Saturday, May 19, 2012

Torn, (Cemetery Dance), by Lee Thomas

Torn, by award winning author Lee Thomas, is a suspenseful thriller using established horror tropes to give form to our darkest fears.  There's plenty of "horror" action here, but it's strengthened by a wrenching emotional subtext that's perhaps darker than any kind of violence, making Torn everything horror fiction should be.

When a little girl is abducted in the small town of Luther's Bend, Sheriff Bill Cranston prepares for the worst. Horrible thoughts of innocence defiled rise unbidden as he and his deputies and other townspeople search through the surrounding forest to find the missing girl, hopefully before irreparable harm is done to her.

What they find instead is a monster.  A howling thing straight from nightmare.  One of Sheriff Cranston's friends is mauled to death, this thing escapes into the shadows...

And even though young Maggie Mayflower is rescued from the crime scene unharmed, nothing is the same. Because the next day, Douglas Sykes is arrested trying to break into a parked car, naked. Sykes claims to be more than he is, a creature of folklore and legend, of night and shadow.  And not only are there others like him on the way...they want him dead.

And they won't let anything get in their way. 

Worse, Sykes is getting into Sheriff Cranston's head. Taunting him. Pulling strings thought deeply buried, strings that tug on secrets.  Secrets that the insane Sykes claims he can smell coming off Sheriff Cranston.  As to why his marriage is crumbling and why his wife Lisa has been descending deeper and deeper into an alcoholic oblivion.  

A war is brewing. One, for Luther's Bend.  The other? Sheriff Cranston's very being.  The essence of who he is.

In many was, Torn is a perfect allegory of the "divided self."  Presented to us in the trappings of a classic horror trope, it's not only entertaining, but thought provoking, also.  And disturbing, too.  Because who is more the monster? The one who has accepted who and what they are, the consequences to others be damned? Or the one who hides in the shadows, refusing to come out into the light of day?

Visit Order it today. 

Kevin Lucia is a Contributing Editor for Shroud Magazine and a blogger for The Midnight Diner. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies. He's currently finishing his Creative Writing Masters Degree at Binghamton University, he teaches high school English and lives in Castle Creek, New York with his wife and children. He is the author of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, Book Four of The Hiram Grange Chronicles, and he's currently working on his first novel. Visit him on the web at 

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