Edward Lee's 'Flesh Gothic': A Review
'Flesh Gothic' is another prime example of how deliciously disturbed the human mind can be. I wonder if Lee felt the tingles of pleasure writing this story as I did reading it. However, I do believe he had the red blooded male in mind when he conceived this story. Pornography, violence, vices, the supernatural and the occult are all buried firmly in the root of this sinister satanic tribute.
Hildreth House has earned itself quite a reputation for it eccentricities. Notorious for outlandish decorations, lavish parties and home for every sinful desire known to man. No matter what your drug of choice or fetish is, you'll find it readily available in the house. That is until thirteen people are found brutally ripped apart. Dismemberment, decapitation and disembowelment were some of the fates that befell upon the lucky victims... the rest were mutilated in ways that would give the most extreme homicidal sociopath an erection. The only body not found, is that of the mansion's over zealous owner Reginald. Several months later, Hildreth's widow, Vivica, hired five gifted individuals to live in and investigate the mansion and discover what occurred on that bloody night. Westmore, a rather successful investigative reporter. Adrianne and Cathleen, two highly recognized women with various psychic talents. Willis , a lonely man who can see people's memories just with a bare handed touch. Lastly is Nyvysk, an ex priest who has an expertise with supernatural investigative equipment. Each will use their special abilities to piece together the dark secrets of the mansion. Thinking that the mansion's puzzles and ghosts are their only nemesis, something from deep within begins attacking our investigative team. What awaits them is a twisted tale of Satanic worship and sacrifice that could make the holiest of men cower. Can Westmore and the others unlock the doors to the past? Or will the house claim them as well?
While 'Flesh Gothic' is Lee's most engrossing novel so far, his obsessions with Hell are beginning to become redundant. I was excited to pick this novel up thinking it would be something different but was mistaken. The story is difficult to get into in the beginning. Each chapter introduces a new character, but there are so many that it gets hard to keep track of each one. Once all the investigators are assembled together, it becomes easier to distinguish each person and their skills. I think Lee sacrificed quality for quantity on this novel. Majority of the characters are flat and lacking personality and I found myself disliking most of the characters. What personality we do see is slightly less than desirable. When the players begin to die, I really thought to myself "So what?" I would much rather the time taken to explain the high tech investigative equipment have been devoted to developing the cast a bit more. I don't care how a digital recorder works... I only want to know what the recorded voices say. While the ending pulls the whole story together, there isn't any twist or element of surprise.
I'm not saying that isn't a good story, but it certainly has it's faults. Vividly imaginative, and graphic in an unapologetic way, Lee does know how to grab your attention and keep it clutched in his icy claws. But at this point I think I've come to expect more from Lee. I'm giving this novel a very respectable three stars.
I recommend the Mass Market version since you can find the best prices though them.