From the bones of the dead, and from a long buried secret…they rise to kill. The original Golem was molded from riverbed clay centuries ago, enchanted by spells to protect the innocent. But now a diabolical design has perverted the ancient, mystical rites to forge new Golems that stalk the night. Into the twilight deeps of the quiet Maryland coast, they come forth, to rape, mangle, and murder, and to bring horror and atrocity to all in their demonic path. Only a young couple can stop them but little do they know, an even worse secret is buried in their own midst...
Something is haunting the 150-year-old Lowen Mansion, something unspeakable. Ghosts? Monsters? Or something far worse? Internationally published horror novelist Edward Lee unleashes an excursion into the realms of the macabre with a new kind of monster. Golems hail from the oldest religion, the Kabbala, first taught to the angels by God Himself. The angels then whispered these secrets to Adam in Paradise, but they didn't know…someone was listening: Samael, the Arch-Devil of Genesis....
Horrific, erotically charged, and jam-packed with one dark surprise after another, The Golem takes the reader headlong into a gruesome, unrelenting horrorfest of occult secrets, scum-of-the-earth psychopaths, and a walking abomination that can't be stopped…
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By Edward Lee
Copyright © 2009
All right reserved.
Chapter One Somerset County, Mary land, The Present
Seth Kohn felt in a trance as he flipped through the wallet-sized snapshots. The Tahoe idled as he waited, the purr of its engine adding to the hypnotic effect. The first picture bid a smile; it showed a pretty yet overweight woman with long sable-dark hair. She was standing on the St. Petersburg pier, smiling insecurely back into the camera. Seth hadn't taken the picture himself; it was old, presumably taken by one of Judy's old boyfriends. She'd given it to him recently, though, instructing him, "Keep this in your wallet. It's one of my 'fattie' pictures. I think I weighed one eighty then."
"Why do you want me to have it?" he'd asked.
"So you can gauge me."
She'd laughed, tossing her hair the way she always did. "Yeah. If I ever get that big again, lock me in a room for a year and don't give me anything but bread and water. Whole wheat bread."
She's a riot, he thought now. The next picture was taken only six months ago, of them together after one of their rehab meetings. On cocaine, Judy Parker had gone from 180 to ninety-five in only a year. But in snapshot she couldn't have looked better: 120, bulge free, smiling in a clingy maroon twinset sundress, her hair a foot shorter than the "fattie" picture, but her eyes brighter than he'd ever seen them. How did a nerd like me ever land a woman like this? he wondered, and then he raised a brow when he looked at himself in the same picture. Tall, thin, and a bit stoop-shouldered, but just as bright eyed. He knew why they each looked so radiant. We got our lives back ... and didn't think we would. Seth scrutinized his hair in the snapshot: dark, longish, and wavy. A year before it had been gray, from over a year of chronic alcoholism. He figured that the vanity of hair dye was a legitimate reward for getting through rehab without a drop of booze. One last glance at the photo and he muttered with some satisfaction, "For a geeky, stoop-shouldered, big-nosed, almost fifty-year-old computer nerd, I guess I'm not a half-bad-looking guy ..."
The next photo paralyzed him. Were his hands suddenly shaking? The pic was a portrait shot of a peaches-and-cream blonde with a luscious smile.
Aw, Jesus. He knew he shouldn't keep it in his wallet, not after all this time.
He quickly put the photos back in his wallet when he heard the thrashing footsteps.
Just as Judy opened the passenger door, Seth was caught by surprise: an old black step van with some kind of markings on it blew by, breaking up the green of the fields. Something or other Fruits & Vegetables, the markings had read. A half-second glimpse showed him two ungainly men with grizzly chins and missing teeth in their grins. Did one of them wink?
Mary land rednecks, I guess. County boys. Seth snorted a chuckle. I sure hope Mary land rednecks aren't as pathetic as Florida rednecks ...
"Oh my God!" Judy exclaimed, sliding her rump into the seat and slamming the door. "Did those guys in the truck see?"
"See what?" Seth asked.
"See me peeing in the field!"
"Oh, I don't think so," Seth tried to comfort her. "The grass is too high."
Judy sighed and leaned back, refastening her seat belt. "I don't know if this is just new for me, or a new low."
Seth pulled off the gravelly shoulder and accelerated back down the road. "You mean to tell me you've never peed in the great outdoors before?"
Judy smirked, primping her dark hair. "No. I'm a woman. I don't have ... one of those things. Guys got it easy as far as that goes. I'm an elegant, sophisticated woman, Seth."
