Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Detective Ben Nelson’s not happy with the new world order. He’s stubbornly refusing to believe in the supernatural beings that the world now knows to be real ever since a vampire burst into flames on a city street and a cop sat up in his coffin at his funeral. Now Ben has a chilling new case that frustrating them all and breaking their hearts. It involves seemingly unconnected people—men, women, children—who disappear from their beds and are later found beaten to death. When evidence leads to an offhand comment about voodoo, Ben refuses to admit that there might be something unreal about it all until his boss orders him to visit a seer named A. Middleton or hand the case over to the Odd Squad—the federal bureau charged with investigating supernatural crimes.
Artie Middleton lives alone in a huge house, able only to be physically close with his dog. Why? Because with one touch, Artie Middleton can see, feel, and relive the stories held by objects, and some of those stories are very bad indeed. The last missing person’s case he assisted on left him bedridden, recovering from the same wounds as the victim. His power is one that few would envy.
When a disbelieving Ben arrives at his door, needing help to find a missing seven-year-old boy, Artie is torn. He fears what might happen if he agrees but knows the fate of the child if he doesn’t. Even more troubling for Artie is the detective’s effect on him. While Artie can’t allow skin-to-skin contact with a person for fear of what he might see, Ben makes him want to break all the rules he has in place to protect his sanity.
When the two begin working together, they find much more than they expected. And if they can’t stop the perpetrators, the body count will increase.
Parker Williams joins the Pulp Friction team this year and The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs #1),his tale of supernatural beings, love and mystery, folds itself seamlessly into the others, meshing a new world order that recognizes the existence of supernatural beings and their effect upon the city, its politics, and its people.
Just as it would occur in real life, there appears someone who stubbornly refuses to believe in the changes that have so rapidly occurred. That’s NOPD Det. Ben Nelson. He’s an overworked hard driving cop, short on sleep, and even shorter on tolerance and belief in magic and those that wield it. And he’s in the midst of a case that heartbreaking and lacking in clues. The one lead they available is the last one Ben wants to follow up on because it contains supernatural elements to it. I absolutely believed in Ben Nelson from his first appearance. Parker Williams has built so many believable layers to this man that he’ slides easily to mind and into our hearts. And the case he’s working on tugs at our emotions, especially as it involves children being kidnapped, and tortured before being killed.
To offset the mundane, everyday and oh so human routine of the police force, the author gives us A. Middleton, also known as Artie to his friends. A potter who turns out museum worthy art pieces, Artie is also a seer specializing in psychometry. Artie can touch an object and immediately he is flooded with memories and scenes and emotions of those the object belonged to. At once it becomes clear that such a talent is more curse than gift. When those memories and events are horrific, involving physical damage that happened to the person the object belongs/belonged to, that same damaged is felt and physically manifests itself on Artie. Definitely not the sort of thing someone would want to be able to do. It has caused Artie to retreat from all physical contact with others. The only touch he can tolerate is that of his dog. What a lonely existence and yet, Parker Williams has developed Artie to such a realistic degree that Artie has found a way to have others in his life, no matter how restricted it might be. You will fall deeply in love with Artie just as I did.
The case that ties these two men together is horrific, grounded as it is in the kidnapping of children and a few adults who vanished from their bedrooms without a trace. The mystery of their disappearance combined with the fact that when their bodies are eventually found, the manner of their deaths add terror to the mixture. The police work drudgery feels authentic and the suspense and buildup satisfyingly haunting and addictive. And that ending…..
Yes, it’s a cliffhanger, something I have come to expect from the Pulp Friction serialized stories. Be prepared to yell “noooooooo” at the end. I did. Along with a “argh”, and “hell no, he didn’t end it there”. A few comments like that may have flown out of my mouth! But I loved every word of this story even as Parker Williams twisted my heart and stomach into knots during the telling.
But don’t take my word for it. Run out (or over to your computer or eReader) and get it right now. You need to be ready for the next installment. I am. And while you are at it, pick up the other two Round One stories already out. This is going to be one wild ride, and I can’t wait for more.
Cover art by Laura Harner. I love these covers, perfect for branding the group of series and introducing the characters.
Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published March 13th 2015
About Pulp Friction 2015
Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner
The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
One supernatural finale.
Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.
Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner