by Edward Lee
Published by Leisure Fiction, 2009
In the late 16th Century a story emerged of a creature which was created by the chief Rabbi to protect the Jews of the Prague Ghettos from anti-Semites. So began the long history of a unique monster which has since gone on to star in many films and books. Now, Edward Lee has brought the story of the Golem right up to date but has managed to keep much of the tradition of the myth intact.
A dual narrative allows us to follow two strands of the story separated by time but connected by horror. In 1880 a group of Jewish settlers are subjected to extreme anti-Semitic attacks, they call upon an ancient and obscure branch of their religion to fight these attacks with devastating consequences. Fast forward to the present and we meet Seth Kohn (reformed alcoholic) and his girlfriend Judy Parker (former drug addict). They are trying to put their lives back together after a series of tragic events, unfortunately the town of Lowensport is not the best place to do that.
Throughout the book we meet corrupt policemen, hired thugs, drug dealers, religious fanatics all connected by one thing, a series of bizarre deaths, seemingly related to the history of Lowensport and the religious persecution that took place there. Edward Lee spares no blushes in his portrayals of the horrors that follow, it’s fair to say there are more body parts created here that in Madame Tussuad’s workshop. Lee has been described as “the hardest of hardcore horror writers” and this book certainly contains it’s fair share of gore, sex and general nastiness but it also remains true to the original story and has a surprising amount of historical and religious information included among the gore.
The religious detail and portrayal of the historical society of Lowensport is rich and interesting, creating a fascinating backdrop to the more gruesome happenings. Much of the original Golem story has been included as backstory. The plot is fast paced and although it’s pretty clear early on what’s going on, it still retains a modicum of intrigue to the end.
Let’s not get too pretentious here though, Lee is in the business of writing entertaining horror and has certainly succeeded here, it’s not for the faint hearted but then they should really be reading something from the Mills and Boon selection rather than hardcore horror. It does what it sets out to do very well. Lee has taken an old tale and infused it with 21st Century values to create a thoroughly modern horror tale. For more information on Edward Lee try his website here or for more on Leisure Books try here.
Rating 3.5 out of 5