"So when you were pissing like a race horse back there in the grass, I guess you had your pinkies extended, right?"
"Of course!" But then she looked paranoically behind her. "I hope those two rednecks don't call the cops." She touched her chin. "What would the charge be? Unlawful public bladder-voiding? Tinkling on county property?"
"I wouldn't worry about it, honey, and come to think of it ..." He pointed to the upcoming sign which announced, LOWENSPORT-6 MILES. "It may actually be that we own the land you just ... voided your bladder on."
"Good. That means we're almost there, right? Didn't you say the house was five miles before Lowensport?"
"Yep." Seth flipped down the dorky sunglass clip-ons over his glasses. He squeezed Judy's hand. "And thanks for being such a sport about all this."
Judy seemed distracted by the endless green fields sweeping past. "How am I a sport?"
"I know how you hate long drives. Tampa to Mary land can be done in a day and a half. I didn't mean for this to take three."
"Well, let's see, let's count them," Judy replied. "Sex once in Florence, South Carolina, twice at rest stops on the interstate, then once in Ashland, and twice today on the ferries from Virginia to Mary land." Judy brushed a shock of shining dark hair out of her face to grin. "That's six times in three days. You definitely know how to keep a woman pacified on a long drive."
"I'm flattered," Seth chuckled. "But you better make that seven times, because there were three rest stops. You forgot Tappahannock."
Judy paused, thinking. "That's right! The picnic table! How could I forget?"
"And since we're almost there, we should be christening the new house real soon ..."
Seth exaggerated a groan. "Honey, I'm forty-nine. Give an old man a break."
"Old man, my ass." She laughed and let her gaze return to the window. The river couldn't be seen now, for all the grasslands. "So that's what switchgrass looks like," she remarked. The seemingly limitless expense of man-tall grass shined so deliriously green it made her eyes hurt. "That's pretty cool about all the tax breaks you'll get from that stuff."
"Oh, is that it? I didn't even know," Seth said and slowed on the road to look. "It looks just like ... well, grass."
"It's a high-bulk biomass crop," Judy said. "By October, it'll be ten feet tall. Then they cut it down and start all over again."
"It's for ethanol or something, right?"
"Chiefly, yeah, but other things, too, like hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and a form of synthesis gas that'll run an electric plant just as efficiently but much cleaner than coal-burning plants. Even better is that switchgrass grows on land where farm crops don't grow so detractors can't bitch about cutting into the food and feedstock supplies. Switchgrass is essentially junk that-thanks to the marvels of modern science-can get the U.S. off fossil fuels. It's carbon-neutral, and renews every year."
"It still must cost money to farm."
"Almost nothing compared to corn, soybeans, or any other food crop you can name. Switchgrass doesn't need fertilizer or pesticides, and it's the most drought-resistant plant that can be used to make money. Very recently it's become a wondercrop, especially for people concerned about pollution and green house gases."
Seth found the subject mildly interesting but-"Look, I know you used to teach philosophy but how do you know so much about switchgrass, of all things?"
She snorted a chuckle. "I used to date a professor of agricultural science. The guy was obsessed with renewable energy sources."
Seth was instantly curious. "Yeah, but was he also obsessed with you?"
Judy hooted. "Are you kidding? First of all, it was back in my 'fattie' days, and secondly-I'm serious-this guy would read Environment Times like a regular man reads Playboy."
"That is if regular men even read it at all." Seth did have a subscription, and sometimes they even looked through it together. "So ... how long did you date him?"
"Seth, please, I don't want to talk about him. He was a dolt."
"Ah, now I don't feel so bad."
"And anyway, we were talking about the switchgrass and the tax breaks you'll get from it."
Seth got back to the speed limit. "This year I need all the tax breaks I can get. But ... I guess I'm being greedy, huh?"
"That's what I don't understand about you," she said, but in a jovial way. "You have almost a Christian-style guilt over success-and you're Jewish!"
Seth winked at her. "Yeah, but I'm damn glad air is free. My nose is huge."
She sluffed him off with a shake of the head. "When you work your butt off for twenty-five years and finally strike it big, you shouldn't feel guilty, you should feel proud."
He couldn't let it die just yet. "But pride's a sin, honey-for all you Christians, that is."
"So is sex out of wedlock, lover, for heebs and goys alike, and after doing it seven times during a three-day road trip, I think we're probably both on God's shit list."
