Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: The Goat Parade - by Peter N. Dudar

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Warren Pembroke has lived his whole life with his deformity and he plans to make the world pay.

A mixture of devil-worship, sacrifice, and drugs...

"The hallucination began. It started with his right hand— the deformed hand— growing and stretching into a goat's hoof. He watched with terrified fascination as the nubs where his truncated fingers had been hardened into a resin of dead keratin cell tissue. A layer of wooly goat fur sprouted down his forearm, across his wrist, and over the newly formed animal foot. The effect never ceased to amaze and terrify him. Warren knew the metamorphosis was only a hallucination, a temporary alteration that allowed him to commune with the Dark Lord, so he pushed the fear away and searched for the power behind it."

"Tobacco Joe" Walton made a deal with Ol' Scratch when he was just a young man.  Joe became a famous bluesman, but the devil seldom plays fair and he spent most of his life in prison.  He's being released at age sixty-seven and Scratch is not done with him yet.

Reporter, Erik Marsh, is done with the crime beat.  The lifestyle has cost him his marriage and it's time for something different, but someone forgot to tell one criminal in particular.

Add to the mix a street performer, the amazing Svetlana Barnyck of the Carpathian Great and Tiny Circus.

All of these diverse threads and more are woven into a compelling tale that is as far-fetched as it is believable.  OK, some parts are more believable than others, but it's still a good yarn.

This is the second time I've encountered Devil's Breath in a story. The first time was in Greg F. Gifune's novel of the same name. This is a very powerful drug and plays an important part in the story.

There's even a sly reference to Frank Dodd, a character from Stephen King's Dead Zone.  Quite plausible as both stories are set in the same general area.

There is no happy ending in The Goat Parade.  I really like that in my horror as more often than not, there are no happy endings in real life, either.


The Goat Parade is available in paperback and e-book formats from Grinning Skull Press.

From the author's bio - Peter N. Dudar was born and raised in Albany, NY.  A graduate of Christian Brothers Academy and an alumnus of the University at Albany, he moved to Maine in 1995 and began his writing career shortly after.  His first novel, A Requiem for Dead Flies, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award in 2013.  His other books, The Angel of Death, Dolly and Other Stories, Where Spiders Fear to Spin, and Blood Cult of the Booby Farmers, continue to draw critical praise and adoration from genre fans everywhere.  His short fiction can be found in numerous horror anthologies and literary websites.  Dudar is a proud member of the New England Horror Writers and is a founding member of the writer's group, The Tuesday Mayhem Society.  He currently lives in Lisbon Falls, Maine with his wife and daughters.

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