Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dennis Lehane's A Drink Before The War


Kenzie and Gennaro are private investigators in the blue-collar neighborhoods and ghettos of South Boston-they know it as only natives can. Working out of an old church belfry, Kenzie and Gennaro take on a seemingly simple assignment for a prominent politician: to uncover the whereabouts of Jenna Angeline, a black cleaning woman who has allegedly stolen confidential state documents. Finding Jenna, however, is easy compared to staying alive once they've got her. The investigation escalates, implicating members of Jenna's family and rival gang leaders while uncovering extortion, assassination, and child prostitution extending from bombed-out ghetto streets to the highest levels of government.

A Drink Before the War, the first in Lehane's acclaimed series with Boston detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, is a remarkable debut that is at once a pulsating crime thriller and a mirror of our world, one in which the worst human horrors are found closest to home, and the most vicious obscenities are committed in the name of love.
Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before The War is an expertly crafted neo-noir mystery set in contemporary Boston.  Private Investigator Patrick Kenzie the novel’s narrator and main investigator is a descendant of Spade and Marlowe.  A justifiable cynical observer of human nature with a clear distain for those he is forced to work for. 
Kenzie’s partner Angie Gennaro is a terrific supporting player, not fitting the mold of most female characters, and is a fully developed equal of Kenzie.  Beyond the great depths of A Drink Before The War’s investigators is the simple matter of fact brutality, of the Boston area they inhabit.  Lehane’s tale weaves through domestic violence, racial animosity, poverty cycles, sexual assault and plausible political corruption(none of this conspiracy to assassinate the president shit) without ever proselytizing.  Lehane allows the inhumanity of man to stand alone, and force the reader to reconcile the reflection of the world they live in.  In this Dennis Lehane is the true successor to old detective pulp masters, who were very clearly dismayed with the world beyond their window, yet unable or unwilling to look away. 
The mystery itself, concerns a group of powerful political men in search of an ex-employee who absconded with their property is simple and masterful in its composition.  Lehane does not ask his reader for large leaps of logic, and keeps the mystery simple and human in its elements. 
Lehane’s action sequences are well constructed and give the reader a clear sense of fluid movement (even in a car chase sequence, which I always find quite difficult.).  However toward the end of the novel the gun battles come a bit too frequently for my taste. 
In the End;
Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War is a noble successor to the classics of detective pulp.  Lehane has crafted an excellent mystery with fully formed characters, in the muck of the world today.  Highly recommended.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Resident Evil Retribution Review

I am a fan of this film series it should be known, accepting it for madhouse style horror themed action set pieces and little else.  That being said this movie is utter RUBBISH.  The plot is shitty for a Resident Evil film and far stupider than any of the games.  AVOID.

 I would call this a spoiler, except you can't spoil this.  Loads of old dead charters are brought back because everyone is a clone, and Wesker is brought back without any explanation.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Army of Darkness Ash's Christmas Horror

Army of Darkness Ash's Christmas Horror is a one shot with two stories following Ash through two Christmases at the S-Mart.  The first story is a simple melee tale of Deadite smashing action.  The second story owes a great deal to A Christmas Carol and Ash hallucinates his way through the iconic TV specials of Christmas to reaffirm his place as the chosen one.  The strength of this one shot is the brisk pacing.  The writing works and the art while never leaving you in awe is solid.  If you are a fan of any of the Army of Darkness comics you'll dig this.   

The Comix app for Android and I-products in the easiest way to read this issue that was originally released for X-Mas of 08.

Untreed Reads Sale

Everyone needs a break between wrapping presents and visiting relatives, and books are the perfect break. It's a hectic time of year, so let us help you make it through by offering 30% off all Untreed Reads releases at The Untreed Reads Store.

L.A. Confidential Non Traditional Christmas Movie

L.A. Confidential, is great movie for the Holidays.  Starting with Bloody Christmas and including The Christmas Blues by Dean Martin this is the perfect movie for adults strung out on a little too much Frosty and Grinch when Christmas Eve comes around.

Batman Noel by Lee Bermejo

Batman Noel is a retelling on Dicken's Christmas Carol with Batman as Scrooge, Catwoman as Christmas Past, Superman as Christmas Present and Joker as Christmas Future.  Lee Bermejo's wrote and produced the artwork for this very original Batman work.  While it was not a great read, it was never dull, or bad.  To me it represents a true innovator trying something original and succeeding at the task.

Silent Night 2012

I had heard good things about this flick, and figured I would give it a try for the Holidays.  Even with low expectations this was a rather large mistake.  Silent Night fails on virtually every level.  The victims of Santa are introduced mere minutes before their cliched and predictable deaths.  Aside from an abysmal slasher, the mystery elements are poorly done and the reveal of who Santa is is nothing short of stupid.  Just to pad the movie about a go nowhere drug dealer subplot is thrown in and does not matter to any of the other plot elements when it is easily resolved.  

Jaimie King and Malcolm Mc Dowell give solid performances, that are wasted in this uninspired drek.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips

Tis the Season...Here's M.R.'s December recommendation

Everywhere you look, trashy people are doing trashy things in this darkly delicious debut comic thriller. Set in the middle of a Christmas Eve blizzard in 1979 Wichita, the novel opens with lawyer-turned-petty-mobster Charlie Arglist marking time before an important meeting with his shady partner, Vic Cavanaugh. After this meeting he plans to leave Wichita hurriedly with a load of cash and, presumably, the enmity of its rightful owner, Bill Gerard, the local head of a larger regional crime syndicate. Charlie and Vic run a string of strip bars around Wichita for Gerard, from which they have been skimming cash on the sly. But Charlie, who sets out to visit all the outposts in his "empire" one last time, lets a drunken spirit of Yuletide sentimentality (or maybe spite) trigger an unprecedented (and therefore highly visible) string of improvisations. He comps some of his dancers' shakedown money, causing a riot at a club; he unwisely lets his would-be girlfriend in on one of Gerard's blackmail scams. Then he and his ex-brother-in-law crash the Christmas gathering of their cumulative ex-family, setting off a whole new string of disasters. For Charlie there is only the imminent future of his escape with Gerard's money, and it isn't until he discovers a fresh corpse buried behind Vic's empty house that he realizes that his future isn't what it used to be. Newcomer Phillips's seedy characters are skillfully developed, particularly the semiremorseful Charlie. The frigid Midwestern setting is the perfect frame for Charlie's wretched situation; the time period emphasizes the low-level viciousness of Charlie's contemporaries, and Phillips wastes no time in piling up the bodies. Charlie's final confrontation with Gerard will likely leave readers nauseated with laughterAaltogether not a bad way to debut in crime fiction.

Why for December?

Scott Phillip's cool assured prose creates a clear almost palpable mood of small town self destruction, and the glimmer that their my a horizon.  The Ice Harvest is a wonderful Neo Noir novel with a dark array of distinct characters, crackling dialogue and Phillip's use of the holiday season never comes off as tacky, but rather as a layer of crime to the residents of Wichita 

Raine Delight Interview

Click Below for my interview on Raine Delight

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale

All Books at the Untreed Reads Sale are 50% off all day Monday November 26th.  When you buy directly from Untreed you get a pdf, a kindle copy and a nook copy all for one low price. Click below to enter the sale.   

Monday, November 19, 2012

Alien The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin& Walt Simonson

"Two of comics’ greatest talents joined forces in 1979 to bring Ridley Scott’s epic Alien motion picture to the comic book page. Out of print for over thirty years, this brand new edition has been meticulously restored from original artwork in Walt Simonson’s studio — presenting for the very first time the definitive artist’s edition of the greatest sci-fi horror ever produced."
From Titan Publishing.