Seth searched for a witticism but stalled. Why did she have to mention wedlock? he thought. He didn't even know why he'd be bothered by the prospect. Helene had been dead now for two years.
Judy gave him an astonished look, then nudged him hard on the arm. "It was a joke, Mr. Jokester! If I even joke about marriage, you clam up."
"No, no, that's not it-"
"Uh-hmm. Besides, I told you on our first date that I never want to get married." She rolled her window down, perhaps as a distraction, and let her hair fly in the breeze. "Let's not kid ourselves. As paranoid as you are, and as impulsive as I am, marriage would probably wreck our relationship."
"Come here!" he said quickly, and startled her by slipping his arm around her and pulling. "Here, right over here next to me-"
"I can't!" she squealed. "My seat belt's on!"
"Take it off, take it off," he urged. "Right now!"
Bewildered, she did so, and then Seth dragged her right over till she was half in his lap. He kissed her immediately, and hard, and even playfully slipped his hand down her blouse and into her bra. She just as playfully feigned resistance until the kiss grew more serious. The Tahoe began to weave on the old country road. When he broke the kiss off, he held her even tighter and whispered, "Listen to me, Judy. Are you listening?"
"Nothing, and I mean nothing is going to wreck our relationship. No booze, no dope, no bullshit from our pasts. Nothing. Do you believe me?"
Suddenly a tear welled in her eye. "Yes, I do."
"Good." And then he kissed her again.
Eventually she laughed and pushed him back. "Maybe nothing will wreck our relationship but you're sure as hell going to wreck the car if you don't keep your eyes on the road!"
"I guess you're right."
"Let's just get to the house," she whispered. Judy's face was flushed now. "Then we can go for number eight ..."
"Not bad," D-Man muttered just after they'd passed the forest green Chevy Tahoe. "See the knockers on her?"
"Did I?" Nutjob questioned. "And I also saw the pencil-neck she was with. Shit, man. We could go back there and take care of business. Who'd know? Wouldn't be the first time we left some bodies in the switchgrass."
The sun glared off D-Man's nearly bald head. "See, Nutjob, that's why you been in the joint three times and I never been." D-Man's muscles tensed when he jabbed a hard finger in his colleague's shoulder.
"Lookin's one thing. But the only business we got's with Rosh. You wantin' to fuck with people just to get your whistle wet could blow the whole game for all of us. I ain't gonna lose this big-money gig 'cos of your redneckin' around. Ya hear me?"
"Yeah," Nutjob grumbled.
Nutjob drove and D-Man rode shotgun. The big black step van rattled down the road, bearings shrieking. It was Nutjob who had more missing teeth. His mud brown hair stuck to the sides of his possibly malformed head, and whenever he scratched his goatee, dandruff fell out. Hokey cobra tattoos wound up his forearms. The missing left earlobe, he claimed, could be attributed to a gang fight in Jessup Penitentiary. "I lost an earlobe," he claimed. "He lost an eyeball." In truth, though, the loss was due to some initial noncompliance on his part when a number of fellow cons had wanted to play the well-known prison game known as "Choo-Choo Train" and had decided Nutjob would be the caboose. "You bend over right now, bitch," a con named Barbell said after he spat the earlobe out in the shower, "else next thang get bit off'll be mo' than yo' earlobe." Nutbjob had taken the advice.
D-Man, however, had a different redneck look: brawny, serious, and, though not exactly clean, his unkemptness didn't come close to Nutjob's. They called him D-Man because he'd once driven a doughnut delivery truck until he'd gotten fired for falling asleep at the wheel and barreling off a bridge, consigning hundreds of honey-dipped, jelly-filled, and french crullers to the Brewer River. Since then he'd managed to ascend in the world of commerce, or descend, depending on one's viewpoint. His brawn and the almost-shaved head made him look like a trailer park version of Bruce Willis.
"Here we is," Nutjob announced after they'd hit downtown Somner's Cove and pulled into Crazy Alan's Crabhouse. They slowed around back, both quiet now, and kept their eyes peeled. Every other day they'd be hearing about new antidrug initiatives, and though D-Man wasn't exactly think tank material, he was smart enough to know that all it took was one rat to turn a sure thing into a twenty-five-year jolt with no parole. "Careful," he urged. "Get'cher speed down."
Nutjob sputtered. "Like what we got to worry about, man? You a 'fraidy-cat?"
"Just do what I tell ya or I punch your face inside-out," D-Man asserted.
