Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

BOOK REVIEW: Tough Guys

– By Dave Dubrow

If you’re familiar with Adrian Cole’s body of work, what I’m about to say about his collection of novellas TOUGH GUYS won’t come as a surprise. If you’re not familiar, then thank me, because I’m going to tell you about an amazing read. Simply put, TOUGH GUYS is the best old-school horror I’ve read in many, many years. In it, Cole reaches deep into your soul to elicit atavistic terrors, making the stories timeless, while mingling them with a feeling of adventure reminiscent of the finest works of Robert E Howard and Michael Moorcock.

The publisher, Parallel Universe Publications, cleverly selected the best novella in the collection to be the first: Wait for the Ricochet. It describes the travails of Nick Nightmare, a private eye whose cases deal with the occult in its most sinister aspects. While the Urban Fantasy genre is stuffed to the gills with such stories, Wait for the Ricochet blows them out of the water in sheer thrills; this is a fully thought-out world, one that we only get a glimpse of in this all-too-short tale. I don’t dare give any more away.

If You Don’t Eat Your Meat describes a plague-ridden dystopia with a disturbing narrator, where wars between neighboring farms are investigated by the sinisterly-named People Police Units and cannibalism goes from an unthinkable horror to a terrible necessity. The author gets you to not just care about the often-disturbing characters in this story, but even root for them. Should I feel bad about that?

While the mystery of A Smell of Burning isn’t quite as startling as it might be, it’s a solid morality tale about child abuse and how it can shatter several lives in its wake.

Like Wait for the Ricochet, the story Not if You Want to Live is a straight-up supernatural adventure tale that peels back the skin of the world to show you what’s really going on inside such things as life and death, Heaven and Hell. Are there more Razorjack stories in the works? Man, I hope so.

Across the board, Tough Guys is great stuff, the kind of horror we used to take for granted years ago. Apparently, it hasn’t gone anywhere: Adrian Cole is still writing it. (You might want to skip the introduction until after you’ve read the rest of the book to preserve the stories’ surprise.) This is my first five-star read of the year, and I’m thrilled to find a new favorite author in Mr Cole. Get yourself a copy and tell us what you think at The Slaughtered Bird.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ BURN receives its first reviews!
Burn Slaughtered Bird Films and Dragon Egg Media’s debut film collaboration, Burn, has received its first couple of online reviews, after a preview screening at the Triple Six Horror Festival in Manchester, May 27th. Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at theslaughteredbird@gmail.com with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...