The Dismembered

Cemetery Dance. Nov. 2022. 178p. ISBN 9781587678332. pap. $14.99. HORROR
Janz (The Raven) presents a novella that gruesomely and delightfully turns the staid gothic on its head. In 1912, American Arthur Pearce meets a young woman, who convinces him to come to her family’s estate in the English countryside to help rescue her sister from the clutches of the dashing, possibly immortal Count Dunning. While the characters all represent a cross section of what one would expect in a gothic novel, and the setting and narrative voice are pitch-perfect, there are hints at every turn that readers are in for a different ride. Once the twist comes, readers are treated to a visceral and terrifying tale of death, dismemberment, long held grudges, and dark family secrets, with a satisfying dash of new love.
VERDICT Fans of the gothic will love how Janz uses well-worn tropes in more modern ways, while at the same time readers of 21st-century horror will gain a new appreciation for the genre’s roots. Suggest far and wide to anyone looking for a fast-paced, fun, and scary read, but especially to those who enjoyed The Hacienda, by Isabel Cañas, or the “Stoker’s Wilde” series, by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi.
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