Published by Double Life Press, Death Thing is the story of Gilbert, a retiree who is sick and tired of thugs and “hooligans” breaking into his car and stealing his stuff. Instead of calling the police, which has been reduced down to almost nothing thanks to budget cuts, Gilbert decides to take matters into his own hands. He turns his car into a death trap and the death trap works remarkably well.
Enter Gilbert’s neighbour, Larry. Larry is a laid back kind of guy, but when he sees how effective Gilbert’s “bum motel” (think roach motel) turns out to be, he wants in on the action. So, Gilbert builds a death trap in Larry’s car. As you would expect, this bum motel works great too, but Larry finds his stomach is weaker than he thought and soon wants little part of Gilbert’s plans.
Gilbert’s wife, Mary, is the only one allowed to call him “Gil,” but that doesn’t stop everyone else from using the nickname he hates. Mary sees how obsessed Gil is becoming with the death traps and tries to get him to quit. As the story progresses, Gil receives attention from the local police department, but not the kind of attention you might expect.
Oh and something else you should know about Gilbert, he has an unhealthy obsession with tuna sandwiches with pickles.
Death Thing could easily be an episode of The Twilight Zone – it’s that weird. Of course, in the horror genre, weird isn’t at all bad, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a short read…it will take you about an hour to finish, but it is filled with gore, human emotion and humour. (Yes, humour.) Parts of this book are hilarious and the funny moments help alleviate some of the tension Gilbert creates throughout the story. Gilbert is not a nice man, but some of the interactions between Gil and his wife are very funny. In Gilbert, the author created a character who, when you’re not laughing at him, you’re hoping he dies in a really painful way.
Death Thing has a fair amount of gore, but it is written in such a way that almost anyone can read it without feeling the queasiness some extreme horror books bring about. The humour is a nice twist and the author really makes it work in this story.
Due to its short length, Death Thing is a book you can read in one sitting and is perfect for anyone currently between novels. It’s a wild, freaky ride that tackles the problems of the diminished resources and its effect on crime in the U.S., but isn’t at all preachy or condescending. This one is well worth the money.
PURCHASE A COPY HERE