Book Review – Until Death Do Us Part by James Fuller

Horrorotica is hardly a new thing. It’s been done ever since humans realized sex with the mysterious was a kinky, fun way to spend an evening. Recent spates of it in the erotica world have tried to pretend that they invented something new and exciting – sex with Bigfoot, pounded in the ass by various things, kinky alien abductions involving high tech sex. Okay, that last one may be new. Not sure. I’ll be writing it, though, so back off.

Anyway, sex with stuff. The problem with most of those books is they wind up being nothing more than cheap word porn or, in the case of the Bigfoot book, Sasquatch raping underage girls. No story beyond what was bolted on the increasingly tedious and cringe-inducing sex scenes. If that’s your bag, go with it. Let your freak flag fly. I’m planning on wring alien abduction erotica, so I’m not one to judge. But, for me, I want a story to go with the wild cryptid nookie.

Now, if you read some of the reviews of Fuller’s Until Death Do Us Part, you’ll see a lot of people mentioning the erotica portion of it. I guess that’s a normal thing. Horror and sex go together like peanut butter and ladies. Traditional horror movies make use of sex on a regular basis. A pair of teens go into the wilderness, fuck each others’ brains out, and are immediately killed by an axe-wielding maniac. Kind of a morality play at work there: Enjoyable sex equals death. To that extent, the spate of various horrorotica books are a breath of fresh air because no one dies just because they had sex and enjoyed it. It was just nookie, not an affront to a vengeful god who smote his creation.

But that’s other people’s opinion of Until Death Do Us Part. In my opinion, the sex scenes were less important than the core of the story which is a welcome twist. They show that the characters still have some humanity left even after they’ve embraced their personal monsters. Anyway, bottom line, there is some sex in this story. There’s also a lot of violence, blood, and muscle cars. In other words, this book has everything.

Now that we’ve got the 800lb gorilla in the room out of the way, let’s talk about the story. This is a raw story. A literary version of cracked teeth with exposed nerves, full of untamed fury and wild, explosive power. Lots of people write antiheroes these days, but Fuller fills Conner with a single-minded intensity that almost makes him difficult to like. Which, frankly, is exactly what we’re supposed to do with an antihero. They’re not supposed to be likeable. They’re supposed to be huge jackasses who accidentally do the right thing – often for all the wrong reasons. And that’s what we get with Conner; a guy who’d set the world on fire to get what he wants and then light a cigarette off the glowing embers of civilization. And woe unto any vampires that get in his way because Conner has zero fucks left to give.

This is not a long book. It’s really more of an introduction to the rest of the series, but it has an intensity that leaves you wanting more. Fortunately, Fuller is a prolific writer, so there are more books to finish off this story as well as a whole whack of others. If you like your stories dark, kind of twisted, and filled with enough grit to sand down rock maple, he’s your guy.

A very enjoyable read about some less-than-savory goings on. Highly recommended.

Plus, hey, it’s got some sexy scenes in between the explosions and bloodshed.

What was supposed to be a lustful night of passion and sinful, sexual thrill turned bloody in a way he could never have imagined, revealing a predator that plagued the night and feasted on the living…

Fuelled by the bleakest of hope and the haunting images of the past, Conner cleaves a path of retribution through the midnight world of vampires; dangling his morals and life in the balance to retain what little he has left of his former self, praying each step will bring him closer to finding ‘her’ and the one that took everything from him…

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Book Review – Disappearing the Dead by KJ Sutherland

Let me preface this by saying two things:

  • I’m not a legal thriller afficionado
  • I really enjoyed this book

So, like I said, not a legal thriller afficionado. Like everyone else in ’93, I saw The Pelican Brief. Unlike everyone else, I wondered what the big deal about the story was. It was required watching, though, so I dutifully paid my $5 (back in my day…) and watched it. Bored me to tears. Made a gajillion dollars, but bored me to tears

Back in July, KJ Sutherland reached out to me on Twitter asking me to review her novel Disappearing The Dead. Like the dumbass I was, I said, “Sure, and I can have a review ready to go when it drops.” Okay, so I’m finally getting to the review part because I’m an insanely slow reader. Some folks would take this as a sign of something or other, but mostly it’s because if I promise to review a book, I’m gonna read every damned word in that book, even if it kills me. That’s because I don’t believe in leaving reviews on books that I just skimmed. Also, I’m lazy.

Anyway, now that I’m nearly a month late, I’m finally getting to the review.

