Jul 30, 2014


Once my mom visited to her far cousin (I mean her mother”s cousin have her daughter named cecil) told her a story. One night, Cecil go out to wait her husband from his work.A handsome american boy with black suit, a black long pants, a shiny shoes and a neck tie aproach her. Walking to north. “hey, that’s the wrong way this is the right way”.The man look at her and smile so big like his entire face covered with his big teeth.Cecil run so fast as she can. she wouldn’t look at her back while she running for her fear.Once his husband arrived, she take her to the hospital and because of her trauma, she been in hospital in months but it is long time ago.

So if you visited our country and discover our creepy native creatures, surely you run in fright!!!

Haha, man. Crappypasta...my favorite thing.

Jul 28, 2014


Co-writer/co-director Joshua Zeman took an interesting approach with his previous documentary, Cropsey. What is ultimately a true-crime examination of a series of child murderers that occurred in Staten Island, New York, actually began with a brief rumination on the idea of urban legends and how real-life monsters become mythical ones. This idea of investigating urban legends must've sat well with him, for he has returned with Killer Legends, a documentary that examines the origins of four of the most infamous urban legends in popular culture. Zeman posits that every urban legend is based on "some sort of truth," and our desire to believe these legends allows us to "pull back the curtain" on what scares us most: reality. This approach is taken as each popular legend is recounted and its real-life inspirations are analyzed.  

I have always been incredibly intrigued by urban legends – their origins, their power to spread from person to person like something contagious, as well as the stories themselves. I recall, when having watched the pretty terrible Urban Legend in my youth, wishing that the fancy leather-bound book one character looks through in the film, called simply "Urban Legends," both existed and sat on my shelf. There was something that seemed especially dangerous about those particular tales – they weren't just ghost or murder stories. They achieved a real power to them because many people who told them honestly believed they had happened to someone close to them. 

Though that fancy schmancy book of urban legends filled with classy pencil-sketch drawings may never exist, Killer Legends is a phenomenal substitute. Well realized and very well executed, urban legends of the "hook man," the "candy man," the "murdered babysitter," and motherfuckin' "killer clowns" are each explored as in-depth as the doc's running time would allow. Though certain legends have more time dedicated to them than others, the filmmakers deserve accolades for having put such effort into each investigation. We hear so often growing up, and see in films when one character tells a camp-fire story, some of which are featured in Killer Legends, only for the punchline to be a cheesy fake scare punctuated with proclamations that the storyteller's yarn never happened - that it was the stuff of fiction.

Not true. And that actually kind of surprised me. For so long we've been reassured by our parents and teachers that such stories we exchanged on the playground never happened, and we shouldn't worry. I suppose it was "okay" for them to lie to us at that age, in favor of letting us have a few more years' worth of peaceful nights before we found out that, yeah, this shit actually happened, and happens, and will happen.

The doc is propelled by onscreen hosts Zeman and Rachel Miller, but interviews with specialists, historians, and the real people who were local to the various crimes being examined also share their insights, some of them more surprising than others. Also bolstering the theme of life's infatuation with the dark are the assembly of movie clips from such titles as Halloween, Candyman, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and oh yeah, Stephen King's IT.

Killer Legends has a lot to offer, and to many kinds of viewers. Students of true crime, folklore, psychology, and the casual horror fan – the doc will ably provide a wealth of entertainment, information, and at times even poignancy, depending on what you want to get from it. I'd love for Joshua Zeman to consider this documentary as the first in a series in which he examines handfuls of urban legends at a time. This kind of attempt has been done before, in cheesy shows like "Fact of Fiction" or the recent series "Urban Legends," but not with this kind of serious, investigative, or philosophical approach.

It's now available on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures.

Jul 24, 2014


Remember the good old days when John Carpenter used to do this own music? And remember way back when, during the late '70s/early '80s, when all he used was a shitty Casio...and they sounded amazing?

