Saturday, July 27, 2013

Messenger Edward Lee

A demon takes over a post office, leaving unsuspecting victims with a surprise when they open their packages.
A little bit of Hell has just come to earth.
Would you like to become someone else? Well, someone else is about to become you. He will share your heart and your mind, he will seep into your body, he will feel all your ecstacy...
And then he will take you on a slaughterfest.
Occult rites. Ritualistic murder.
You have become possessed.
But not by a ghost.
Not by a demon.
It's something much worse.
Just as God has a messenger, so does the devil, and that messenger is here, now, in your town. He has a message to send...
The Messenger.
A diabolical novel of ultimate erotic horror...
Edward Lee’s Messenger combines the classic gory excesses that Lee is known for, a small town murder mystery and the investigation of cult activity.  Overall this is a solid horror novel.  The mystery elements are well developed, leading logically from one clue to the next.  The cast populating the small town  of Danelleton, Florida is overall well drawn, but the few characters that are not are the novel’s major weakness. 
While Lee never gets as much credit as he should for character development, this novel has far too many fodder characters who are introduced and slaughtered within a single chapter.  While the intent seems to be the ratcheting of tension for our main players, knowing what they are being threatened with, Lee shows his monsters too much and they lose some of their bite. (Think Freddy in his first flick to the campy figure he became.)  These chapters seem like filler, and I feel this would have been a much stronger work at a shorter length.  The narrative centers around widow Jane Ryan, as she works through the evil around her, and Lee even manages to create a nice romantic subplot for her, she was strong enough to carry the book without fodder victims. 
The supernatural and mystery elements were well conceived and introduced.  The book’s climax was solid and fulfilling as well, with a nice series of well-earned reveals.
In the End;

Messenger has all the elements I like in my horror fiction; A cult, a supernatural entity, brutal splatter, a strong well drawn lead, and Lee’s signature bravado.  However the fodder chapters/characters really killed the momentum.  This is a strong novel,  that feels like it could have been more.  

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