Pick of the Week (#7): Frayed, By Tom Piccirilli
(Creeping Hemlock Press)
-selection made by Rodney Carlstrom
The Book: “Are you the one who helped him kill the angel?”
Twenty years of repressed anger and memories. A bitter knot of hatred that binds and divides two friends. The dark secret that fuels and devastates them both.
“He killed it. I only helped him to bury it.”
Eddies doing his best to get by, but every day the good fight just gets harder. And now there's a new burden to shoulder. Gray – his best friend and nemesis in literature, romance, and life – has landed a bizarre mental hospital, known for its radical treatments, because Gray couldn't bear the weight of an unspeakable trauma.
The last time they met, Gray almost killed Eddie, but it seems that all is finally forgiven. Tonight, there's a wild hootenanny up at Gray's house.
And Eddie's invited.
(Synopsis from Amazon.com)
The Author: Tom Piccirilli is the author of twenty novels including THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, and the forthcoming THE LAST KIND WORDS (Bantam, May 2012). He's won two International Thriller Awards and four Bram Stoker Awards, as well as having been nominated for the Edgar, the World Fantasy Award, the Macavity, and Le Grand Prix de l'lmaginaire.
You can learn more about him and his works at: www.thecoldspot.blogspot.com/
The Publisher: Creeping Hemlock Press was founded in Gretna, Louisiana by the husband-and-wife creative duo R.J. And Julia Sevin. As sometimes writers, oftentime readers, they found themselves frustrated with the scarcity of generous-paying, atmospheric and bizarre short story anthologies. They took matters into their own hands in late 2004 when they began to accept submissions for their own anthology. Many months, one baby, two hurricanes, and one soggy home later, CORPSE BLOSSOMS was born to critical success and a nomination for the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker award. As their homeless wanderings carried them to Texas and back, the Sevins also produced an original limited-edition novella by Tom Piccirilli, FRAYED, to terrific reviews and enthusiastic reader sentiment.
My Comments: There's so much that I love about Piccirilli's writing, and FRAYED is one of the highlights of my personal collection, including his phenomenal EVERY SHALLOW CUT. Both of which are 'noirella's,' – a term coined by Piccirilli himself – novella length stories that always have one or more of the following bend to them: crime, mystery, noir, (and sometimes) horror.
Piccirilli is always doing something different. If he's not plucking your heartstrings, then he's making you feel every inch of pain, sorrow, anger and madness that the characters are feeling. He manages to do all of this, and more with FRAYED. Although at first I was afraid that FRAYED would be a dud, I quickly realized that Piccirilli was setting it up to be more than just a crime story, but a story of two friends who not only have to try and find their friendship again, but also – somewhere in the darkness and damp dirt – themselves.
For those willing to take a chance on something new, I'd highly recommend FRAYED. And at the novella length, it's a nice set up: a story longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel, that is as in-depth as a short story, but as complex and deep as an 80k word novel. It's intense, rich and breathtaking.
Why not take a chance?
So make Tom Piccirilli's Frayed, from Creeping Hemlock Press, the SSP Blog's Pick of the Week!
Pick up Frayed today! Direct Hardcover and eBook links below: