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller, Weird Tales
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Liam Carpenter spends most of his time above his aunt’s garage, watching obscure horror movies and drinking cheap beer. But this week’s different. This week, things are getting weird. First, there’s his favorite director, Clive Sherman, showing up in town unannounced. Then there’s the string of murders that all seem like something out of Clive’s popular Pigfoot movie monster franchise. Throw in Liam’s mysterious new crush and the cough-syrup-addicted private investigator chasing her down and you might gain somewhat of a clue of what’s going on in Bass Falls lately.
And don’t even get him started on she-demons and blood sacrifices. Bone Saw studios is in town and they’re bringing you the bloodiest sequel featuring a pig-human hybrid killing machine you’ve ever seen.
BONE SAW, by Patrick Lacey, reads so much like a beloved B-horror movie that I felt like I was watching a VHS tape, rather than reading a novel much of the time. The events happening were so well written that I could picture them in my mind as being on a television screen.
Liam Carpenter is an unmotivated underachiever who lives in a small apartment above his Aunt’s garage. His hobbies include obsessing over an ex-girlfriend that left him for a life in Hollywood, putting up with degrading comments from his best friend’s obnoxious girlfriend, and endlessly watching the same old, little-known horror movies.
“. . . with all the presented evidence, you sir, are quite leaveable . . . “
When Liam learns that Clive Sherman–owner of Bone Saw Studios, and producer of his favorite low-budget horror movies, starring “Pigfoot”–is in town to film his latest in the series, it’s a dream/nightmare come true!
“He checked both ways for pig monsters before crossing the street.”
I’ve been a fan of Lacey’s style since the first book I read of his, DREAM WOODS, and feel that his writing is consistently good no matter what “tone” he uses. Whether his novel is looking through the eyes of a boy in a theme park, an adult contemplating what they could have done better in the past, or just pure bloody fun and gore, the words instantly transport me into the action.
“. . . reality wasn’t exactly set in stone . . . “
The characters here, whether quirky, clueless, on a mission, of unknown origin, a mutated pig-human . . . thing . . . , or just plain crazy, were all perfectly believable in the roles they played. The author is able to take on even horror B-movies–with much of the plot being a high body count and unique ways to be eaten and/or killed by a monster–and infuse it with a sense of credibility that you get when seeing something with your own eyes.
“. . . he’d lost his mind. Either that or the Pigfoot had somehow stepped out of the world of make-believe and into Bass Falls . . . “
While a small town is the location of the story, many of the “classic, vintage horror” movies had a crumbling Victorian mansion somewhere in it for atmosphere. Add to that, a vast forest surrounding it for our characters to traverse and possibly get lost in.
Authentic vintage atmosphere? Check!
We have all the elements to perfectly envision this novel in “movie format”; however, Lacey adds his own personal touch to make this story uniquely his own.
“. . . pain didn’t go away. It stayed with you . . . Burrowed under your skull . . . “
His words, his writing, and his inclusion of dark comedic moments interlaced with sarcasm, all combine to make this book stand out from among the others. The characters, their backstories, and most every scene you read is unique in some way.
“You know, it would help if we had a script. We could–and call me crazy here–actually plan these things out . . . “
Overall, I enjoyed every bloody moment of BONE SAW. Lacey’s wit, writing ability, and imagination have given birth to a novel that is as “fun” as it is gory. Even his lesser characters had enough of a personality to make them easily identifiable in my mind. There are many new-to-me books that I read each year, and of those, only a handful make it onto my “re-read” shelves. This is one of those. If I had read this book earlier last year–instead of the last day in December–it would probably have made my “Top 25 Books Read in 2018” list.
As it stands, I’ll have to give it an “Honorable mention”, here.
“Dreams don’t always come true.”