So, TL;DR, it’s a good book.

I really enjoyed the way Sutherland wove all the various bits of militaria in with the legal aspects of a story about a murder and dismemberment, a missing pilot, and the Air Force’s unending desire to keep the lid on a story that wouldn’t shine a positive light on them. The legal world, from what I understand of it, has its own traditions and peccadillos about how it handles the world. The military also has its own traditions and peccadillos about it handles things. So, when those two worlds collide, you get some interesting fireworks. The primary difference between the two worlds is who is pulling the strings in the background. In the civilian world, money talks. In the military world, the top brass talks. In both cases, listening is usually the best bet.

Enter Paul Bennett, a civilian prosecutor who joins the military and promptly gets dumped onto a case defending a suspect. Two different skillsets, but Bennett adapts and attacks his new role with a zeal that irks his superiors. Irked top brass is not a pretty sight. Nor is irking top brass a task to take lightly. Thus, the gist of the story.

So, I don’t know what afficionados of legal thrillers look for in a story, but I can say this is a cracking good story. Entertaining and tense with well developed characters and a story with enough bobs and weaves to be reminiscent of a fight with Tyson. Also, like a fight with Tyson, it ends with vicious right hook you never saw coming but, in retrospect, should have expected.

It would have been easy to pull a rabbit out of the hat and say something like, “Surprise! It was a dream all along!” but Sutherland is a better storyteller than that and drops subtle breadcrumbs throughout the story so the ending, while unexpected, doesn’t come out of the wild blue yonder (my little nod to the USAF).

All told, pick up a copy and enter a world Sutherland has richly detailed with bits not only of the legal profession, but the insular world of the military as well. You won’t be disappointed.


When Paul Bennett joined the US Air Force as its Chief Counsel in Germany, he believed he had found the solution to a family crisis. The military moved the Bennetts into a German villa, paid his son’s medical bills, and assigned Paul to trials in scenic locations across Europe.

Then, as Congress is investigating the failed rescue operation of a missing fighter pilot, the severed limbs of a Turkish bride wash up in a German vineyard. The Brass is determined to put the husband, Kale, behind bars and expects Paul, who has since been assigned as Kale’s defense lawyer, to help put him there. But Paul refuses to be bullied by his superiors. To him, it’s a matter of professional ethics. To the military establishment, it’s political dynamite. And their reaction is as swift as it is devastating.

Now, Paul must rescue his client and himself from the clutches of military injustice. But first, he’ll need to uncover the connection between his client’s case and the disappearance of a Gulf War fighter pilot.”

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Book Review – Fear of the Dark by Leigh Grissom

There’s a certain joy to a well-crafted short story. It takes a deft hand to tell a tale in only a handful of pages without seeming like you’re hustling too much. Doubly so with horror tales. While it’s certainly possible to follow the route of “She went to sleep and found the monsters were dead and they ate her. The end” that doesn’t leave much satisfaction behind. Unless you’re into bed monsters eating little girls. In which case, you might want to talk to someone because that’s a pretty weird fetish. Not that I’m kink-shaming, mind you, just saying. It’s weird.

Horror, as a genre, is extremely broad. Gore, ghosts, goblins gobbling goobers, gabby gadabouts getting grabbed, galas going gaga. As long as it starts with ‘G’, you’re usually all good. The slow burn psychological stuff is, IMHO, the hardest to pull off in a short story and that’s where Leigh Grissom’s Fear of the Dark excels. There isn’t much in the way of monsters eating little girls, so you’ll have to fulfill your weird kinks somewhere else. What is there, is a short collection of unsettling stories. These aren’t pull your hair out and start praising the Elder Gods in the desperate hope that the teeth won’t come for you (they will, but that’s another story). These are the kinds of stories that leave you feeling vaguely paranoid and generally worried. Slow, creeping kinds of things that sneak up on you when you look in the mirror or trek out to the witch’s cabin for poker and California cheeseburgers. (Simpsons reference. Look it up.)

At about 45 pages or so, Fear of the Dark is a quick read. Perfect for those nights when you’re already tired but want to have messed up dreams.

Want to be unnerved, but don’t have much time?
Take a quick journey through three tales that will make you wonder, make you shiver, and make you avoid your own reflection. Buckle up and hang on as Leigh Grissom, author of The Eden Evolution Series, takes a side trip through the darker parts of her mind in her triumphant return to writing short stories.

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