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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cometh the axeman
This is espresso strength pulp horror fiction at its finest. It has page-flipping story-telling, adventure, gore, badly written sex (a tradition in and of itself) and a high plains drifter hero compelled to hit the road through a supernatural curse.
This is a compilation of three novels. In the first, "Face of Evil," the `pilot' episode, Matthew Cahill is buried...
Published on 6 Oct 2012 by Adam

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71 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lost art?
Tales of horror are, apparently, very popular - but it can't be because of books like this, unless the genre has been re-defined so as to exclude tension, anticipation and cogent thought. The three novellas - though these barely qualify -seem to be a pile of ingredients assembled by amateur cooks. Assorted blood and violence with pointless sex scenes and coarse language...
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by T. Russell


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cometh the axeman, 6 Oct 2012
By 
Adam "Say something about yourself!" (Dunton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dead Man Vol 1: Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, and Hell in Heaven (Paperback)
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This is espresso strength pulp horror fiction at its finest. It has page-flipping story-telling, adventure, gore, badly written sex (a tradition in and of itself) and a high plains drifter hero compelled to hit the road through a supernatural curse.
This is a compilation of three novels. In the first, "Face of Evil," the `pilot' episode, Matthew Cahill is buried alive in an avalanche / skiing accident. He is discovered three months later as a corpse, but inexplicably revives. But, he has the curse to see a physical manifestation of evil as a flesh rotting disease, spread by the touch of the macabre "Mr Dark," who has revived Matt for his own sinister purposes. Matt finds that the curse both draws evil with him and gives him the power to also prevent it, through new powers of strength, resilience and super-fast healing. It is this curse and mission, both to unravel the curse, defeat Mr Dark, and fight his evil that pits Matt on the road.
The first story is a tragic origins one, where Matt is forced to confront a man who he has always rescued, an abuse scarred buddy who becomes the first to be infected by Mr Dark's leprous touch.
In the second instalment, "Ring of Knives," Matt finds himself in an evil plagued psychiatric institution (the only tale to be penned by James Daniels, the others by series creators Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin) where both lunatics and devils have taken over the asylum. This is the strongest in terms of storytelling and I thought the strongest writing style. It's a blast, pacey, scary and insanely enjoyable.
And in the final instalment, a variant on the familiar Deliverance / `Our town' themes, Matt finds himself in the role of a lawgiver in a time froze community locked in a blood feud, after he kills the demon dictator holding them in a pattern of ceasefire.
With his trademark woodman's axe, Matt Cahill is a new iconic hero of pulp horror. I'm looking forward to seeing the axe swing again in V2.
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71 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lost art?, 26 Feb 2012
By 
T. Russell "mug panda" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dead Man Vol 1: Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, and Hell in Heaven (Paperback)
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Tales of horror are, apparently, very popular - but it can't be because of books like this, unless the genre has been re-defined so as to exclude tension, anticipation and cogent thought. The three novellas - though these barely qualify -seem to be a pile of ingredients assembled by amateur cooks. Assorted blood and violence with pointless sex scenes and coarse language just about sums these up. The first, introductory, story, is just over 100 pages long, at least 50 of which could be discarded. Here we meet our living corpse - potentially an interesting creation, but in practice a 'with one bound he was free' run of the mill action hero whom we would like to admire, but who is not allowed to develop more than a single dimension. The second tale is better written, but over-indulgent - and hence dull; a routine gorefest puts an end to the interesting initial plotline. In the third tale, our hero arrives in Oz/Brigadoon with predictable results (The best modern handling of this scenario is Vamp). Predictable results need not destroy a well-told tale, of course - many of Blackwood's stories derive their success from their unrolling predictability just because the climax is unavoidable. There's nothing here to rival Stoker's Judge's House or Jacobs's Monkeys Paw - and the attempts at humour have neither the dryness of James nor the elegant wit of Saki. Perhaps horror writing is now a dead art (no, I haven't forgotten King - who has yet to translate some truly excellent ideas into readable prose - not as far as I am concerned, anyway); authors seem to be already dreaming of which effects will look good on film (none of them do - bring back Lewton)instead of concentrating on the word picture. These stories are by no means the worst of their type; but that doesn't say much for the genre as a whole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 24 Oct 2012
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I really like the premise of this series of novella's. An ongoing series dealing with Matthew Cahill, recently deceased then brought back to life, and his exploits with the evil Mr. Dark, along with attempting to find out why he has been brought back. But I found there was just a certain something lacking. I don't really know if I would class this as horror either, more an action series with really high levels of gore thrown in for good measure. A good horror story leaves me feeling scared, and this didn't.

