Friday, June 4, 2010

The Corpse King-Tim Curran

The Corpse King
Tim Curran
Cemetery Dance, Jun 2010, $30.00
ISBN: 9781587671968

Long after the mourners leave the graveyard, Samuel Clow and Mickey Kierney arrive to dig up the body. They make a living selling corpses to those in need of cadavers. They never lack for customers or supply as skeletal remains in high demand.

During a bloody downpour, the pair works until Kierney’s shovel hits a wooden object. He scrapes mud off of it and hits it again. He tells his ghoulish partner he is uncomfortable with what might be inside this wood; Clow figures his partner found the devil’s work so he hooks the wood to life it out of the grave. They find a woman with perfect teeth that a dentist would buy covered by a shroud. They stop at the Sign of the Boar where dead drunk for two pennies is a way of life for all patrons. However, this time they will learn of a more experienced competitor who is a grave robber too, but this defiler of the dead does not sell the merchandise; instead harvests the dead for personal use as The Corpse King who has plans to use the pair of miscreants.

The atmosphere is dark, grim, and creepy; and that describes the non cemetery scenes. The nocturnal trips to the cemetery are even darker, grimmer and creepier. Readers who relish a throwback horror thriller with a Poe like gloomy environs and slimy lead characters including the rapaciously hungry title protagonist will enjoy the Corpse King.

Harriet Klausner

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