Alien The Illustrated Story, feels like a remarkable time capsule, and I was filled with waves of nostalgia as I read through the 64 pages.  Originally commissioned by Heavy Metal Magazine this adaptation has a look and feel of a bygone era, because it was produced in 79.  Being from Heavy Metal the content never needs to be toned down, and yet it does not linger on grotesqueries, or abuse profanity.  

As an huge fan of the Alien franchise, this was a blast to read, and am sure I will page through it regularly for years to come. And in an era before VHS I would have picked this up without a moments hesitation.  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gary A Braunbeck’s In Silent Graves

Robert Londrigan’s wife has just died while giving birth prematurely.  In the hospital morgue he stands over their bodies, trying to find the words to say goodbye, when he is attacked and savagely beaten by a deformed stranger.  When he awakens he learns the body of his child is missing.  And everything he thought he knew about the world is wrong. 

“Do you despair?
Perhaps you should.” 
Gary A Braunbeck’s In Silent Graves is a horror novel that transcends the genre into literary excellence.  Braunbeck has crafted a tale that is mediation on how and why we mourn, and what it means to lose a life and the ripples it creates throughout how you perceive your entire world.  Braunbeck also examines the concept of family and how we define this concept as a society and within our own lives. 

Braunbeck’s prose creates an eerily surreal atmosphere, where your senses cannot be trusted, despite how real the world around you seems.  It is unclear through much of the novel if the fantastical events that seem to surround Robert are real or reflections of his grief. 
There are a handful of brutal melee combat sequences late in the novel that seem out of place and just extend the narrative unnecessarily.  This was my only complaint. 

In the End;
In Silent Graves has a very strong and moving message behind it.   Braunbeck’s novel is a heartfelt and eerie masterpiece.  This is one of the most emotionally rich novels I have read in some time, especially within genre fiction.  I cannot recommend this novel strongly enough.   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chuck Miller gives us a serialized Black Centipede free each week.

Chuck Miller is honoring the traditions of old, offering the Adventures of the Black Centipede in weekly increments, for the low price of free.  Click below for adventure.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cloud Atlas directed by the Lana and Andy Wachowski, with Tom Tykwer

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

Cloud Atlas is a story of amazing and immense scope through small interactions between a few people at a time.  This is the most compelling and emotionally rich sci/fi fantasy film I have beheld in a great while.  At 2 hours and 45 minutes (and 15 minutes of trailers) I did check my watch once, but still wholly recommend this film, a financial flop of epic proportions.

Side note, I saw this the same week the new bond filmed opened and pondered this thought as I walked from the theater.  Cloud Atlas carried with it an R rating, their was small amounts of profanity violence and sexual content.  Yet these elements were handled with great maturity.  Violence was shown as never an answer in and of itself, and always unpleasant.  Sexuality was portrayed as something wholly natural and emotionally complicated.  There the profanity but it was never overbearing and a crutch for the dialogue.

While I have not seen Sky Fall, I have seen many Bond films.  Violence is portrayed as glamorous and the most effective manner for solving conflicts.  Sexually, women are available for Bond and he treats most of them as little more than objects.  But at least no one swore, because then it would not be appropriate for 13 year old boys who are by no means impressionable.

I am not suggesting Bond movies should not be seen by younger audiences, what I am suggesting is that we be willing to challenge kids intellectually and emotionally when showing them depictions of sex and violence.

Click above for an amazing piece from The New Yorker on the Wachowskis.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Desperate Souls by Gregory Lamberson

In this action-packed novel, Jake Helman—the ex-cop and zombie killer—has set up shop as a private investigator in lower Manhattan. When a woman hires Jake to prove that her dead grandson is dealing a deadly new drug called “Black Magic” on a Brooklyn street corner, Jake uncovers a plot by a vicious drug lord to use voodoo in an effort to seize the streets of New York City. Gun-wielding zombie assassins, hallucinations, and betrayals confront Jake at every corner, but voodoo creates more terror than zombies, and Jake finds himself poised on the edge of insanity as he fights to restore the soul of the one person he trusts. A combination of hard-core horror and hard-boiled crime fiction, this thriller is gripping and suspenseful.

