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Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS. He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller...the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction...a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."
A dark and twisted tale of desire and consequence inspired by actual events, which makes this brief trilogy of interwoven tales even creepier. Ricky Kasso, the so-called Acid King, murdered a "friend" in '84 because Satan told him to do it. This story, seen through the eyes of an unidentified acquaintance of Ricky's, tells that tale, but also shed's light on the story of the protagonist who is dealing with demons of his own. Piccirilli's writing is visceral in his description of what drives the antihero to do the terrible things he does.
Overall I enjoyed the mood, the party scene, particularly, captures the a sense of being lost in a crowded setting. I will warn you, if you are looking for a moral to the story or a definitive end to the tale. Don't expect to find one on the written page. The kindle version of this book is free, from the Lending Library, for Amazon Prime members or for $2.99 and includes a preview of Piccirilli's latest book "The Last Kind Words." Clown in the Moonlight
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Tom Piccirilli's newest is a nightmare, in a good way.
Piccirilli's horror work has always had a dream-like quality to it. Choir of Ill Children and, more recently, Nightjack are good examples of this, but Clown in the Moonlight is possibly his darkest, most brain-melting yet.
The plot concerns a nameless, mentally-troubled narrator (who may or may not be possessed) and his run-ins with various Satan-worshiping low-lifes. The antagonist, Ricky, is the charismatic leader of a local gang whose evil is so attractive and perverse that we get the feeling that even the protagonist carries some respect for the guy.
What always stands out to me when I pick up Piccrilli (either his horror or crime work), is how distinctive his voice is without his narrators becoming too samey. No matter how warped his situations and characters get, there's always a clear thematic through-line and an abundance of story momentum.
CLOWN is a quick, overwhelmingly exciting read that's supplemented by a wealth of bonus content/ I highly recommend that you pick this up.
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I must admit that this was the first book by Tom Piccirilli that I've read; he's been one of those authors who I've heard great things about but never got around to reading. This novella was an excellent read and I look forward to reading more of Piccirilli's work. The only complaint (and a miniscule one at that) about the book was the ending; otherwise, a fast-paced and gripping story which will have you eagerly turning the pages.
The background to the novella is inspired by true events, the 1984 murder case of a teenage boy by Ricky Kasso, also known as The Acid King, who was a self-proclaimed Satanist. The novella deals with Ricky Kasso in Part 1, and then the consequent "ghost" of Kasso which follows the protagonist and narrator in Parts 2 and 3.
The nameless protagonist of the story is all the more intriguing because the same dark and violent elements, which his antagonists exhibit, also dwell within him constantly threatening to rise to the surface. The latent occultic aspects of the main character make him the antihero of the story, but he clearly has the potential to be one of the bad guys, obtaining just as much pleasure from sadistic and violent acts.
The first-person, present tense narrative draws the reader deeper into the novella. Piccirilli's straight-forward and fast-paced writing style were also a pleasant surprise; I abhor long, drawn-out narratives which take forever to get going and where the author insists on using twelve dollar words in order to appear fancy. Those elements are fine in some genres, but not in horror or thrillers in my opinion.
The only complaint was the ending, and it's not really a complaint. I usually don't mind if a story ends with no complete resolution, but this story just seemed to hit a brick wall and stop.Read more ›