Category Archives: RJ Clark

Rabid Reads: "The Rift" by R.J. Clark

The Rift
self-published (2011)
As if New Orleans hasn’t been through enough in this reality, Ryan Clark has created an alternate reality in which a literal rift into Hell was opened up back in the seventies, turning the city into ground zero for all kinds of demonic carnage. Things are kept in check, however, and a macabre kind of status quo is created. Humans and demons co-existing, more of less, in the Big Easy. And at the center of all, there’s Matt Faustus, a private eye who is possessed–literally.
For Matt Faustus, the whole Hell on Earth takes a very personal turn, particularly since the rift opened on the day he was born–not to mention an especially nasty bugger of a demon became bound to his very soul. Now, he walked with a cross around his neck, and not your run-of-the-mill crucifix necklace either. No, this one basically keeps things relatively in check, though the demon can still do some damage by way of enhancing Matt’s strength and healing abilities.
Having a demon caged in your body is one thing, but trying to hunt another down is something else entirely, and that’s precisely what he has to do when a little girl is abducted from her home by the demon the girl’s affluent family owned. Yeah, some demons wind up as some kind of weird slave labor if you can believe that. As Matt investigates, he crosses paths with all sorts of nasty creatures from the depths of Hell, on this side of the Rift and the other. The worst of which just might be his ex-girlfriend, too.
I gotta say this book was a pleasant surprise. At first glance, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot after reading the plot summary for this one on Amazon. But within the first couple of chapters, with the brash demeanor of Matt Faustus, the fast-paced action he’s thrown into, and the vivid–albeit hellish–landscape R.J. Clark creates in this novel, I was hooked. The pulpy side of things gets a little overdone in spots, and some of Matt’s inner monologue feels way too cliched more than once, but the overall appeal of this book was undeniable.
If you enjoy high-octane action with a heavy dose of the fantastic, you will likely find what you need here.


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Filed under book review, demons, fantasy, horror, Rabid Reads, RJ Clark, The Rift, urban fantasy

Chasing Tale in June (Digital Edition): Joseph Garraty, Tom Piccirilli, Paul G. Tremblay …

The ol’ to-be-read pile exploded in the last couple months with review requests from various authors, agents, and the like. With the amount of reading on my plate through this summer, I was unable to offer everyone an actual time line on when to expect a review, but I will be working my way through each book.
The majority of them are e-books, since it’s such a relief on the purse strings when an author doesn’t have to pay shipping on one more physical book through the mail. I still prefer an actual book in my hands over the digital editions, but I am becoming more accustomed to reading e-books on my laptop. And, maybe one of these days I’ll actually get an e-reader, but that’s only likely if I either win a giveaway or one of them drops down to the $75 mark or so.
In any event, here are the latest e-books to get added to my reading list: Gift of Illusion by Richard Brown – This is a paranormal thriller with a detective as the protagonist. Now, I’m still trying to warm up to novels that have detectives as their main characters. Years of police procedural TV shows have dulled my enjoyment of the genre. Still, the plot summary for this one shows potential.

The Rift by R.J. Clark – “The Rift reads like a Tarantino script on steroids.” That’s a blurb from artist, Jeroen Ten Berge, who did the artwork for this book’s cover too. That’s worth giving it a chance, I think. Set in New Orleans with an inter-dimensional gateway to Hell? As if they didn’t have enough bulls— to deal with.

The Dogs of War by Bradley Convissar – I couldn’t resist giving this potentially brutal ghost story a chance. Why? Because it involves a dachshund. Yeah, you read that right. If an author can work a wiener dog into a scary story, I’m in.

Voice by Joseph Garraty – Stories about selling your soul are pretty common, and among them the rock star as the one doing the selling is fairly common in and of itself. Still, there’s always room for a new twist, so that’s what I’ll be looking for from this book.

The Dead Woman (Dead Man #4) by David McAfee – I have the latest iteration in the Dead Man novella series, which I’ll be reading and reviewing fairly soon. Actually, by the time I have this out, the fifth book in the series will probably set for release. It’s been a really good series thus far, and I have a sneaking suspicion this book will be no expection.

The Bad Wolf by Tim McGregor – Another detective novel, but it sounds like it’s straight up horror as two disparate detectives go after a serial killer and his pack of feral dogs. The killer thinks he’s a werewolf–and he’s probably right. This could be quite good.

Nightjack by Tom Piccirilli – It’s Piccirilli, so I do I really need to explain myself? I’ve got Every Shallow Cut sitting on my bookshelf, but when I grabbed this one from Crossroad Press, I figured I had to read it first.
Hallowed Ground by Steven Savile and David N. Wilson – This is another book I downloaded via Crossroad Press’ Online Store. After reading Gemma File’s A Book of Tongues, I got put in the mood for another weird western, and this might fit the bill. If you visit the store, there’s also a new hardbound edition on sale.

Arcane: Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century – My appetite for short fiction is insatiable. Despite not reviewing as much of it on this blog as the longer works, I still read a lot of it, and I thought I’d do up a review for this one this summer.

In the Mean Time by Paul G. Tremblay – As we approached the Apocalypse on May 21st, Chizine had a little Twitter contest asking folks to offer their predictions on how the world might really end. I wound up winning with a satirical little theory, and received a digital copy of Tremblay’s short story collection as the prize.

Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre I’ve been seeing this one promoted on Twitter for a while now. And since the table of contents has an impressive list of authors, and the thing was only gonna cost me 99 cents, I snagged myself a copy.

Well, these are the e-books that are going to be taking up the better part of my summer. Man, if I had the coin I’d splurge on one of those fandangled Kindles, but until they drop the price some more, I’ll settle for reading these on my jalopy of a laptop.

Have you hopped on the digital bandwagon yet? If not, what’s holding you back?

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Filed under Arcane, Bradley Convissar, Chasing Tale, David McAfee, David Niall Wilson, e-books, Harry Shannon, Joseph Garraty, Paul G. Tremblay, Richard Brown, RJ Clark, Steve Savile, Tim McGregor, Tom Piccirilli