The drab black van idled along the docks behind the crab house. Nutjob parked and shut the motor off. Stacks of crab traps sat in piles on some of the docks, but the boats had already come and gone. Good sign, D-Man thought. But where's-
"Hey, D-Man? Where the hell is-"
"He'll be here." D-Man smirked. Rosh was always here on time. D-Man wrung his hands a few times. "You get the stuff, I'll go look for him."
Nutjob climbed into the back as D-Man disembarked and cautiously walked down several of the sorting aisles where undocumented workers would separate the crabs into the various size categories before taking them into the restaurant. It was the crab boats themselves that made the pickups, from more maritime suppliers who passed off the shipments from one to another along the crabbing routes. Rosh never made the switch with D-Man in his own vehicle; he always had it here at the crab house, because the crab house was where the boats dropped off the base product. He tried the back door but it was locked.
This don't feel right, he thought, and quickened his pace back to the van. Why do I got this funny feelin' today's the day I get busted?
"Nutjob?" He could see the van's back doors hanging open, yet could hear no familiar voices. D-Man looked in the back, saw that the corn bushels remained untouched, and then looked on the other side of the van-and froze.
Nutjob lay facedown on the bare dockwood, his hands lashed behind his back with yellow Flex Cuffs.
"Don't move, redneck, or it's lights out."
D-Man's jaw jittered as he raised his meaty hands and felt the tip of a pistol barrel against his temple.
"Yeah." A hard hand shoved him toward where Nutjob lay, then spun him around. A Somner's Cove cop he'd never seen before sneered back: slim, mustached, weasel-eyed. The nameplate over his badge read STEIN. "So you're the big bad D-Man, huh, punk? Drive any doughnuts in the river lately?"
"Our intel's had the line on you and your scumbag buddy for a while." Stein kicked Nutjob over on his back. D-Man's partner looked teary-eyed.
"He come from out of nowhere, D-Man! He knows all about-"
"Be quiet," ordered the cop. "You sound like a woman, and-look at that. Nerves of steel." He pointed to Nutjob's crotch. He'd wet his pants.
A chuckle. "I'd say you guys ain't making it as bad- ass crack dealers. You should've stuck to delivering doughnuts."
Finally D-Man found some semblance of a tongue. "We're just deliverin' corn to the crab house, Officer."
Stein shoved him back to the rear of the van. "Let's check out your produce, huh? Haul out the last bushel in the corner."
How the hell does this guy know ... D-Man's mind spun in a frenzy. Someone dropped a dime on us, but ... who? Rosh? Ain't no way! After another hard shove in the middle of the back, D-Man kneed into the van and started moving the bushels aside. And what the fuck am I gonna do now? His hands shook when he grabbed the corner bushel.
"Oww!" D-Man wailed when Stein kicked him hard in the thigh.
"The other corner, tough guy."
D-Man was blubbering as bad as Nutjob when he hauled the bushel back.
Excerpted from The Golem by Edward Lee Copyright © 2009 by Edward Lee. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are some books that seem to have found their perfect place in the 50c pile of a library sale, and The Golem was one of those books for me. Had I spent the full five and change I would have been very upset with myself, but but for a few quarters I dipped my toes into an unfamiliar genre and wasn't completely disappointed.The Golem is a book in the 'Hardcore Horror' genre, and Edward Lee is apparently a big name to its readers. If this book is a fair representation of Hardcore Horror, then I can only assume that the more explicit sex and violence one can pack into a story, the more hardcore it is. That's not to say that there wasn't a story. The plot was enjoyable enough. The prologue was a bit disconnected, but things made sense, and the characters were realistic enough for being complete monsters. There's decent buildup, two parallel narratives that intermingle seamlessly, and a satisfying conclusions. But I like psychological suspense more than graphic horror, and The Golem is a book teeming with rape, necrophilia, disembowelment, drug use, and similar straight forward vices and taboos. All of it is graphic. None of it stirred in me anything but mild amusement. After you've seen one dismembered body part shoved into an orifice you've seen them all. So my dislike for the book isn't so much about its execution as its subject matter. If you like gore and sex, you'll probably like The Golem. If you don't, you won't.For me this was a 50c well spent. I can now safely dislike hardcore horror and still have had some exposure to it.
Edward Lee's niche is similar to the old Shaun Hutson shock and gore horror books. The Golem doesn't disappoint in the bloody murders and rapes, however neither create tight suspense or brooding terror. Instead the evils committed seem rather matter-of-fact, which leaves a short horror yarn with no likeable characters, two-dimensional villains and a narrative which bounces between now and 1880 for little reason. The Golem evidences little imagination beyond a couple of twists near the end and is an easily forgotten tale. Pulp horror fans only.
When I was a kid, my aunt bought me a huge book about horror films, and although I've been trying to remember the title for YEARS, I still can't place it. One of the older films discussed was THE GOLEM, a silent film I finally managed to see during my high school years at a theatre in Manhattan. The verdict? It bored me senseless (my apologies to silent horror film purists out there).Well, guess what folks? Ed Lee's THE GOLEM, while retaining the cultural mythos of the story, is NOTHING like the film (but then again you probably knew that as soon as you heard about this one!).While THE GOLEM is standard genre stuff (couple moves to isolated house with dark secret then has to confront ancient evil), Lee adds his own voice with plenty of intense violence, some brutal (and one unforgettable) sex scenes, and plenty of humor courtesy of 2 bumbling redneck crack dealers (truest me, it doesn't take away from the seriousness of the novel). I also enjoyed Lee's handling of religion here, the differences between authentic and heretical Jewish faith nicely displayed.Reading most of Lee's novels are like watching gore-filled splatter films of yesteryear, and THE GOLEM is no exception. This has been done many times before, but seldom as fun. 'Tis a fun fun fun genre read. Oy vey!
Edward Lee is one of those authors whom you know exactly what your getting into with each release. The Golem is one of my favorites. Elements of the classic monster tale splattered in heaps of nausea inducing violence and gore. Tasteless, inappropriate, and perfect.
This was one of the authors better books. It is about Jewish folk lore. We'll researched and nicely written. 232 pages long. Pretty of gore and some sex. Edward Lee's trade marks.
This was a quick read, very fast paced, going back and forth from past to present. The violence is grisly and detailed, the story is on the campy side...basically this is Edward Lee doing what he does best. Nice twist on a classic monster. Loved it.
I'm a huge fan of Edward Lee, on one of my vacations in NC I went to numerous books stores to find his books. I've read a few already & with this one I can say that I wasn't as satisfied as I usually am when I finish one of his books. It's a very good read but didn't care for some of the non-english words in it & some parts of the storyline didn't keep me to interested. I just was able to track down a copy of House Infernal, I'm hoping that this one will bring me that "fuzzy" feeling I get like when I first read Flesh Gothic.
Those who have read Edward Lee's stories know that Lee likes to push the buttons and boundaries. He does not hold back his ideas, nor does he reign in his characters or their actions. Though sometimes over the top, Lee's work is an unflinching, uncompromising look at the struggle of between order and chaos. I don't use the terms 'good' and 'evil' because Lee's stories are not so cut and dry in terms of morality as they are in terms of actions and consequences. This story is somewhat typical in Lee's style, and not for the timid horror reader. As with many of his recent stories, such as the Infernal Series, Messenger, and Flesh Gothic, Lee uses religious and cult ideologies as the foundation of his story. He then uses a setting he knows about (Lee was born and raised in Maryland before moving to Florida) to give the atmosphere he wants. This story is based on the a small, Eastern shore fishing town area and uses the golem legends. The story is sometimes a bit rushed, but tends to be an overall fast and thrilling read. The interaction between the modern day story and the historical story is wonderfully done. The relationship between Seth and Judy is endearing, making the events that occur around them that much more devastating. Like all Lee's books, the ending isn't so much an ending as a place of transition. If you like definitive endings, don't touch the book. If you like a story that will push your imagination, and stomach, to its threshold, this may be the book for you.
After reading Edward Lee's last book Brides of the Impaler I wasn"t so sure I would be able to buy anything else of his. After I read the back of the book and saw that the story takes place in my neighboring county I decided to go ahead and pick it up. After reading The Golem it seems that Lee is going back to the gore that made him "The Hardest of the Hardcore Horror Writers", even though the story itself is mediocre. Anyone who has ever read any of Lee's other books should know that even though the gore is graphic it's almost slapstick and comical. Over all not A bad book especially if you're A fan of Lee's or just horror in general!
I thought the book was good. One of Lee's best so far. I look forward to his next thrillers.
Edward Lee has done it again! His books keep my wife and I up for hours. If anyone in Hollywood has a brain they would consider making a movie on this one.Very entertaining! Once again, Thanks Mr. Lee.