Howdy, folks. It’s time for another review roundup. This month’s books are all the kind that will give you goosebumps and keep you reading way too late at night.
Wireman by Billie Sue Mosiman
I love crime noir, and Billie Sue Mosiman is a recent discovery. She bases some of her books, including the two I’m reviewing here, on true crime cases.
Wireman takes us into the mind of a very evil man. We start with scenes from his abusive childhood and track his budding sociopathic behavior. Then, we follow him to Vietnam. In Vietnam, this man commits a gruesome murder with a garrote. He comes back home to Houston, Texas, and a gruesome string of murders starts up.
One of the victims is the son of Houston rookie cop, Jack DeShane. Jack becomes obsessed with finding his son’s murderer. With the help of a retired homicide detective, Jack goes on a journey of madness that ends with a fabulous twist.
Ms. Mosiman possesses a rare talent at drawing the reader in to her characters’ heads. I found myself unable to quit reading even when I was horrified. Every character was well drawn and interesting…even if I wondered why they interested me.
Mourning Mansion by Billie Sue Mosiman
This novella is a sequel of sorts to Wireman. We meet up with Jack DeShane in the twilight of his career as a cop. This story is part crime suspense and part Texas gothic.
As in Wireman, we venture into the heads of some not-so-nice characters.
Bill Turk is a filthy rich guy who has built an elaborate mansion in a seaside town near Houston, Texas. Bill’s got special plans for his custom mansion. He plans to use it as a kill house. See, Bill likes killing young boys. The mansion is right on the Gulf of Mexico, so he’s got a great dumping ground. All Bill Turk needs is a partner in crime. Then, he finds Tyler.
Tyler is a young male runaway turned prostitute. He has done it all and is pretty jaded about the whole thing. All he really wants is to find a sugar daddy on the streets of Houston. Then, he meets Bill. Like most things that seem too good to be true, this one turns to crap sooner rather than later. And Tyler doesn’t handle it so well.
Jack DeShane knows something is amiss in the huge mansion by the sea. He just can’t quite figure out what it is. But Jack is a determined sort, and what he finds will stick with him a good, long time.
Again, in Mourning Mansion, Ms. Mosiman’s talent of getting the reader into her characters’ heads shines through. I found myself unable to put down this story, even when I felt absolutely horrified by the goings-on.
Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus
I bought this book because it was advertised as a mix of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I don’t necessarily know if I agree with that assessment, but this is a good, well written book.
The book starts out with a kidnapping. Not long after that, the kidnapper sets his sights on the narrator’s youngest daughter. At the same time, a mysterious health epidemic is taking place at the hospital where the narrator’s wife works. I just knew it all tied together, but I couldn’t figure out how.
Mixing history, suspense, mythology, and magic, Mr. Gunhus kept me guessing until he got ready for the big reveal. The climax of this book had the hair standing on the back of my neck. I’m still thinking about that awful creature.
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