Gregory Lamberson’s Jake Helman returns in the sequel to Personal Demons.  The former NYPD widower is now a private investigator who stumbles into a voodoo infused mystery.
Desperate Souls starts hard and fast and is damned gripping.  Lamberson seamlessly interweaves the events from Personal Demons into the early chapters without bogging the narrative down in needless exposition.  This sequel works well, because the outcomes from Personal Demons play pivotal roles in the novel.
Lamberson writes Helman incredibly well.  The P.I influenced attitude of our favorite noir tropes avoids cliché because of how well developed Helman’s character is.  With femme fatals, corruption, drugs and stand offs; the pulp mystery of yesteryear is alive and well without ever becoming durative.
The supporting players are strongly conceived avoiding characters that feel like nothing more than monster/or zonbie fodder. 
The mystery Helman investigates plays out well.  Lamberson peels back each layer slowly so that by the final reveal it all makes perfect sense.  The story is filled with blistering action sequences that are so well written no one feels safe, even Helman.(Who I knew has at least two more books)
Despite all these positives the story lost me.  There is a singular event that feels incredibly out of place and indicative of what I see as the weakness of a series. SPOILER HIGHLIGHT TO READ A key character is turned into a raven, and now Jake has a raven that can respond to verbal commands.  I know this is a story with Voodoo magic and other fantastical elements, but this felt cheesy and lacking the grit of the rest of the book.

Gregory Lamberson’s Desperate Souls blew me away when I began reading it.  Filled with amazing visuals, creative actions sequences and a well-constructed noir influenced mystery I was hooked.  A plot choice by Lamberson took me out of the story in the final stretch, but tastes are individual.  If you can roll with it you are in for an amazing read.   
"I have become the monster you were intended to be."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Get an e-signed copy of Where the Dead Fear to Tread

If you would like a personalized e-signature copy of Where the Dead Fear to Tread just send me a message via facebook or goodreads, with your name and the email address you would like the copy sent to.  You will receive an email at the given address with your signed copy.  All this for only $4.99 the retail cover price.  This is good for all e-reader formats.  

Mathew Bose is the reference & adult services librarian at Hooksett Public Library, author Richard Hatin, author Joe Smiga , and M.R. Gott resident asshole at the Hooksett NH Library on November first 2012.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Bash...With Reed Rothchild Jessica Biel and quality horror= boners for days..

This was one beautiful atmospheric puzzle.  Laugier has created this depressed community the oozes fear and uncertainty.  Even though there are miles of land everything just feels claustrophobic and urgent.  The twists come out of left field and previous occurrences take on a completely different meaning.  Halfway through the second act you kind of figure out where it's going, but you'll never be able to figure everything out. This film is not only tense, but it's also very moving.  By the end I really wasn't sure who the good guys or bad guys were.  All I know is that I haven't seen a horror/suspense film this powerful in a while.  Laugier is one talented director that knows how to manipulate your emotions and create tension.  This one comes highly recommended.  Even Biel wasn't terrible acting wise.

Funny or Scary: Very chilling stuff and it makes you think.
Scariest Scene: When Julia chases after her son in the abandoned warehouse
Overall Corpse Rating: 7.5 blown away corpses.

Click for Full Review

Happy Halloween

Special Thanks to all my guest bloggers, 

Stay Scared, if only for another night...


Hope to see you all Tomorrow Night at the Hooksett Town Library in NH at 6:30  
If anyone would like an e-signed copy  of Where the Dead Fear to  Tread send me a message via facebook or goodreads with your email address as well as who  you would like it made out to.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Bash...Scott Baker's Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat.  For us Monster Kids and Horror Hounds, these words hold the same enchantment as Merry Christmas.  Except, rather than opening an elegantly-wrapped package to see what Santa bought us, we open the door of a haunted house to see what Satan conjured up to scare us. 

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that Halloween is my favorite holiday.   As a kid, the anticipation used to begin weeks before that unholy night when the costumes started hitting the stores.  I’m not referring to the stores of today that pop up across the area a month before and sell nothing but adult costumes and accessories to satisfy every fear or fetish.  Those from my generation remember the cheap-ass costumes our parents used to buy from Woolworth’s or Gorin’s.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  The crappily-made one-piece body suit with the plastic face mask that your mother always had to enlarge the eye slits on because they were so small.  I would stand in front of the display for an hour debating what I wanted to dress up as (I recall over the years being Frankenstein, a robot, and an astronaut).  Once purchased, my mother would never let me play with the costume because the material was so flimsy I would be lucky to get one wear out of it, so I was forced to stare at it through the cellophane window of the cardboard box like I was admiring some ancient relic in a museum display case. 

Finally that Hallowed Eve arrived and my parents would take me on my rounds (if the weather was cold, my mother would make me wear a coat over my costume, but that’s a story for my therapist).  For me it was never about the chocolate.  I only ate a small portion of the goodies and let my mother scavenge through the rest.  The thrill was parading around town in my costume, pretending to be someone else, and proudly declaring my love for monsters.  After that night, I would play with that costume until not even duct tape could hold it together any longer.

While the innocence of those childhood memories is gone, the excitement of the holiday is still there.  This is not because the stores are filled with countless decorations that inevitably become part of the permanent décor of my house (my study is on the verge of having just as many statues to famous monsters and fetishes as it does books).  Nor is it because television broadcasts monster movie marathons for a month, most of which I record until my DVR is full.  Halloween is the one time of the year when the macabre becomes mainstream. 

Forty years ago as a bona fide Monster Kid I was an outsider, the geek in school who never fit in.  I thank God I had close friends who shared similar interests (Curtis, who was as big of a monster geek as me, and John, who was into superheroes and comic books) plus parents who not only supported my obsession but nurtured it.  I never lost my passion for horror and monsters.  In fact, over time it intensified until, in 2003, I eventually began writing in the genre.  But by then horror was the norm.  Conventions celebrating horror, Sci-Fi, fantasy, anime, vampires, zombies, and every other imaginable aspect were held practically every weekend. 

The change in the way of thinking reminds me of a scene from Hotel Transylvania.  (Yes, I’m citing a cartoon to make my point.  And, yes, this is a spoiler alert.)  The basic premise of the movie is that, more than a century ago, Dracula had set up a hotel deep in the Carpathian Mountains to provide monsters with a safe haven from villagers who hunted them down, and since then they have lived in isolation from the rest of the world.  In the climax, Dracula and several monsters must travel back to the city to prevent his daughter’s boyfriend from leaving Transylvania.  The monsters’ apprehension turns to amazement when they stumble upon a festival being held in their honor, and they discover that they are now considered rock stars to the townspeople. 

I feel the same way as Dracula did in the movie.  For decades my love of monsters and horror was out of the ordinary and firmly placed me in the geek camp, but today I’m more mainstream than ever.  So now I’m going to go hang some creepy Halloween decorations, prepare a bowl of candy, and scare the hell out of the trick or treaters. 

Click for All of Scott's novels
Scott M. Baker was born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Scott M. Baker has spent the last twenty-two years living in northern Virginia. His first zombie novel, Rotter World, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. 

Click to Buy

He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy (The Vampire Hunters; The vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon; and The Vampire Hunters: Dominion) and several short stories, including the chapbook "Dead Water," "Cruise of the Living Dead" (Dead Worlds 3 anthology), "Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly" (Christmas Is Dead anthology), and the soon-to-be-published steampunk zombie story "Last Flight of the Bismarck" (Machina Mortis anthology). When he is not busy writing, Scott can either be found relaxing on his back deck with a good cigar and a cup of iced coffee, or doting on the four house rabbits that live with him.
You can check out his blog at:

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Bash...with Reed Rothchild...There was no better time for kids movies than the 80's.

