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review 2018-01-01 15:52
Cemetery Dance Select: Michael Marshall Smith
Cemetery Dance Select: Michael Marshall Smith - Michael Marshall Smith


The Cemetery Dance Select series is a line of Limited Edition Hardcovers that will be available later in 2018. There are a number of authors involved and how it works is as follows: The author chooses which of their short works they consider to be their best or that had the most impact on their careers, or neglected favorites they feel deserve a second look. This volume, as stated above, features Michael Marshall Smith, (MMS). 


Even though I own several of Smith's books, I haven't read them yet, so this was a good way to familiarize myself with his writing. I loved it! This slim volume contains 4 short stories, all of which were excellent. Since they are short, it's hard to say much without spoiling anything, but I'll try.


THE MAN WHO DREW CATS is the first tale and my favorite in this collection. Vividly told and extremely compelling, MMS knows how to draw complete characters even in a such a short story as this. At times it was heartbreaking and at others, uplifting. (It was not surprising to discover in the afterword that this tale won The British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.)


LATER-I don't want to say anything about this tale, because...spoilers. However, this is another example of how MMS can make you care for characters in only a few pages. 


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE NIGHT In addition to short stories that pack a punch at the end, my other favorite type of short tale is the one that just IS. No explanations, it just is. (The first tale I think of as an example is Joe Hill's POP ART.) This is one of those and it's also among the finest examples of that type of narrative I've ever read. If THE MAN WHO DREW CATS wasn't so damn poignant, THIS would be my favorite.


THE WOODCUTTER A tale of magic and of going home. This was a very different type of tale as compared to the others, but I loved it. I especially liked the fact that I had no idea where the story was going until quite close to the end. And what a end it was!


I have a few more Cemetery Dance Select books to read, and I'm very much looking forward to them.  If this, and Kevin Lucia's MYSTERY ROAD are an example of the quality contained within these slim titles, any lover of dark fiction cannot go wrong!


Highly recommended!


*A HUGE thank you to Cemetery Dance for providing a paper ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-09-28 18:45
Mystery Road by Kevin Lucia
Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia


Mystery Road is a beautifully written, poignant story about a man caring for his dying father and the memories that suddenly return to him after decades of forgetfulness. 


Kevin Ellison recalls the day he was riding his bike to the local basketball court when he was 12. A road appeared. But he went to play basketball nearly every day, taking the same route, and has never noticed this road before. Where does it go and what does he find there? You'll have to read this novella and find out for yourself. 


I loved this story!  Even though I had an inkling of where it was going to go once events started to occur, I didn't guess all of it, and I still enjoyed the getting there. (In fact, the getting there was the best part.) Exploring the emotions of losing a parent, and of learning more about a parent's life before they had children-these are heavy subjects. But Mr. Lucia gets down in there, digging deep, and I'm not ashamed to say that I had a tear in my eye by the time I finished this sweet novella. 


Highly recommended!


*This book will be available as a limited edition through Cemetery Dance Publications' Novella Series. I wish I could tell you when and provide a link, but alas, I cannot. I will update this review when the information becomes available. I was provided a paperback ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-05-29 01:18
Getting Hooked Everytime
Cemetery Dance - Douglas Preston,Lincoln Child

I just discovered Douglas Lincoln and Preston Child last year and I first read their book Dance of Death which features my now-favorite detective, Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast.


Now I'm on their #9 Pendergast series because I feel the need to follow my favorite agent's adventures. He is quirky and unusual. He's the type of guy I would have wanted to meet in real life.


As of this current book I'm reading, I'm currently disappointed because Smithback's dead. He's one of my favorites also. He's a journalist and a friend of Pendergast. His unexplained death moves Pendergast and another associate, D'Agosta, to look for his killer.


What gets me hooked?


It's the entirety of it all.

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review 2015-03-06 00:00
Cemetery Dance
Cemetery Dance - Douglas Preston,Lincoln Child This novel starts off with William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, being murdered in his apartment by a man who had died a week earlier. Adding to the fact that the murderer had the appearance of a zombie, it was easy to conclude that this was the work of a zombie. Later, a zombified Smithback kills another reporter. On the case is Pendergast, an FBI agent with a knack of tackling very bizarre cases, and Lieuntenant D’Agosta, your typical gritty New York city cop. All of this leads to a sinister cult that is operating in Manhattan that follow Obeah and vodou.

Although there is a certain level of intrigue in this novel, and there is an interesting whodunit element to it, the story itself is convoluted and hard to believe. By the time the action had completed, I still did not understand how everything went down. When Pendergast provides an explanation I could only roll my eyes. The characters’ actions were so far-fetched and the premises that they were working on were so preposterous that it was hard to take this novel seriously. Although there were elements of the novel that I enjoyed, I just couldn’t get past the over the top lapses in reality. This is a novel I would recommend skipping.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street
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review 2013-09-18 00:00
The Forum (Cemetery Dance Signature Series, #5)
The Forum (Cemetery Dance Signature Seri... The Forum (Cemetery Dance Signature Series, #5) - James Newman This was a short story about a man who discovers an online community devoted to serial killers. It was a quick, clever read that I enjoyed.
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