The Holy Terror

The Holy Terror

4.0 2
by Wayne Allen Sallee
     
 

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Serial killer Frank Haid, dubbed the Painkiller by Chicago police and media, murders 18 people-all paralytics. Commanded by an unseen presence that he calls "Father" and that speaks in the voice of an uncle whose rotting corpse he keeps in the living room, Haid destroys his victims (what's left of them) and evidence in a way that puzzles police. Hardest hit are…  See more details below

Overview

Serial killer Frank Haid, dubbed the Painkiller by Chicago police and media, murders 18 people-all paralytics. Commanded by an unseen presence that he calls "Father" and that speaks in the voice of an uncle whose rotting corpse he keeps in the living room, Haid destroys his victims (what's left of them) and evidence in a way that puzzles police. Hardest hit are residents of Marclinn, a home for the handicapped, where survivors decide they must track down the madman themselves. Their efforts bring them into contact with Chicago's weird underworld-including junkie/murderers and a deformed prostitute whose head grows out her chest-and their own true selves. Crippled physically and emotionally, Marclinn inhabitants must overcome their limitations before taking on their nemesis. Their unlikely front man is Evan Shustak, who is the novel's centerpiece. About a hundred pages into the novel, he dons his superhero outfit-wrist braces, a "utility belt" from which hang bags of vitamins and aspirin, and a plaid heating pad for a cape-then announces: "Crippled and insane, I am the American Dream!"

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This grisly, sadistic first novel suffocates itself under piles of body parts and excretions. Serial killer Frank Haid, dubbed the Painkiller by Chicago police and media, murders 18 people--all paralytics. Commanded by an unseen presence that he calls ``Father'' and that speaks in the voice of an uncle whose rotting corpse he keeps in the living room, Haid destroys his victims (what's left of them) and evidence in a way that puzzles police. Hardest hit are residents of Marclinn, a home for the handicapped, where survivors decide they must track down the madman themselves. Their efforts bring them into contact with Chicago's weird underworld--including junkie/murderers and a deformed prostitute whose head grows out her chest--and their own true selves. Crippled physically and emotionally, Marclinn inhabitants must overcome their limitations before taking on their nemesis. Sallee bludgeons readers with graphic images whose multiple shocks soon distance us from what might have been a compelling horror tale. (Apr.)
Rick Kleffel
"Sallee's characters in "The Holy Terror" are like nothing we've seen since Flannery O'Conner sent Hazel Motes into the big city in her seminal novel "Wise Blood". Like O'Conner, Sallee has the talent to make his repulsive denizens of the street readable with an absurd sense of humor. Of course, he also has the talent to make them extremely terrifying, and in the first part of the novel, he spends a good deal of time doing just that."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781937530044
Publisher:
Crossroad Press
Publication date:
05/09/2013
Pages:
260
Sales rank:
1,220,865
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)

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The Holy Terror 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CGramlich More than 1 year ago
Wayne Allen Sallee is my favorite horror writer. Some horror writers are good at showing us the seedier side of human existence. Sallee shows us that the people who live on that seedier side have the same humanity as anyone else, and perhaps a purer sort of humanity, tempered by the things they endure. The Holy Terror is Sallee’s first novel. It’s set in Chicago, a city the author knows well, and features a serial killer who is preying on those who are physically crippled.  With the police unable to make any headway on the case, the victims must become their own protectors. One man in particular, Evan Shustak, dons the roll of The American Dream, a superhero with no powers other than his ability to endure. This book is the story of those, like Evan, who endure the unendurable. It’s not a “comfortable” read. But it can be touching as well as brutal. It won’t leave you unmarked, and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago