So you want to read something truly frightening? James Newman is a very very good writer, this I know. His upcoming novel ANIMOSITY had a very intriguing premise and I jumped at the chance to take an early read thanks to the folks at Necessary Evil Press. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read of the authors work, and I must admit a bit shamefacedly that I’m way behind. My days of expensive fiction purchasing are long gone and they haven’t returned with the departing of diapers from my budget, so I was very much interested to see how he was doing. You can now order the book by going to the website!!
Animosity is truly amazing. It works as a thriller. It works as a horror novel. And it works as a supersonic kick in the ass to those of us that put our love all things chilly and willy out in the public eye. Someday I’ll have to talk about the time a woman at my son’s Pre-K saddled up to my wife and conspiratorially mentioned “So… I googled your husband and was reading his blog.”
That is the core of my response to Animosity.
Andrew Holland writes horror novels. The kind I love. Trashy and violent with lurid titles and all that good stuff. But as we join him in this first person narrative we like him because he is a pretty average guy. I didn’t love him, but I liked him a lot because he is a father that obviously cares for his daughter very much while coping with a divorce that has left him more than a little bit bitter. Hard at work on a new novel, his life takes a twist that he probably wouldn’t have put in the plot outline of his life. That twist would trouble a normal person in a normal community. Poinsettia Lane is a normal community enough community but given what Andrew does for work, and in some ways his own identifying of himself amongst his neighbors and how he relates to them, things will never be the same again. The novel opens with this.
Ten minutes ago I killed three of my neighbors.
That can’t be good. So, normal enough guy with a (too me) normal enough job, one I’d very much like actually, is going about his business with his dog Norman one morning. Ho hum. He discovers a dead body. Of a little girl…violated and destroyed. A devastating moment for anyone surely. And from the get go the perceptions of his work, and a supposed fascination with the morbid and horrific, gets him in to trouble. Trouble with the cops that is easily enough dispelled because they deal in facts. Not so easy with the rest of the neighborhood…a group of average people in crisis and draped in a feeling of the danger of those CSI shows, and horror books, coming home to roost on their street. Fear and paranoia spread like wildfire as Holland becomes the center point not of a real investigation, but of a media blitz that implies he may have something to do with the murder.
Life is hard enough without this… for every character in the book. But what will snap first? Andrew Holland or those who look at him now with different eyes. Friends become sinister when they see you as a sinister friend I’d say.
As the situation worsens the veneer of fame is removed and his neighbors, and friends, fears are exposed as thinking of the author as not so much special, but as someone to watch. It goes from bad to worse to hell on earth before long and bodies fall. No matter who lives or dies, everyone on Poinsettia Lane is about to stare straight into the worst part of themselves. When you can’t control yourself anymore.
I’d be lame and work out a tagline for the title, but you know the book is called Animosity, I’m sure you can see where I’m going.
What is interesting and unique about the novel is not so much the thriller or horror aspects, though both work well. I cringed in some points, shook my head in others and got so engrossed in the story of one man under siege for loving something he had held dear since childhood that I sat up late in to the evenings and finished the novel sitting in my car and barely making an appointment because I had just “4 more pages….AAAAAH!!” This sucked me in, spat me out, ate me again and then regurgitated my sensibilities because Newman avoids the twists and turns that we Horror fans love so much. And that is for the better. But it was the situation that really nailed me in the forehead.
Have you been Googled by someone you know? What do they really think? I know, for me, that I’m not particularly worried about that. Never have been. I’m proud to love my entertainment and creative side with a vigor usually reserved for those that lift massive weight on Strongman shows. But…what would someone think of me if they were to see what I was enjoying so much? This blog has Gore Flicks, Ajita Wilson films like Black Deep Throat (not porn by the way), Casual (un)Dress Friday and other… well…Alfonso Brescia oddities all over it. I love them, I enjoy them and I am thrilled to share them with the world-over 700 times on this blog alone!
But if I think that what happens in the new James Newman novel ANIMOSITY can’t happen…well, I think we all know that people don’t necessarily see things the way we, kind readers, do. And that is great, I’ll read their blogs to learn about them. But would I be surprised if I needed to seperate the man, the father, the husband, from the blogger for someone. Not at all.
If you clicked those links above, they are in your internet history now…would you want to have to explain your love of CROSS MISSION? Don’t worry, I will do it with a smile!
Animosity is a great novel from a very very good writer, it will be available in a limited edition which I’d suggest anyone to grab. Bug Necessary Evil Press and get a paperback edition in to all of our hands as well!
Check out the trailer right now!