We can kind of pretend those days are back, with the soundtrack to filmmaker Jim Mickle's latest romp in the darkness, Cold in July. Jeff Grace's soundtrack for the film is available now - you tell me if this doesn't sound like something that belongs in the third act of The Fog.

Click on Dexter to hear it.




If I may be frank, it's about fucking time that somebody honored Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, and the entire KNB FX group for the work they've been doing in the horror genre since the mid-1980s. I won't even name the films of which they've been a part because we'd be here forever.

I had the opportunity to meet Greg several years back and he was kind enough to field a couple questions and pose for a photo, which I still have (somewhere). I even walked away with a copy of the prop newspaper he'd created for Day of the Dead. (Actually, I accidentally walked away with three. Sorry, Greg...)

Perhaps best known for the current pop culture atomic bomb that is "The Walking Dead," for which Greg both provides the grisly effects and periodically jumps behind the camera to direct an episode, Nightmare Factory starts at the very beginning of Greg's life to show this is something he'd always wanted to do. Like similar FX maestro Tom Savini (who would end up mentoring Nicotero in his youth) or Jack Pierce and Lon Chaney before him, Greg was a horror junkie from the earliest part of his life. Like a lot of us, the first part of his young life was rife with confusion regarding what he wanted to do. As I'm sure is the case in many families, there was an unspoken understanding that Greg would follow in the footsteps of his father and pursue medical school to become a doctor, and that was his path for a couple years while he pursued his love of creature effects on the side. Then came the fateful day when he realized the latter was all he wanted to do. So he and his two buddies, Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman, headed out to LA, bought a smelly house, filled it with smelly bodies, and went after their dream. 

Three decades later, and following multiple awards (including an Oscar), a massive body of work, and the undying love of the horror community, Kurtzman-Nicotero-Berger's KNB is the leading special effects company in the industry. Working for all genres of the medium, and not just horror, KNB has provided effects for the very big (The Chronicles of Narnia), the very small (Splice), and the very art-house (Tree of Life).

Aided by fans, friends, and frequent clients John Carpenter, George Romero, and Frank Darabont (among others), the praises of KNB are rightfully sung in Nightmare Factory, and amusingly, a bit of fun is poked at the frustration that can sometimes occur on-set between impatient filmmakers and the gag that is failing to work the first time. (It's all part of showbiz, kids.)

We so often forget that folks like Greg Nicotero, or those aforementioned filmmakers whom we couldn't help but admire while growing up, were not always the cinema giants they would eventually become. Their place in cinema history didn't just come into being, nor were any of them spoon-fed the opportunities that afforded them the chance to claim that place. They struggled with choices, their fate, and life in general. If honor is having another filmmaker set out to create an examination of your professional and personal life, provided by your friends, colleagues, and peers, then nearly every one of our beloved horror figures has been honored. Nightmare Factory is the newest to honor a member of that crowd. One could say it was long-overdue, but another could argue it was perhaps premature, as KNB are just getting started.

Jul 23, 2014


“Fairy tale about a girl, who hanged herself in the attic. She was hanging there for so long that her sweet scent enticed butterflies. These coated her livid body and now it looks like she was only a chrysalis, swayed calmly by a draught.”

Jul 22, 2014


Le Livre Sans Titre, which translates as The Book Without a Title, is an 1830 French illustrated book warning against the harmful effects of masturbation.
He was young, handsome; his mother’s fond hope… He corrupted himself! [and] soon he bore the grief of his error, old before his time… his back hunches… See his eyes once so pure, so brilliant; they are extinguished! A fiery band envelops them. Hideous dreams disturb his slumber…he cannot sleep… His hair, once so lovely, falls as if from old age;his scalp grows bald before his age… His chest collapses… he vomits blood… Pustules cover his entire body… He is terrible to behold! His entire body stiffens!… his limbs stop moving… At the age of 17, he expires, and in horrible torment.

Thanks to the Oddment Emporium.

