2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
On the road with Mr Dark,
This review is from: The Dead Man Vol 2: The Dead Woman, Blood Mesa, and Kill Them All (Kindle Edition)
Matt Cahill, blue collar all round regular Joe is buried in a skiing accident avalanche, and, impossibly revives 3 months later in a University hospital, with enhanced abilities of healing and strength. But that's not all. Matt is now tormented by the power that revived him, an ancient enemy known by man by many names e.g. banshee, demon, but here known as "Mr Dark." Mr Dark has given Matt the ability to see the evil spread by his, Dark's, touch, as a festering malignancy, gangrenous, zombifying rot. Those infected become evil in their actions as their souls are corrupted. Matt finds himself compelled to travel the States pursuing Dark, either halting or reversing the consequences of that dreadful touch, hefting his trusty woodman's axe for support.
This is the premise of "The Dead Man," and in this, the second collection of pulp horror novella's, Matt finds himself pitted against a serial killer, aided by a woman who has perhaps the same gift he has; an ancient curse unearthed by an archaeological dig atop a desert Mesa; and a group of Mr Dark infected mercenaries literally after his blood, who lay siege to an entire town in pursuit of Matt.
The format is that of a US TV box set mini -series really, not surprising in that Goldberg and Rabkin are TV writers, and Rabkin has written on writing `Pilots' for US series. And these collections of tales are as compulsive as the best of these series. And they are all by different writers, with Goldberg and Rabkin holding the reins as series creators. You don't want Matt to ever reach his goal of destroying Dark, really, you just want more of these pared down viscerally satisfying pulp tales. There's even a satisfying story arc introduced in this one, with Matt being pursued by mercenaries from the University hospital where he first revives (in the very first V1 tale the hospital was not keen on Matt leaving as they would have preferred him to stay for `research' purposes).
The tales take standard story tropes and employ them well; the serial killer with a twist in "The Dead Woman" (twist not hard to spot but never mind), the "28 days later" style spreading infection in "The Blood Mesa," and the "High Noon" Western stand- off in "Kill Them All" with the aforementioned crazed mercenaries. Of them all, the latter tales uses it's short novella format the best, with action and story backing each other up the best. "The Blood Mesa" is the least satisfactory, it feels a bit lazy and perfunctory (but it is still not bad), with "The Dead Woman" weakened by it's obvious twist.
But all in all great addictive fun, and I can't wait to get chopping with Matt again in Vol 3.