Joseph Williams: “THE BLACKENING OF FLESH should be in your hands right now”

Had a bit of a bad day today. I won’t go into it–we all have them, and then we shake them off, but … it makes it a lot easier to shake off when something nice chases it. And I got that today. Boy howdy.

Joseph Williams, author of BUNYAN UNDEAD and the Blues Traveler-authorized collection JUSTIFY THE THRILL had some pretty nice things to say about my new ghosts and gangsters novel, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH:

Chris Larsen is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. If you’ve visited this site before and read my review of his debut novel LOSING TOUCH, you know that I’ve been a fan of his work for a while now, but as a reader, you never know whether or not that enjoyment will carry over to the writer’s sophomore effort. Sometimes, the nuances of a particular author’s style that are successful in one book may be intolerable in another. Sometimes, an author voicing a different sort of character than he or she had in the earlier work can expose a one-dimensional aspect to his or her writing. Well, I’m happy to report that in Chris Larsen’s latest release, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, that’s not the case. In fact, quite the contrary. You can all exhale now (especially you, Chris).


The past won’t stay buried.

THE BLACKENING OF FLESH tells the tale of newly graduated high-school outcast Jared Dix. While running a delivery for the local drug store, Jared meets Monica: an aloof college girl who immediately becomes the subject of his infatuation. Monica informs him of his house’s sordid past (which she discovered while writing a research paper about the Cerutti gang) and the two strike up a friendship of convenience…with Jared holding out hope for a little more than just friendship. Soon enough, however, Jared’s interest in his home’s history morphs from a convenient icebreaker with an attractive girl to a matter of life and death as one by one his loved ones are possessed by the ghosts of Capone-era gangsters.

As with Larsen’s debut novel, LOSING TOUCH, what makes THE BLACKENING OF FLESH work so well is Chris’s writing style. There’s an effortlessness to Larsen’s prose that—simply put—is comfortable for the reader. I wince as I write this because I know this comparison is drawn upon far too often with horror authors nowadays, but Larsen’s writing reminds me of Stephen King in that way. While most comparisons to King are made simply because the book in question has a horror premise that reminds the reviewer of one of King’s works (which is almost impossible to avoid at this point as he’s 60+ books into his career and has used basically every horror plot imaginable), in this case, it’s Larsen’s style specifically that is reminiscent of King’s charm…

Read the rest the review and interview here and then go out and pick up one of Joseph’s books here. He’s a helluva writer in his own right with a fertile imagination that will scare your socks off, and his review came right when I needed it. I guess it’s been a pretty good day after all…

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

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