The movie starts off two hundred years in the past where Van Helsing is trying to use a magic amulet to trap Dracula for eternity.  Dracula escape through a time portal and ends up in present day 1987.  A group of friends that call themselves "The Monster Squad" discover that Dracula is plotting to take over the world.  They enlist the help of Creepy German Guy and The Frankenstein Monster to stop him and save the world.

If that doesn't sound like a fun premise for a kids movie then I guess you have no imagination.  In case you had any doubts this holds up really well.  The special effects look terrific considering they're over 25 years old and them monsters' makeup is amazing as well.  The really cool thing about this movie is that it was kind of a re-introduction to the Universal Monsters from the 30's.  It was the first time I ever saw any of the classic monsters on the big screen and I'm sure it was the first time for others my age as well.  The monsters all look great and stand up to the high standards set forth in the original films they appeared in years ago.  The kids in this are pretty great as well.  There's a bit of overacting, but they deliver classic lines like "Wolfman's got nards"  and "you guys are chicken shits" with ease.  There are tons of laughs and the action sequences are still pretty damn thrilling.  Plus there are a ton of little touches that always crack me up like Sean's "Stephen King Rules" T-shirt and Eugene's letter to the "army men" about the monsters in his room.  The Monster Squad original theme song to close out the film is just icing on the cake.  This is obviously a better film if you grew up with it, but I fully believe that those seeing it for the first time now will find at least something they like about it.  It comes highly recommended.

Funny or Scary:  If you're a little kid watching both.  If you're older then still be smiling and chuckling throughout.
Funniest Scene: "Wolfman's Got Nards."  Also Eugene's letter.
Overall Corpse Rating: 8 kid friendly corpses.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Bash...Angel Life of the Party

Click here to watch Angel's one and only Halloween episode 'life of the party'

Halloween Bash...The ultimate play list

Halloween Parties require a great deal.  You have the decorations, changing your abode into a hellish entity.  You have the snacks, class dishes turned ghoulish.  Then you have the music.  It's easy enough to get a few horror movie scores creating ambiance, you probably even threw on Thriller, or Werewolves of London so that the drunks can dance, but there can be so much more.  Here are some suggestions for the ultimate playlist.

Lou Reed-The Halloween Parade

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead

Donovan-Season of the Witch

Ministry-Everyday is Halloween

Einsturzende Neubauten- Armenia (Play this now, trust me)

Welcome to My Nightmare-Alice Cooper

Andre 3000-Dracula's Wedding.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds-Up Jumped the Devil

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Spellbound (Extended '12 Version)

Siouxsie & the Banshees-Halloween

Spinnerette - The Walking Dead

And choose your favorite version of This is Halloween from Nightmare Before Christmas

Also covers of songs like Paint it Black add a foreign element to the recognizable.

Lastly The Second Half of David Bowie's Album Heroes from Sons of the Silent Age on works great.  Most of it is instrumentals with a gothic noir feel to it.

For those who want background images I would recommend Zombiethon, currently available streaming through Netflix.  This is a compilation of 70's Italian zombie features, focusing primarily on nudity and violence with original feature linking the clips.

Happy Halloween.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Bash...Mystery, Suspense & Horror - Author Panel at the Hooksett Library in New Hampshire

Hooksett Public Library

Mystery, Suspense & Horror - Author Panel
Please join us for an opportunity to meet three local authors. Learn about their mystery, suspense & horror novels, in addition to their writing and publishing experiences . One lucky attendee will win a mystery door prize.
The author panel includes:
M.R. Gott, author of Where the Dead Fear to Tread (horror). To learn more about M.R. Gott please visit his website:
Richard Hatin, author of Evil Agreement (mystery & suspense). To learn more about Richard Hatin please visit his website:
Joe Smiga, author of Gateway to Terror, (suspense). To learn more about Joe Smiga please visit his website:


Thursday Nov 1, 2012


6:30 PM  -  8:00 PM


Mathew Bose    603.485.6092


Hebert Media Room