Book Review – Bleed by Ed Kurtz

 

It’s 1923, and a little girl lies awake in her bed, terrified, knowing her father is on his way to have his way with either her or her sister Agnes. Although relieved when it’s Agnes he picks on this night, she’s sad Agnes has to endure her father’s abuse. She sneaks out and gets an iron skillet, then bashes her father in the head with it, killing him. Later we find out she wasn’t safe yet at all.

Now it’s 2011, and Walt Blackmore has moved into the house. The house is worn down and falling apart; a fixer-upper. It’s summertime, and Walt has a teaching position in the fall, so he has plenty of time to work on his new home. As he works his way through the house making repairs, he notices a rusty-colored stain on the ceiling in the hallway, which he figures is water damage.

He tries several times to fix the ceiling, but the stain keeps bleeding through, becoming a little bigger each time. He finally goes up to the attic to see if there are any pipes that were leaking, but discovers something much more disturbing – something dead, resembling an animal. He cleans up the mess, thinking his problems with the stain are over. But they’re just beginning. The stain continues to grow, dripping to the floor and eventually becoming a grotesque creature hungering for fresh blood and meat. Walt, while repulsed, also finds himself drawn to the creature and becomes its caregiver, providing it with what it needs – at any cost.

Bleed, by Ed Kurtz, is a creepy story that at times brings to mind the original Hellraiser movie. Nobody is safe from Mark; he becomes obsessed with the creature even as he is afraid of it. But as it takes a womanly shape, his repulsion turns to an unholy desire which is consummated after the creature is free from being tethered to the ceiling. Once she is free, the creature starts to hunt for her own food.

The creature also becomes obsessed with Mark, and together they live of life of blood, gore and lust. Even Mark’s sister and long-time girlfriend are not safe from this malevolent duo. After Mark begins his teaching job, he is able to find more meat for his lover in some of his students, turning the house into an abbatoir as Mark slowly goes insane.

I enjoyed Bleed very much. It doesn’t read like a first novel; it is extremely well-written and edited. The dialogue flows nicely; it doesn’t feel forced at all. If Bleed is any indication of Ed Kurtz‘s talent as a writer, he will be a name to watch in the horror genre.

I give it 5 stars. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Pick up a copy here either in book form or Kindle form

 

 

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2 Responses to “Book Review – Bleed by Ed Kurtz”

  1. Gord Rollo says:

    Very cool. I just started reading this one myself last night and I’m looking forward to getting into the meat of the story, so to speak:) If Ed is anywhere near as gruesome in the book as he is in person, this will be a great read.

    Just kidding, Ed:)

    Cheers,

    Gord

  2. Ed Kurtz says:

    Thanks for the great review, Sheri! I’m so glad you dug BLEED.

    And I hope you dig it too, Gord. You’re my trial run of the Canadian market!

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