I don’t read a lot of “bizarro” horror fiction. It’s a sub genre in the publishing community that often lends itself to the worst of premises and a lot of hack writing. Violence for the sake of violence with no redeeming story just isn’t my thing. “Murderland” by author Garrett Cook is a breath of fresh, bloody air to this genre however and it’s a great read.
“Murderland” is set in a world where serial killers are heroes and rock stars. Each new kill is a victory and is celebrated with news stories, award ceremonies, and the devoted, cult like attention of the people who worship these monsters.
Then there is Jeremy. He’s a pharmacist, he’s shy and reserved, and he has one of the highest body counts in history. But Jeremy doesn’t kill for the fame or the book deals. And even in this culture of worshiping monsters, no one knows him. In “Murderland”, Jeremy considers himself an avenging angel. He detests violence for the sake of violence and is convinced his mission is of a higher calling.
Jeremy also believes there are higher, more evil powers at work that he calls the Dark Ones. Oh, and he has a girlfriend, Cass, that he is totally in love with. But Cass is a hardcore fan of the “Reap” culture and is into every murder, every newscast, and every book about it. Jeremy keeps his twice weekly killing sprees from Cass because he is not one of them. He thinks the Dark Ones are impregnating and taking over human kind. Are there nanites, robots, and unseen overlords taking over humanity? Or is this all part of Jeremy’s paranoid delusions?
“Murderland” doesn’t answer these questions because it doesn’t HAVE TO answer them. The characters speak for themselves and allow the reader to make up their own minds as to the claims made by each one. Which is very refreshing in a genre where we are TOLD what to believe or not believe. As I was reading “Murderland” I was at times torn between if I believed Jeremy or not. Was he killing because it was true, or because he just THOUGHT is was true? The latter would make him nothing more than the monsters he’s against.
The characters in “Murderland” are over the top in their lifestyles and opinions, but in the world the book is set in, this works perfectly. From Jeremy and Cass, to Ian and the granddaddy of popularized serial murder “Godless” Jack, this book is alive with rich, interesting characters. They are all fleshed out and demand your attention when you’re reading.
As the story in “Murderland” progresses you’ll be along for the ride willing and, at the same time, dreading what comes next. This book will satisfy the gore hounds with its descriptions of extreme violence and killing. And that is a good thing. But it’s also a needed thing. Because as I’ve said, violence for the sake of violence doesn’t do anything for me. But each scene of murder and mayhem in “Murderland” advances the story and establishes the characters. And I for one appreciated that.
The best thing about “Murderland” is how close it mimics our current culture. It examines a universe where this could actually happen and there are themes in the book that will make you think it could be right around the corner from where we are. I’d like not to believe that, but the book will have you wondering where you would stand. Just in case.
You can buy “Murderland” by clicking the picture above. It’s only $3.99 and I highly recommend it. Let me know what you think of “Murderland” in the comments below. And don’t forget to visit MY OFFICIAL AMAZON WORLD OF TERROR PAGE for all your horror movie needs.
Keep it bloody.