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The Dead Man: Face of Evil Paperback – February 26, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
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"The story races by at a brisk rate of knots, each twist and turn, and shift in time providing another revelation [...] I was enjoying it so much, I didn't want it to end." --Permission to Kill Blog
"THE DEAD MAN: FACE OF EVIL is a tight, well written, supernatural thriller [that] satisfies all on it's own, while being a terrific opener that promises an epic tale to come. I'm excited for the next book." --Man Eating Bookworm Blog
THE DEAD MAN FACE of EVIL reminds me of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.[...]a fascinating horror story that leaves you wanting more, more, more! --Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine
"I'm hopeful they continue with this character since it's set up so well. I've not seen a writing tandem like this since the glory days of Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy" --Bookgasm
"Buckle up! THE DEAD MAN: FACE OF EVIL starts at full-speed and never lets up. This is big-ticket horror with characters you care about who are driven to the very edge. Highly recommended!" -New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of Dead of Night
About the Author
Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin's TV writing and producing credits include MONK, DIAGNOSIS MURDER, MARTIAL LAW, NERO WOLFE and THE GLADES. They are also the authors of SUCCESSFUL TELEVISION WRITING. Lee Goldberg's books include THE WALK, MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE, MY GUN HAS BULLLETS and the bestselling MONK original mystery novels, based on the hit TV series. William Rabkin is the author of the hugely successful PSYCH series of original mystery novels based on the hit TV series.
Top customer reviews
Centered around Matt Cahill, a likable enough guy who seems to be the modern equivalent of a saint for the way he looks out for his childhood friend, Andy, who grew up next to Matt in an abusive home, the story recounts how Matt was caught up in an avalanche during a ski trip. After three months buried under ice and snow, Matt's body is recovered and sent to the morgue. Once on the slab, the coroner makes a startling discovery: Matt is inexplicablly still alive.
Now the story moves into the realm of the supernatural as Matt seems to have the ability to see things others can't ... like rotting, maggot-filled sores growing on some of his acquaintances. He also meets the menacing Mr. Dark who first appears as a clown then later as a cop that others can't see.
Despite having just started a relationship with a new love interest (Matt had been mourning the wife he lost to cancer several years before the story opens), Matt realizes he must find this Mr. Dark after he appears at the scene of two separate tragedies. He must also discover the link between the horrific wounds no one else can see, his own resurrection from an icy tomb, and Mr. Dark.
Don't expect to find all the answers in this slim volume. Obviously authors Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin intend to stretch out the suspense in the three sequels already published. The books tend to be the kind of stories you can easily read in the course of an afternoon and the authors are churning out new tales every month or so. Surprisingly in suspense and supernatural-themed books, the authors include plenty of humor. It reminds me of the kinds of stories Stephen King could write before the size of his book began to keep pace with the size of his ego.
With Face of Evil, the series is off to a good start and left me wanting to know more about Matt and mysterious Mr. Dark. If the subsequent books in the series are anything like the first, I can look forward to more lazy afternoons of delving into the mysteries of The Dead Man.
For those who downrated the series for being a set of short novellas, I have to ask, did you read the description before you bought it? Because the description of the first book clearly says that it's 65 "print" pages in length. I think it's simply bad form and unfair to downrate a book because you didn't read the description closely enough.
Next, I just don't get all the people who are downrating this series for the "graphic sex". Really? Yes there is sex in these books. Much of the descriptive sex is of the main character's memories of making love to his wife, before she died. Some of it is with liaisons of women he meets along the way, but there's really not that much sex in the books. And what there is certainly isn't graphic. None of the standard slang words for various body parts are used and most of the descriptions are very euphamistic. In fact they remind me a little of a Harlequin romance novel sometimes! :) Anyone who says these short books are full of graphic sex must not watch or read much beyond Disney stuff.
Ok, having gotten that out of the way, here's my review:
I think this series is very good. It's a well thought out action story line with a bit of a horror genre twist. It's not a 100% unique story, but it's done well enough to make it a good read. The concept of having different authors adding "chapters" to the series adds something different as well. There is quite a bit of gore and violence in the series, but that's pretty much inherent to the subject matter; a guy who comes back from the dead and sees true evil in people ... there's a lot of potential for violence and gore there. But if you don't like that kind of thing, then you're probably not going to be interested in the series anyway.
The only quibble I have is that by having different authors every once in a while I feel a disconnect between the main plot structure and the details of the story line. It's hard to have a 100% cohesive story when everyone is bringing their own unique spin to it. Mostly it's not too bad. The only one I really had an issue with was #7 as it felt much more "out of whack" with the rest of the series and didn't carry on the story of the search for Mr. Dark as much as the other novellas, I felt.
But overall the books provide exactly what the authors say they intended: a serialized story in the tradition of the men's novels of the 70's and 80's ... "series like The Destroyer, The Ninja Master, Nick Carter, and The Death Merchant." Mack Bolan would be proud. :)
Definitely worth 4* and I'll be on the lookout for each new book as it comes.
The novel is horrific, suspenseful, mysterious, and adventurous, all at once. It's also fast-paced, grim-humored, and cleverly written. But mostly, it's a seat-edge read, equal parts chuckles and winces, that slams our hero from one peril to another. Did I mention it's a page turner?
I'll not rehash the plot--no need to spoil anything--except to say that I like where it took me (and where it promises to take me) and I dig the characters I met on the way. It's short, novella length, but that suits me just fine. I like my action in-close, pummeling, and tinged with humor, and The Dead Man: Face of Evil offers that in spades.
The Dead Man: Face of Evil is pure pulpy goodness. And even better--there's more to come! Book number two, The Dead Man: Hell in Heaven, also written by Goldberg and Rabkin, is due out soon. And after that, we're promised further installments written by more modern pulp masters. Count me in.