See the whole book and (keep away from your genitals).

Jul 20, 2014


Police Warn Children Are At Risk Over Return of the Witch-Finders

Children in Britain are increasingly at risk of being branded as witches and tortured, police are claiming, following the high-profile case of Kristy Bamu – tortured and murdered by his brother for being a kindoki witch.

The threat comes from the rise of the West African belief, which states children can be possessed by evil spirits, according to a specialist unit set up to investigate witchcraft.

It is thought to be widespread among some immigrant communities, fuelled by a growing number of small fundamentalist Christian churches.

The belief is not confined to the poor or ill-educated and many cases of children being abused may never be uncovered, the officers fear.

Det Supt Terry Sharpe, leader of specialist witchcraft unit Project Violet, said: "We know this is an under-reported crime and a hidden crime."

The warning came after a London couple were convicted yesterday of torturing a 15-year-old boy to death because they were convinced he was possessed by evil spirits.

Murderer Eric Bikubi – who with his partner, Magelai Bamu, subjected her younger brother, Kristy, to four days of torment before drowning him – was obsessed with kindoki.

Kristy, 15, was attacked with a hammer, knife, and pliers before being drowned in a bath after he begged to be allowed to die.

Kristy and his four other siblings were staying with the couple at their east London flat over Christmas 2010. But when Kristy wet himself, Bikubi – described as "feral and out of control" – took it as a sign he was possessed by evil spirits.

The boy was beaten for four days before he was killed.

The couple even forced his brothers and sisters to join in the "staggering act of depravity and cruelty."

At one point, Bamu, 29, twisted her brother’s ears with a pair of pliers before ordering her 21-year-old sister, Kelly, to do the same. Kristy suffered 130 injuries; a metal screw, which he was forced to eat, was found in his bowel.

The boy’s parents, Pierre and Jacqueline, who live in Paris, yesterday said they took "no comfort" from the guilty verdicts.

But a family statement read: "To know that Magalie did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse. We are still unaware of the full extent of the brutality – we  cannot bring ourselves to hear it."

In a phone call on Christmas Day, Bamu told her father: "Dad, you’ve got to pick up the children – they’re witches, and you’re a witch, too."

Kristy’s younger brother, then 13, told the Old Bailey he and his older brother Yves, 22, were forced to join Bikubi as he broke tiles over Kristy’s head.

His teeth were also smashed and his finger broken with a claw hammer.

It was one of 83 witchcraft cases Project Violet has investigated in London in the past ten years

Expert Dr Richard Hoskins said kindoki was widespread in the country where Bamu and Bikubi were born. He added: "Kindoki remains a force that is feared by lots of people over here, even here in London."

Story and image source.

Jul 19, 2014


The goliath tigerfish is one of the most fearsome freshwater fish in the world and said to be a much bigger and deadlier version of the piranha.

The giant fish has 32 teeth that are of similar size to those of a great white shark and has been known to attack humans and even crocodiles.

Read more.

Jul 15, 2014


On the night of March 22, 1970, Kathleen Johns was driving from San Bernardino to Petaluma to visit her mother. She was seven months pregnant and had her 10-month-old daughter beside her. While heading west on Highway 132 near Modesto, a car behind her began honking its horn and flashing its headlights. She pulled off the road and stopped. The man in the car parked behind her, approached her car, stated that he observed that her right rear wheel was wobbling, and offered to tighten the lug nuts. After finishing his work, the man drove off; yet when Johns pulled forward to re-enter the highway the wheel almost immediately came off the car. The man returned, offering to drive her to the nearest gas station for help. She and her daughter climbed into his car. During the ride the car passed several service stations but the man did not stop. For about 90 minutes he drove back and forth around the backroads near Tracy. When Johns asked why he was not stopping, he would change the subject. When the driver finally stopped at an intersection, Johns jumped out with her daughter and hid in a field. The driver searched for her using his flashlight telling her that he would not hurt her, before eventually giving up. Unable to find her, he got back into the car and drove off. Johns hitched a ride to the police station in Patterson.

When Johns gave her statement to the sergeant on duty, she noticed the police composite sketch of Paul Stine's killer and recognized him as the man who abducted her and her child. Fearing he might come back and kill them all, the sergeant had Johns wait, in the dark, at the nearby Mil's Restaurant. When her car was found, it had been gutted and torched.

Most accounts claim he threatened to kill her and her daughter while driving them around, but at least one police report disputes that. Johns' account to Paul Avery of the Chronicle indicates her abductor left his car and searched for her in the dark with a flashlight; however, in one report she made to the police, she stated he did not leave the vehicle


Jul 14, 2014


"What do you know about caring? Have you ever seen the inside of one of those places? The laughing, and the tears, and those cruel eyes studying you? My mother...there?"
If we don't, remember me.

Jul 12, 2014


If you were a budding horror misanthrope in your early teens during the ‘90s, then you not only remember, but cherish, this long-running Nickelodeon series about a group of variously ethnic kids meeting in the woods at night to trade spooky tales. Perhaps you remember President Gary's opening remarks during the first episode: "We're called The Midnight Society. Separately, we're very different. ... But one thing draws us together: the dark! Each week, we gather around this fire to share our fears and our strange and scary tales." The stories were creepy, corny, fantastic, or pretty stupid, but we all remember that nervous knot in our stomachs beginning to tighten as the legitimately eerie opening title sequence began (which includes that awful clown-doll from which I used to avert my eyes). You didn’t know if the groundwork for nightmares was being laid, but you sat, rapt, waiting to see.  So grab your weird bag of magic dust and toss it in the fire. It’s time to see if you’re still afraid of the dark.

The Tale Submitted For Approval: 

"The Tale of the Super Specs"

The Submitter: Gary

The Current Midnight Society Administration: Gary (President, Glasses); David (Vice-President, Administrator of the Useless); Kiki (Secretary of War/Ass-Kicker, Name-Taker); Eric (Director of the Office of Management and Budget/Minister of Looking Smarmy); Betty Ann (Ambassador to the United Nations/Gary’s Unspoken Mistress); Kristen (Trade Representative/Socialite); Frank (Intern/Socialite).


The Jist

"Weeds" and Marybeth are boyfriend/girlfriend, and like, 13 or so, which means they've been holding hands hardcore all school year. Since Weeds loves magic and practical jokes, he knows deep within his heart that he needs something primo for the approaching April Fool's Day. And so Weeds and his girlfriend take to Magic Mansion, owned by Mr. Sardo (er, that's SarDO; no Mr.; accent on the Do; fuck this guy). While there, Weeds accidentally casts a voodoo spell over some cheap x-ray specs before buying them, along with a bag of magic powder and a Whoopee cushion, which is weird, since he considers himself a master of prankage and yet still doesn't own a fart bag.

He tells his girlfriend to put on the specs, and she replies, "I wouldn't wear those to my funeral," which is quite possibly the strangest thing anyone has ever said to a boy named Weeds. She does put on the specs, though, and sees a dude cloaked in black and naturally she gets the creeps. Weeds assumes she's just trying to prank him back and he disregards her.

Later, as Weeds unleashes his entirely lame pranks against the study body (rubber fist spring! funny voice powder! magical "make me good at basketball" powder!), Marybeth starts to get freaked out by all these people-in-black she sees every time she puts on the specs. And that's not all: in her house, wearing the specs, she'll see a whistling teapot, or a fire roaring in the fireplace, but once she takes off the specs, those things aren't there. Of all the disturbingest things I've ever seen in my haunted life, ghost teapot gets me every time.

Marybeth finally throws the glasses out...twice...but they keep coming back. Finally she goes directly back to Sardo to confront him about the glasses-o'-terror, and it's there, after he does a lot of talking out of his ass, where they realize it's not the specs by themselves causing the terror, but actually that stupid bag of magic powder Weeds bought. Sardo explains that the magic powder accidentally opened a window between dimensions, allowing one dimension to gain access to the other. And there's apparently only one way to close said window:

A half-assed seance.

It seems to work? But then a gigantic pair of eyes appears in the air and tells the kids they done fucked up real good:

"You have tampered with the cosmic seal," says the floating monster eyes. "Two universes cannot exist on the same plane. Balance must be restored."

Both kids get get blown hard by something (haha) and then it cuts to peace and solitude in Marybeth's house...but wait! That's not Marybeth! Sure, it's wearing her bland clothes, but that's not her! It would seem that two dimensions were vying for dominance, and the one 99% like OUR dimension reigned supreme!

Roger Corman's Space Jam.

The Reaction

This episode was fucking stupid. I guess that takes care of my "Is it Stupid?" question below. But it is. Perhaps one shouldn't do this much analyzing about an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? but damn it, if you're going to introduce concepts of infinite dimensions and the balance of the natural plane, then forgive me for wanting to delve into the shit. The Tale of the Super Specs suggests that you are surrounded by an infinite number of dimensions, yet all of those dimensions share a singular physical plane. One dimension cannot impede on another, or else, doom happens. The episode goes as far with this as suggesting that Marybeth and Other-Dimension Marybeth live in the same house, boil the same teapot, light the same fireplace, hang the same bad K-Mart art, and even have the same family photos hanging on the wall, yet these two girls are entirely unaware of each other. And at the end, when the chick in the black cloak peels off her hood and reveals herself as some kind of mystic, what the fuck does that even mean? Do people in her dimension wear that black cloak shit all the time? If so, why, if they can just take it off whenever they want? How comfortable can it be to wear that shit all day in a business meeting? And does that mean anyone wearing black bodysuits also contains mystic powers? Jesus, I'm thirsty.

Is It Scary?

On a metaphysical level, the idea of two or more worlds existing in the same plane, yet completely unaware of each other, is certainly creepy. Is someone sitting in the same chair as you right now? Are you a murderer in this other dimension? Are you on death row? Are you insane? A boy? A girl? A grandmother? Dying of cancer? Did your penis fall off in the shower this morning because you have a disease that makes your penis fall off? Questions like these are deeply terrifying, yet not at all appropriate to be posing to the audience of AYAOTD, because this episode takes that concept and makes everyone wear black bodysuit leotards and play basketball.

Is It Corny?

Unforgivably. It'd be easier to name something in this episode that wasn't corny.

Is It Stupid?

See above.

The existential struggles of teen mysticism.


How Bad Is The Acting?

Actually, for once, the Midnight Society are out-shined by the characters in the tale being told. Having an off day, Gary is despicably bad in this episode. Maybe it's because he didn't have his glasses on. A Gary without glasses is a Taylor Swift without her girl tears. Where are his glasses? He can't see without his glasses. Put his glasses on! Someone put on his glasses!

Do The Kids Deserve Their Terror?

Weeds does, since he's a prankster, but his pranking was fairly innocent. Still, whether it's rat poison or funny voice powder, don't be sneaking shit into people's yogurt when they're not looking. If that powder was made in China, you gone die no matter what the intended consequences were.

Why Does That One Kid Look Familiar?

Eugene Byrd as Weeds looks crazy familiar, but his filmography doesn't include anything immediately familiar to me. He was in 8 Mile, which I saw once...fifteen years ago. It also looks like he was on "Bones" a lot. Does anyone watch "Bones?' I guess someone does, since it's been on for roughly 37 seasons. Graidhne Lelieveld-Amiro (Marybeth) hasn't done anything else, and it's likely because casting directors were too embarrassed to attempt pronouncing her weird French-Canadian name.

How Canadian Does Everyone Sound?

Other-Dimension Marybeth hilariously says "hoose," and it's extra hilarious because she only has two lines at most, and yet she still manages to sneak a Canuckism in there. Also, I'm fairly certain Midnight Society member Kristen says "aboot." Adorable!

*NEW* An Eric Douchebag-Ism

"Kiki was just saying how your stories haven't been all that scary lately, anyway."

This motherfucker...

Unmitigated fear.

Final Thoughts

For their one-week anniversary, Weeds bought Marybeth "a book on mummies." If you ask me, Weeds is marriage and five-kids material.

Also, it kinda sucks that the very first story told by President Gary is such a shit bag. Perhaps Vice-President David should stage a coup. 

On the Official Gary Creeper-Shot Rating Scale...

I Award "The Tale of the Super Specs..."


1 Gary Creeper Shot

I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed. (Splash sound.)

Jul 11, 2014


I live alone with my dad, and he works long hours of the day, so I stay home by myself a lot. We’ve lived in this house for 12 years and nothing paranormal has occurred, at least that I know of, but recently some weird things have been happening to me while he’s gone or asleep. This morning around 4am, I decided to go to sleep and turned off my laptop.

My bed is next to a window facing a wall, but there’s currently nothing behind it because we’re rebuilding the headboard/desk that was back there. When I turned off my laptop, I thought I saw the frame of what appeared to be an elderly man standing behind me in the reflection from my lamp. I turned around but didn’t see anything, and chocked it up to sleep deprivation. I went to sleep, but had a strange dream where I killed a huge group of kids with what looked like two knives carved out of wood.

Today, I received a text from my dad a few minutes after I woke up saying that it was nice to see me up early for a change, and that he hoped I had a good day. I asked him what he meant by this; I had gotten up late in the afternoon. He said I had walked downstairs and had breakfast with him, and we had a conversation about not knowing when you’re going to die or where you’re going to go afterwards. This was kind’ve weird to me, both because I’ve read about doppelgangers on this site and because I’ve never walked in my sleep and have a good memory, but I ignored the feeling and told him to have a good day too.

A couple hours later, I was upstairs in the bathroom putting on some makeup when I saw something out’ve the corner of my eye in the mirror. My room was across the hallway, and when I looked in the doorway I saw what looked like a charred black arm. It was twisted and just sort’ve hung there. I screamed and ran downstairs, and immediately began talking to some friends about it online. After a few minutes of convincing, they got me to go back into the room to see if someone had broken in.

Once in the room, I searched it all over and found nothing. I sat in my bed and started messing with my phone, when I felt something sit down next to me. There was a big depression in the bed, and I felt something touch my leg. I felt nauseous suddenly and it felt hard to breathe, and once I was able to move again I bolted out’ve there. Not so sure I’m going to sleep in my room tonight, but I’m really curious about the dream and the possible(?) fire and if they relate at all to the old man.

Story source.

Jul 10, 2014


I had a rather strange experience when I was around 15 years old.

My room was in the basement of my parents' house. Picture a typical half finished basement: concrete floors, a few rooms, small windows scattered around, old furnace, you know the drill.

We lived in a heavily wooded area out in the country; many of our childhood days were spent playing in the woods.

My room was being finished and it only had a partial wall at the time. While lying in my bed, I could see across part of the basement to the further wall. Against the wall was a washer and dryer, and above that was a small egress window.

I remember waking from my sleep one night with a strange feeling, almost like something was in the room with me. I slowly opened my eyes, straining to adjust to the darkness. My eyes were affixed on the window across the basement. There was something floating in the air. Something strange and yellow.

A mixture of confusion and fear gripped me. What was across the basement? As my eyes adjusted, I realized it was another pair of eyes looking back at me. Our gaze was locked for what felt like an eternity. No movement, nothing.

