Monday, April 7, 2014

The Garage by Joe Zito

In 1974 the small Indiana community known as Bludenhale was turned upside down by a shocking and horrendous murder that claimed three lives. The carnage took place in a small white garage in the middle of a cornfield. The accused, a twenty two year old dark haired beauty by the name of Angel Larson was found guilty of the murder. Among the slain was her best friend Heather Smith. She left behind her two year old daughter Amy to be raised by her distraught grandparents. They raised her as if she was their own and never spoke of the violent way in which her Mother had died. All that would change though one sunny spring morning at local hardware shop ‘Sam’s’ when jaded ex-cop Red Brown, the one who first discovered Heather Smith body in the garage, laid out the gruesome details to twelve year old Amy Smith, planting the seeds for her ‘dark world’ and hatred and obsession of Angel Larson. She would go on to adopt a frenzied and out of control lifestyle of sex and drugs in order to deal with the murder of her Mother and the one who took her life; Angel Larson. 

Then, on the 20th anniversary of the ‘Bludenhale Massacre of 1974’ twenty two year old Amy Smith’s dark world hallucinations will explode with blood gushing force in her mind, leading her down a path of bloody acts of sex, terror and revenge. 

Starting in 1994, ‘The Garage’ will take you on a twisting and turning bloody trip through time going back to 1974, attacking your senses along the way with shock and awe literary style tactics that will both arouse and horrify until the bloody end. The bloodbath awaits you.

In rural Indiana, 20 years ago, there was a horrible massacre of 3 teenagers.  Four teenagers were hanging out in a garage near the corn fields, and only one survived.  Popular belief is that the fourth, Angelica, murdered the other three.  Angel was found alongside the road, repeating 'I bathed in her blood'  over and over.  Although Angel maintains her innocence, she was found guilty and sentenced to life in a mental hospital.  

Now, 20 years later, Amy is out for revenge.  On that fateful night, when Amy was only two, her mother was one of the murdered teenagers.  Having been brought up in the same little town by her grandparents, she's been plagued by nightmares of her mother's demise her entire life.  Strung out on heroin, hatred and fear, Amy decides it's time to finally put her mother's ghost to rest by killing Angel.

The only place I've found this book available is Smashwords.  Zito also has several other books listed there and most of them are free.  In this book, there's a pretty serious lack of editing, but for the price, you can overlook it.  Zito has an obvious Tarrantino quality to his writing.  It's mostly blood, terror and sex.  If you're looking for over the top horror writing, this could be up your alley.

I found the characters to be strong and well-rounded.  Although I didn't personally like them, I still found them to be believable and realistic.  Some of the graphic scenes were a bit over the top for me.  I also would not suggest anyone under the age of adult read this.  

Though some writers tend to throw in sex and violence for the sheer shock factor, I don't believe that's the case here.  The scenes are definitely shocking, but I don't believe they were inserted for the purpose of shocking anyone. The entire story surrounds Amy and the murders that took place in the garage.  The night of the murders was a horrific night and there's no way to portray just how gruesome it was without going into some severe detail.  As for Amy, most of her scenes are there simply to explain the person she has become and what her mindset is.  Her life is filled with nightmares and hallucinations that aren't your normal garden variety.  She is a drug user that has become uncaring with her own life and actions.  She's concerned about money, getting laid, her next high, and revenge.  The shocking scenes that surround Amy's life are there so that you can see the inner Amy and what's going on with her. Without them,she's just another stripper gone rogue.

Though some of the scenes were a bit too much for me, I did find this to be a compelling read. Zito has a great way of spinning a story that's filled with all of those gruesome and terrifying things us humans love and still having a purpose behind it.  Once I regain my stomach composure, I fully intend to go back and read the rest of Zito's work.

*All opinions are expressly my own.  Shawn

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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