Resurrectionist, The (Book)
Reviewed by Scott A. Johnson
Written by Wrath James White
Published by Leisure Books
Think of your worst nightmare. For most people, that's some big hairy beast that lives under your bed. But there's another that has fueled the fires of gun enthusiasts throughout the nation for years: You're not safe in your own home. That's one of the most chilling parts Wrath James White's novel, The Resurrectionist. That, and the whole "the creepy guy across the street brings dead things back to life" thing.
The book opens up on a scene in the past where a young boy named Dale witnesses his father brutally murder his mother. After he calls the police, the boy kisses his mother and, much to his surprise, she awakens, whole again. Imagine the such a power in the mind of a child. Then imagine what happens when the child, warped by the sight of his mother's murder and subsequent resurrection (therefore devaluing life) grows up to be a not-quite-serial killer and rapist. Oh...And he moves in across the street.
The things that give this book such a kick are varied, but can be summed up in two points. First, the concept is quite good. The neighbor continuously has dreams of being raped and murdered, only to wake up and find clues that what happened wasn't a dream. While most of the civilized world thinks she's crazy, she becomes determined not only to prove what's going on, but to catch the little beast in the process. Second, White is as vicious a writer as any I've seen when it comes to writing scenes that disturb and successfully make the reader need a long hot shower.
There are, however, a few issues with this novel, mostly stemming from his neighbor's preoccupation with sex (even though she's been having vivid nightmares about being brutally raped) and Dale's murder method. For a person who's been repeating his crimes for around twenty years, he makes quite a few mistakes that most people would learn from. Also, White's writing style, which has improved as his career as a novelist has progressed, needs some mechanical tweaking.
Taken as a whole, The Resurrectionist is a brutal tale that isn't for everyone. If gore, rape and kitten-killing is your bag, this book might just leap to the top of your favorites list. If, however, you prefer a more psychological and subtle horror, this one isn't for you.
3 out of 5
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