After a while, there was some movement in the window; the eyes bobbed from side to side. I was truly terrified at this point. As I slunk deeper into my covers, I started to see the outline of a creature. It turns out it was a black cat, staring at me while I slept. It ran off and I didn't see it again for many years. It wasn't our cat - we didn't even own a cat. I never saw it before or after...well, so I thought at the time...

Fast forward to my mid-twenties. I was dating a girl who loved cats. It just so happened that she had a large black cat (which reminded me of the incident from my childhood). She is a nurse and often works overnights. I would go over her place in the evening and go to bed. She would come home very late and snuggle in with me.

One night, I was lying in her bed, half asleep. I rolled to my side and had a strange feeling...something was watching me. I slowly opened my eyes to see a pair of yellow orbs staring back at me. Initially, I thought it was her cat (as she often let them outside). I began to feel some relief. That's when I heard her cat next to me in bed, hissing at the cat outside, hair on edge.

Being more freaked out than ever, I quickly turned to face the other direction. I slowly rolled back over and the cat was no longer outside the window.

I now live in a house with small windows in the basement. I'm waiting for the day where I fall asleep on the couch downstairs, closed eyes facing towards the window...

Story source.

Jul 9, 2014


Brazilian street artist Herbert Baglione has somehow managed to make an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Parma, Italy even creepier with his paintings of shadows.

The way Baglione’s shadows creep out from disused wheelchairs and lurk ominously on the walls makes it easy to imagine that they belonged to the tortured souls that used to inhabit the place.

The work is part of Baglione’s "1000 Shadows" project, where he paints silhouettes on floors and walls.

Herbert Baglione.

Jul 8, 2014


If you were a homicide detective who got the call on a dead body, which, when investigated, had all the makings of a suicide and very little of a murder, would you investigate it, anyway? Would you ignore all the obvious makings of someone having taken their life and investigate it as if the deceased were murdered?

And, if the world was doomed to end courtesy of Maia, the asteroid, which was scheduled to hit the planet in a matter of months, would you still investigate? 

That's the big question at work in Ben H. Winter's The Last Policeman, the first in a trilogy involving Detective Henry Palace, a detective with the Concorde, NH, police department.

Falling within the genres of soft science fiction and mystery, though described as an "existential detective novel" by its author, The Last Policeman is an entertaining and enigmatic police procedural, and while these are always fun, it has the added effect of playing out against the apocalypse, which forces several of our characters to confront the big question: why bother? If the world is doomed to end in six months, why bother going to work, eating healthy, walking the dog, solving that murder? What's it all going to mean in the long-run?

The character of Detective Henry Palace easily fits the mold of what has become the typical investigator. He's hard-boiled, haunted by his past, cynical (though not to the point of indifference), and mostly, just trying to do his job that he's being paid to do: a man has apparently taken his life (not an uncommon occurrence in the months leading up to complete devastation), and Detective Palace dutifully investigates the scene. The "victim," Peter Zell, is found in the bathroom stall of a local McDonald's, his belt tied around his neck, strangled to death. Everyone around Palace seems ready to write it off as a suicide and move onto the next thing, but the scene bothers Palace too much - to the extent that he's willing to become a pain in the ass to his superiors and dismissive of the rules and conduct of a New Hampshire police officer. As is demanded by the mystery/noir genre, nothing is what it seems, and Detective Palace peels back layer by layer of what everyone has labeled a standard suicide, revealing something far more surprising beneath. 

The Last Policeman is thrilling, funny (in that sardonic kind of way), introspective, certainly existential, and haunting. The reader will root for Detective Palace from the start, because even though his task to investigate a suicide as a murder seems like a fool's errand in the face of Maia the asteroid and humanity's growing apathy, it's more comforting to believe that there is someone out there who cares enough to embark on such a quest on which most people have already given up. (Plus he's a kind of a generous tipper, throwing down thousands of dollars for his $15 breakfast.)

The Last Policeman is followed by Countdown City, and the final part, World of Touble, is a brand new release from the author; all three are available from Quirk Books (publisher of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.)