- Author: Lee Thomas
- Page Count: 200
- Pub. Date: May 21, 2013
- Status: E-Book
Torn: A Novella
by Lee Thomas
About the Book:
How do you go on when something like that happens to your child?
Bill Cranston is a family man, whose marriage is falling apart, eroding under his wife's constant bitterness and her retreat into alcohol and drugs. He is also the sheriff of Luther's Bend, a generally quiet town. When a little girl is abducted from a local park and carried into the woods, Bill leads a desperate search to find the child. But the little girl is only bait, and something vicious waits in the woods for her rescuers.
I am me. Can't you see? I am me and he is he. When he is he, I can't be me.
Douglas Sykes is insane. He sits in Bill Cranston's cell, speaking in rhymes and riddles. Though a stranger to Luther's Bend, Sykes seems to know a lot about Sheriff Cranston. Through his ramblings he reveals secrets about Bill, and secrets about himself. Sykes claims to be a mythological creature – a monster – and a handful of his victims have finally tracked him down, victims who now share Sykes' affliction.
A pack is descending on Luther's Bend. They are hunting Sykes, and they will not stop until everyone near him is left broken, bleeding, and torn.
Lee Thomas is the Bram Stoker Award and Lambda Literary Award-winning author of Stained, Parish Damned, The Dust of Wonderland, and In the Closet, Under the Bed. Recent releases include the critically acclaimed novel, The German.
"Torn is a magnificently written, high-octane, action-packed crime/survival horror/monster mash-up. It’s also a sharp-toothed social commentary on how small-town America defines its demons; the writer’s ingenious use of the werewolf metaphor to address murky sexual politics is an inspired move, and one that never feels preachy, agenda-driven or heavy-handed... Each chapter is accompanied by disquieting pictures from uber-talented genre artist Vincent Chong, which adds a surreal, otherworldly, fairytale aspect to the story. Highly recommended!"
— Alan Kelly, Rue-Morgue.com
Spoiler Warning In This Review:
"It's no spoiler to say that the latest entry in the publisher's Novella Series is about werewolves—you'll figure that out long before our protagonist, Sheriff Bill Cranston, does. When a little girl is reported abducted by a skinny, naked man, Cranston and his posse go searching the woods. However, the perpetrator they discover is a hulking beast with 'skin the color of a rotten steak.' It devours a man before fleeing. But, soon enough, they've got the human version of the werewolf, Douglas Sykes, behind bars, and this is where Thomas' hard-boiled first-person narrative is at its best, pitting the no-bullshit sheriff against the taunting fellow, who speaks in rhyming singsong: 'By the park; before dark?' Sykes warns of a pack of wolves about to rain hell on the station to get to him—and, boy, he isn't kidding. The latter third of this novella is a full-on guns-versus-monsters blastathon, with plenty of gore for those so inclined and just enough tortured insight for those looking for some poignancy, too. Chong, unsettling as always, provides the occasional plate."