However I found myself suitably intrigued that I read all three, and have every intention of carrying on reading more books in this series. But for those people out there who are looking for horror novels, this probably isn't for you. And anyone who doesn't like lots of gore? What I want to know is what are you doing looking in the horror section on Amazon?

I like the idea of different authors pitching in with their stories, and the idea of these short novellas carrying on in an ongoing series. I love the concept of that, but don't feel too many authors succeed with it.

I enjoyed it, but felt because it lacked that certain something, and certainly wasn't what I expected as a something classed as horror, I struggled to give it more than 3 stars. But like I said earlier, I am intending to carry on reading them, so it can't be all that bad. Intrigued by what I've said? Give it a try, and if you go in with low expectations you can only be pleasantly surprised.
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4.0 out of 5 stars spot on, 5 July 2014
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spot on
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1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rubbis, 3 May 2014
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Did not find this at all interesting and could not make sense for the reason of the title let alone the story line.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the stars say it for me, 4 Nov 2013
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exellent reading I have read the other books in the series and have thoughly enjoyed every one of them I missed volumn 3 when I ordered these but I shall get this one next time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading (Kindle) sample, 18 Oct 2013
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Lee Goldberg has written two very funny, witty and wonderful novels I really like: My Gun Has Bullets: Charlie Willis Series, Book 1 and the sequel-of-sorts Star Trek-parody Beyond the Beyond*, so I was quick to click the 'Send sample now'-button and started reading immediately.

The darkly funny opening scene of The Dead Man Vol 1: Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, Hell in Heaven reminded me of the two so-called Charlie Willis-novels and assisted by the £1 price tag I jumped on the 'Buy now with 1 click-button'.
Too quick it turned out ... much too quick.

Goldberg also wrote a lot of work-for-hire TV spin-offs (Monk, Diagnosis Murder etc.) and the three 'Dead Man'-novellas I had just wasted a pound on also have three authors listed for a reason.
Now, if someone likes genuine horror (specifically disgusting gory horror) combined with 'action man'-adventure complete with motorbikes, chopping wood bare-chested first thing in the morning, hand-to-hand combat and some steamy sex), I suppose he will like these short novels.
I really don't.

And I'm sad to say that despite his large output I have yet to find a third Lee Goldberg-novel to treasure.

* PS: Whilst looking at other Goldberg-books, I saw that his aforementioned funny novels are now available as Double Header (Two Complete Novels) for the Kindle.
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2.0 out of 5 stars BAD BUY, 19 May 2013
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Boring and repetitive every single story was the same I doubt if I will be reading anything else from this author
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly average, 26 Oct 2012
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M. Young "M. Young" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dead Man Vol 1: Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, and Hell in Heaven (Paperback)
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The setup for this trio of short stories is that our hero awakes from a science-defying coma after being frozen in an avalanche, and has the miraculous ability to see evil in people who are about to commit terrible crimes. And so his quest begins to figure out what's going on and take on his supernatural nemesis who seems to be spreading the evil.
It's a half decent horror romp, however the author often tries to shock you in a bit of a weird (and disturbingly common) way by adding a strange sexual element to the violence that happens. I know he's trying to show that the killer is twisted and crazy and so on, but in real life such cases where perpetrators are turned on by blood and guts are very rare. I just don't really see the point in going down that road just for shock value. I'd prefer if the tension and horror comes from other areas and better writing and story-telling.

All in all, not a bad book. OK for a commute, but I'm not raving about it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, if somewhat unchallenging & mild horror, 5 Jun 2012
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Mr. K. Cross "keithcelt2" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dead Man Vol 1: Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, and Hell in Heaven (Paperback)
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I have read very many horror books in my time, & these short stories do not rank up there with the best of them. They are enjoyable enough, & I will read volume two in the series that I also have, but they did not thrill me, did not send delightful shivers up my spine, did not make me hesitant in turning off the light when I'd finished reading for the night. I like my horror with a good slow, steady build-up resulting in vein-popping tension & anticipation. These stories didn't quite manage that. The gore was there for shock value only, I felt, though some of it was wickedly enjoyable!! I'd have liked more character development, then I would have really cared what happened to the folk that populate the pages of this book. There are some interesting ideas: the main character, Matthew Cahill, 'dies' in an avalanche, only to be discovered three months later....alive!! But he can now see evil in the form of menacing Mr Dark & Rotting Jack. He attempts to find out how this can be so....... But it's sometimes a little rushed & glossed over, & a little frustrating for that. And, were those embarrassing, almost laughable, sex scenes really necessary? Anyway, I had a few pleasurable hours of reading this pulp horror collection, but nothing that chilled me to the marrow.
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The Dead Man Vol 1: Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, and Hell in Heaven
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