There’s nothing I enjoy more than taking a punt on an independent author, only to discover something that is both well written and incredibly enjoyable.
This is exactly how it went with Verdict Realty, Judge. Jury. Torturer. An extreme horror story from author Sea Caummisar.
While I enjoy extreme horror, one of its biggest pitfalls is that sometimes, the plot is booted out of the window in favour of moving from one gruesome set-piece to another.
This is very much ‘not’ the case with Verdict Realty. The author takes the time to build on her characters, meaning that by the end of the book you have a nice, clear idea of who the story's key character (Sly Verdict) is, and why he does what he does.
Sly comes across like a mash-up between Dexter and Patrick Bateman, except Sly has a heart. Yes, I know that sounds ludicrous. A guy who maliciously tortures and then kills people described as having a heart. Sly truly believes that what he is doing helps make the world a better place. Sure, it’s his hobby, but he has a very definitive set of rules that he follows to the letter.
So, here’s the story in a nutshell. Sly Verdict owns his own real estate company. He is a wealthy, clean living fella who everyone seems to like. His best friend happens to be the local sheriff, and even he thinks Sly is a stand-up guy.
What nobody knows is, Sly has a secret avocation. By day he sells property to those in need. By night, however, he enjoys nothing more than brutally torturing and killing people in a cellar below his barn. Once dead, he then feeds what’s left of them to his ravenous pigs.
Rather than kill indiscriminately, Sly follows a very strict set of rules designed to keep his hobby a secret and ensure that he only kills those who he deems deserving. For example, his victims include a domestic abuser, a junkie thief and a love cheat to name but a few.
Character development aside, an extreme horror story needs its kills to be… well, extreme, right? Verdict Realty delivers on that score too. Sly just so happens to be an especially inventive sadist, and the moments of torture are wonderfully descriptive. During one of his many jaunts to his torture room, Sly takes great pleasure in carving up an adulteress with a fondness for cosmetic surgery. In one of the more memorable moments, he rejoices in deflating her silicone augmented breasts by stabbing into them. It’s gleefully descriptive and you can tell the author took great delight in dreaming up these many cruel and gruesome acts.
Verdict Realty: Judge. Jury. Torturer is the first in a series of books based on the character of Sly Verdict, and I will definitely be treating myself to the next chapter. As I mentioned before, it’s well written and highly engaging.
The book closes on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with Sly debating a new and interesting way for him to dispose of his victims. It’s a clever ploy on the author's part as, having invested time into the story, you’re left needing to know what follows.
I’m looking forward to adding more from Sea Caummisar to my kindle library.
If you like the sound of Verdict Realty you can grab yourself a copy by clicking the link below: