Full disclosure: Lee Goldberg posted about the book and asking for reviews and here we are...
The Dead Men: Face of Evil by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin follows a map that horror fans know all too well since Stephen King, Dean Koontz and others have already blazed. An ordinary person experiences something horrifying/extraordinary that changes his life. In the case of our protagnist Matthew Cahill’s life goes from being great to frozen dead, to alive to worse and for lack of a better word, shenanigans ensue.
The plot bounces back and forth a bit in time between the past and present until for the climax is sticks firmly in the present. The adventures of the widowed Cahill begin with his firing from the local saw mill, follow his blossoming relationship with fellow saw mill employee Rachel Owens while his continuing misadventures with Andy Goodis who used to be the high school screw up and continues even after they both get fired from their jobs as a result of downsizing by machine integration and Andy’s antics.
The plot begins to set up the sleepy town in Washington State where Cahill and his friends live in just long enough giving the reader a quick overview of minor characters and how their futures will end up. Unfortunately, as the screws twist, we find out many of their futures will not end so bright and cheery.
There start to be two villains in this story, the first being the big bad supernatural styled villain that King, Koontz and other horror writers have written so well in the past called Mr. Dark. The other being a medical school which I throughly enjoyed until the medical school is quickly dropped in favor of Mr. Dark.
Mr. Dark while is great to read, the check and balances of the real world get left behind quite quickly, possibly too quickly. I was half expecting the university to trying to get Matt back or someone in the Police Department to investigate Matt’s situation, after leaving two crime scenes and being best friends with Andy. Overall, these facts are throughly ignored so the runaway plot can roll down the hill towards the unsuspecting school children.
Overall, it’s a good read and never gets too descriptive for it’s own good. A brisk read at best and when the next book comes out I’ll be reading it to see how Goldberg & Rabkin takes the characters.