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Flesh Gothic (2005)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Flesh Gothic (2005) Author Edward Lee is on quite a roll lately with his thematic series about demons from Hell. As with THE MESSENGER (2004) and even MONSTROSITY (2003), this new novel fits in the same universe as CITY INFERNAL and INFERNAL ANGEL. FLESH GOTHIC is a take on the haunted house scenario, akin to THE HAUNTING and Matheson's HELL HOUSE. After the death of a billionaire, who was obsessed with sex, his wife hires a group of diverse psychics to investigate the house he died in. She also hires a reporter, who she takes into her confidence by telling him that her husband's body was never found after he killed those thirteen people-and that he may be yet alive somewhere in the house. She promises to give him a huge monetary bonus if he can find out what her husband was really up to-and also if he keeps his eye on all the others. He thinks they are all crazy until they show him proof that the house is inhabited by other-worldly creatures. What they are investigating, and what Hildreth House is tainted with, is violent, sexual energy, which soon begins to affect all of the investigators in different ways, related to their talents. And they all have nightmares about a hellish temple made of flesh, a temple to the demon Belarius, who the billionaire worshipped. The novel is also book-ended by a seemingly unconnected story, which brings everything to a satisfying close-and this structure made me realize how much the rest of the novel reminded me of the work of the late Richard Laymon, which is not a bad thing.With over-the-top gore and sexual situations, FLESH GOTHIC continues to show Edward Lee at his best. I wonder which Hellish denizen will be the subject of his next twisted excursion...

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