I have long heard Wrath James White’s name being used synonymously with hardcore horror, usually in sentences that also mention Edward Lee . Being a long time fan of Lee’s work, I knew I needed to check this cat out. Color me late to the party, as usual.
Recently I picked up a copy of The Resurrectionist at a used book shop in Rehoboth Beach. Within a day I had finished it. I know it’s such a cliché praise point, but I literally couldn’t put it down.
It is the story of Dale McCarthy, a man with a gift. Dale has the power to resurrect the dead. They have no memory of their deaths, most of the time. Dale is not a good man. He is a sadistic and brutal monster, one that preys on his victims through rape, torture, and vicious murder—only to bring them back to life and clean up the traces of his deeds.
Dale moves to a new neighborhood and comes to like his new neighbors. Josh and Sarah Lincoln, a nice young couple, fall under Dale’s obsessive gaze and soon come to find things are not well. Sarah wakes to flashbacks of horrendous violence and rape. She begins to notice things are different in the bedroom: the sheets are different from the ones she had on the bed upon going to sleep, there are clean spots on the walls and carpet. Eventually she puts it all together, and the story really takes off from there.
How do you arrest a murderer who leaves no bodies behind? How do you explain to the police that you’ve been raped and murdered every night for a week without them hauling you off to the funny farm? These questions become the framework for the second act.
White has a deft hand at surefire pacing and character development. The writing is lean and sharp…no extra wordage for the sake of pomposity. Just what is need to get the story across. His flair for description made everything easy to envision and quite often hard to shake. The lines of good taste are nonexistent in this book. I’m sure White would take that quote as a badge of honor.
This was released in 2009, by Leisure/Dorchester Publishing, before they screwed the pooch. It is definitely worth seeking out if hardcore horror is your cup of tea. Wrath has several books out through Deadite Press, as well. I will definitely be seeking out more if his work.