Tuesday, April 5, 2011
THE DEAD MAN, RING OF KNIVES by James Daniels
If you have this fear, James Daniels' The Dead Man: Ring of Knives might just scare the crap out of you. Fortunately, I don't have this fear.
What do I fear? I have this weird little phobia that pops up now and again, but after doing a little internet searching I couldn't find a specific word for it.
So I'll make one up.
It's the fear of being admitted to a mental hospital when you're not crazy and being subjected to horrible experiments involving electricity and needles and blue pills.
In RING OF KNIVES Daniels' submerges our hero, Matt "the dead man" Cahill, in a mental health center from your worst nightmares.
Cahill is seeking out a patient that may or may not be haunted by the same creature that has been tormenting him, Mr.Dark. Jesse Weston calls it Rotting Jack.
Things spiral into the world of madness almost from the moment Cahill arrives at the hospital.
For starters the doctor treating Weston is now a resident, locked up with the rest of the crazies. The head of staff is no where to be found, nor any other doctors. Worst of all, the hospital appears to be in the hands of a large, sadistic, toad-like manager named Hirotachi.
With some help Cahill manages to sneak deeper into the hospital searching for clues to the where abouts of the missing doctors and the origin of Rotting Jack. But things go from bad to worse when the night shift arrive.
RING OF KNIVES is a terrific sequel to The Dead Man: Face of Evil (read my review of FACE OF EVIL here) and a trip through an insane asylum you won't soon forget. If you're looking for a shock treatment of horror or a dose of suspense, RING OF KNIVES is just what the doctor ordered.
If I had to criticize anything, it's the absence of Cahill's axe. In FACE OF EVIL the axe acted as a nice physical representation of what the dead man was all about. Sharp, solid and trustworthy...dependable. It represented Cahill's long family tradition of lumber-men. It was an object of focus after the passing of his wife and in the troubling time after his revival.
At the end of FACE OF EVIL I was left with the impression the axe would be Cahill's primary weapon against the forces of darkness. Instead it was left behind in the trunk of his broken down wreck. It certainly doesn't spoil anything but I sure hope it comes to play a bigger role in future installments.
Gravebreaker blog. There is not a lot of information regarding Daniels, which at first made me wonder if perhaps the name was a pseudonym (perhaps one of the members of THE TOP SUSPENSE GROUP?).
You can get a taste of Daniels other book, Ghost Bride at the end of RING OF KNIVES. As well you get a sneak peak at book three of THE DEAD MAN, called HELL IN HEAVEN.
Also be sure to check out THE DEAD MAN blog for exciting updates and a link to an interview with RING OF KNIVES author, James Daniels.