To welcome back Dreamin’ Demon’s Cracked Spine book recommendations, I have one Jaded will love. Just so you know, she likes her horror books chock full of blood and guts so she will be pleased to know that Vincent Churchill’s THE BUTCHER BRIDE has all that as well as a healthy dollop of sleaze.
Here’s the official synopsis: Thirty years ago, a depraved assault during a Halloween costume ball shattered a young woman’s mind, turning her into a brutal mass murderer. Dressed in her rival’s blood-soaked wedding gown, the legend of the Butcher Bride was born. Now, decades later, everyone who enters the Silas Mansion will encounter a frightening spirit ravenous to satisfy perverse appetites. Death is the only escape. Here comes The Bride…
Evie is a girl after Morbid’s black heart. She is gorgeous, has a healthy sexual appetite and a morbid fascination with serial killers. In particular, the mass murderer Marlie Downing, the Butcher Bride. Twenty-five years ago Downing went on a killing spree during an annual Halloween party held at the famous Silas Mansion, dispatching of a handful of guests in a gruesome fashion. Now the mansion stands empty aside from Downing’s ghost who locals say has never stopped adding to her body count.
As a gift, Evie’s boyfriend Stuart comes up decides to take her on a road trip to Lynnview, Illinois where they will spend the Halloween weekend celebrating the town’s annual Butcher Bride Festival and despite the warnings, they will be staying inside the Silas Mansion. It does not take long before the Bride makes an appearance and within short order begins playing her bloody tricks, first toying with the two intruders before ramping up her activities.
But the couple, as well as the townspeople, are about to find out that there is a lot more going on in the Silas Mansion than a vengeful spirit throwing plates around the kitchen. Past secrets that have been kept safe within the walls are about to be revealed and the blood Downing spilled while living, justified or not, will pale in comparison to the amount of bloodshed she will generate as the Butcher Bride.
This is the first book I have read by Vince Churchill and I am glad I finally got around to it. Imagine if the films POLTERGEIST and THE ENTITY were merged together by a bit of splatterpunk and you get the general idea of what to expect. Within the first chapter alone you get four bloody kills at the hands of a woman scorned, gang-banged and face raped. Like I said, Jaded’s kinda stuff.
The book is under 300 pages, making this an easy, quick read. The main character’s are memorable even if some of them make idiotic choices right out of the B-movie handbook. The heroes are likable and the villains written in a way that the reader will enjoy their comeuppance - even if their just desserts are particularly gruesome. If you enjoy the ’80s slasher films – with all the sex, gore and cannon fodder that goes with them – then you will love THE BUTCHER BRIDE. Trust me when I say you’ll have a blast. Vincent does not shy away from either the sex or the violence – something I do not need either of in my horror but grateful that when they are used, they’re used graphically. I’m giving THE BUTCHER BRIDE four champagne bottles, kneed up into a woman’s crotch by a deranged woman wearing a blood spattered wedding dress, out of five.
While you are waiting on your book to come from Amazon (there is also a Kindle Edition but then you miss out on Ken Collison’s awesome cover), go check out Vince Churchill’s website for information on his past and future works. He just recently made the move to California to become even more rich and famous and told me that there is a possibility of BRIDE being turned into a film. It’s perfect for one, but I’ll be amazed if the ghost gang rape will make the cut.