Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Brides of the Impaler" by Edward Lee

On occasion I find myself really wanting to read a certain type of book. This can be anything from mystery to fantasy to a piece of hard science fiction to a trashy men's adventure novel or even a detailed history of a particular event. But more often than not I get the urge to read a horror tale of some sort just to see what surprises the author might have for me. To that end, I am always on the look for recommendations from friends and other writers whose work I admire and it was one of those friends that years ago that pointed me toward Edward Lee's fiction. Having now finally read some of his work I must say I am a fan!

I picked up a used copy of Brides of the Impaler months ago and last week I pulled it down to see what hideous visions Mr. Lee might have for me. I knew things were going to be interesting when I read the dedication page in which the author thanks Paul Naschy, Jess Franco, Amando de Ossorio and Jean Rollin and immediately realized I should have been reading his books for a long time. I must pay more attention to modern horror novelists in the future

So, clearly he is a man after my own Euro-Horror loving heart but I had no idea just how far he would stretch this love in the story. Two of the main characters are a pair of lawyer partners named- wait for it- Paul Nasher and Jess Franklin. The cop investigating the murderous goings on is named Howard Vernon. The Catholic priest caught up in the mystery is named John Rollin (and for bonus nudges he hates the French for historical reasons). Many events take place on or near New York's obviously fictitious Dessorio Street and the characters often eat at the posh D'Amato restaurant. A couple of secondary characters that meet hideous ends are named George Gemser and Laura Eastman which will count as extra credit knowledge for most neophytes fans of the joys of Euro-Cult film. And for real Naschy fans there is the linguistics professor named Carl Aured. I love it!

Oh! And did I mention the novel's story is pretty damned good even without the judicious and amusing in-jokes for us movie geeks? Cause it IS pretty damned cool and involves a fairly fresh variation on the old Vlad Tepes, Dracula and vampiric legend & lore. This is a horror novel well worth your time.

Edward Lee! 

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