Cover art by Zoe Crockett
“Would you like to hear a story?”
The man couldn’t help himself. His captor was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her powerful eyes held his attention and made him forget that she had him confined in a basement; his hands and feet bound with duct tape. His heart raced as he meekly nodded his head ‘yes’ to the question.
After getting past the terror and discomfort, he reasoned that there was nothing to worry about. He would be missed. He had loved ones who would call the police. All he had to do was wait. Letting this woman tell him a story was as good a stall as any.
The mysterious woman weaved a tale of betrayed love and unwanted, unnatural experiments placed upon her. Of a loving wife, working on a top secret government program. Of a husband searching for love in all the wrong places. The prisoner couldn’t believe what he was being told. A descent into insanity, fueled by a jealous rage, ended with using the tools of science for torture and revenge.
With every blink of her lovely eyes, licking of her full lips, and heaving of her perfect breasts, the captor entertained a story most bizarre. Of a woman bent on teaching her cheating husband a lesson.
The prisoner wondered….”Am I next?”
While it opens with a scene that’s reminiscent of a Criminal Minds episode, Drop Dead Gorgeous quickly veers into something more akin to a Roger Corman movie, before reaching a conclusion that could have come straight out of the Twilight Zone.
What Donald Allen Kirch weaves here is a twisted story of revenge, medical experimentation, and outright insanity that only gets more intense as it races along. Here we have a young man who wakes up in a strange basement, surrounded by stacks of rotting bodies, bound and gagged, with no memory of how he got there. The revelation that his kidnapper is an impossibly beautiful woman is certainly an interesting twist, but her backstory is the biggest twist of all.
You see, 7 years ago Eve Doe – the world’s most perfect woman – was a man known by the name of Steve Kane. Forget the usual horror cliches, because Eve is neither a crazy drag queen nor a tormented transsexual. Instead, she is a perfect punishment, a genetic life sentence for cheating on Steve’s mad scientist wife.
That’s about as much as I want to say about the plot, as you really need to discover it for yourself. It’s the interplay between Ray and Eve, between captive and captor, that is at the heart of the story. Kirch establishes them both very well, allowing their own fears and failings to play off one another. It’s not often a book like this successfully manages to switch the roles of monster and victim so many times so successfully, but be prepared to have your assumptions challenged.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a book that goes to some very dark places, with some of the most imaginative scenes of torture and transformation that I’ve encountered in some time. It’s not the book I expected it to be, and the reading experience is that much better for it – Beauty In Ruins.
Holy crap on a cracker, this is one twisted book. I loved every sick minute of it. I’ve read several books by this author, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of them.
In a way, you could say Drop Dead Gorgeous is about self discovery, and some other psychobabble nonsense, but it’s really about revenge and the lengths that one woman goes through to make her husband pay for his transgression. I mean, there’s getting revenge, and then there’s getting REVENGE. She just takes it to the next level of crazy. Seriously.
At first, I was kind of thinking, Hell, this guy deserves what he gets. But the more the story goes on, the more I found myself feeling really really sorry for him. His life is totally flipped upside down and inside out.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different to read from the typical “scorned lover” type of story. This is definitely not a romance book – Fang-Freakin-Tasking Reviews.
Don’t ask me how but I managed to forget the fact that I was about to dive into a horror story, and let me tell you Annabelle is already haunting me and Eve terrifies me probably worse!
The book took some getting into, but once it gets its hooks into you it wouldn’t let go. I was horrified at what Steve had to endure, it’s not pretty! But I had to keep reading and I’m glad I did. The ending was incredibly paced and written and that’s my favorite part. A great story is like great sex, it’s all in leading up to that big payoff. I was literally shaking when I got to the epilogue, I don’t want to spoil it – but it’s bittersweet.
The mark of a good story is that it sticks with you. I read this 2 days ago, bought it yesterday (its the price of a pack of smokes for goodness sakes!) and as I said, I’m haunted by the characters. Not sure if it’s because I’m “out there” as an aspiring artist/writer myself, or if I’m just freakin’ traumatized over here (and I’ve been to war!) but I can’t get Don’s characters out of my head. I’m a vengeful lord, let’s just say I wrote a lot of my more violent, later act stuff for my own project when I got done reading this as a means to sate my rage and allay my fears!
Donald really did a kick-ass job using TG to frame what I would classify as “flippin’ crazy body horror” with some detective elements thrown in there. Almost like SAW if only Jigsaw had access to some very sophisticated cutting edge tech and ovaries. (I swear those things make you crazy!)
My first review and it’s 5 stars! I was thinking 3/4 stars maybe when I was halfway through? After making it to the ending on the whole I couldn’t go less than 4.5 stars and I consider myself pretty selective. Now I gotta read it again, first I need to psyche myself up to prepare for Annabelle’s s***! I have enough nightmares!
Lord Freeze — Amazon.com
CLICK ON THE ICONS BELOW to discover where to buy “Drop Dead Gorgeous”