Archive for Occult Detective

Imperfections of Sleep (part 4 of 6)

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2017 by Occult Detective

iosp4

Imperfections of Sleep
Part 4 of 6

The 427 horses of Sam Hill’s ’69 Caprice rumbled across the back roads of Wabash County. It was a little rough around the edges, but had it where it counted. Besides, its owner came by it the old fashion way — he’d stolen it.

Granted, that theft occurred in 1971, and its original owner, a fence that went by the name Rager Creek Johnson, was dead shortly thereafter, but Hill still relished in the satisfaction that he’d swiped this ride from someone unworthy of what she had to offer.

He pressed the gas pedal to the floor, kicking up a cloud of dust, as he and Landon Connors cut a wake across the winding gravel road that led toward the Mississinewa.

“How in the hell does a girl in the fourth grade get drawn into Cairnwood Manor’s amor fati?” Hill gripped the wheel, slid through an intersection, cutting hard left, and bringing the Caprice onto pavement. The tires barked as they grabbed traction, leaving a black scar on the county road.

“There’ve been rumblings in the Nevermore for weeks, something kicking around the old place of late,” Connors replied. He wasn’t fond of his mentor’s predilection for hard driving. “Damn it!” he shouted, slamming his fist down on the dash, “We should have seen this coming.” He paused. “I should have…”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, kid,” Hill said. He cast a glance at the young man beside him. Early twenties, but he’d already lived enough for three lifetimes. He lost his mother when he was just a boy, and he wasn’t much older than that when the incident in Antarctica went down and the Connors patriarch, Ashton Connors, met his untimely demise. That was four years ago. It had left Landon with a bum leg, but more than that, it had left him with emotional scars that were slow to heal. “In case you haven’t been paying attention, we’ve been busy, or have you forgotten the peace we brokered between the land wights and the Rich Valley Sylphs.”

“Yes, I know, but…”

“Not to mention our little misadventure with Nicole van Klaveren last week,” Hill continued. “We’re a damn band-aid,” he hung a quick right, fishtailing onto a gravel road for a short spell, then cut back north. “We can’t save the world,” he added bitterly, “not when all the heavens have turned their backs on us.” He flipped out two cigarettes from his breast pocket and tossed one at Connors. “Now smoke that and focus on what’s ahead, because what’s behind us is…”

“Sam!” Connors exclaimed, both hands reflexively clutching the dashboard, his right leg stomping on a brake pedal that wasn’t there.

“What the —?” Hill floored the brake and threw the Caprice into a sliding stop, the smell of rubber and smoke filling the air.

Standing in the middle of the road, fields of corn awaiting harvest on either side, stood a young woman. Connors shook his head as he climbed out of the car, his attention swiftly shifting from concern for her well-being to danger-mode as became aware of the evanescent tendrils of smoke swirling around the woman’s feet. About her, burnt into the pavement, was a nine foot circle, arcane symbols following its arc. Magic still radiated from the scar, a purple glow that faded to an almost indiscernible wisp of eldritch vapor.

Sam responded quickly, the crackle of magical energy beginning to spark at his fingertips, but the woman was quicker. She unleashed a binding spell that wrapped itself around the private investigator, fettering him within a spiraling chain of Enochian letters, pulsing with fairy fire.

This was above Connors’ pay grade, but he was learning. Prepping an offensive spell in his mind, tapping into the elements at his command, he just needed time to bring it all together. But time was in short supply. I need to take a different approach, the occult detective thought…

“That’s a neat piece of work,” he said, flashing her a devilish grin. “Where did a pretty young thing like you learn such a nasty little spell?”

“From you, you old snake-charmer,” she replied.

Connors was stunned. “From me? You must be mistaken. I think I’d remember if we’d met before?”

“Oh, we’ve met,” she said, stepping forward in the circle. “Just not yet.”

to be continued

Author Gary Val Tenuta Reviews Descendant

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Occult Detective

DESCENDANT – By Bob Freeman
Review by Gary Val Tenuta
Author of Ash: Return Of The Beast

A captivating occult detective thriller by a master of the genre

Rated: 5 out of 5 stars

The first half of Descendant sucked me in from the get-go even though, after the first few chapters, I was not quite sure where the story was going. Still, I was captivated. This was due in large part to two things: (1) Freeman’s writing style and (2) the characters: The enigmatic Dr. Landon Connors and the FBI agents, Martin Crowe and Selina Wolfe. I recognized, immediately, that my imagination and my thirst for an adventure was now in the hands of a writer fully confident in his craft and completely in control of where ever he was about to take me. And, damn, can this guy turn a phrase. Bob Freeman is a hell of a wordsmith. One note of warning to readers, however: if you’re not at least moderately versed in esoteric lore and occult literature or even just words that were more or less common language back in the middle ages, you may find yourself puzzling over certain words and phrases peppered throughout the story. This is quite clearly Freeman’s realm, his comfort zone. He knows this stuff up one side and down the other and he doesn’t think twice about dropping terms like “eldrich power”, “widdershins”, “preternatural”, “magickal working’, “homunculus”, and so on, into the dialog or the descriptive passages. Not that it really matters. Trust me. Freeman’s writing is so good you’ll “get it” even if you don’t exactly know the meaning of a word here and there.

The primary characters, agents Wolfe and Crowe, are colorful, smart, emotionally driven, wise-cracking, resourceful, tough and just plain fun to watch. Er, I mean to read. Well, that’s just the thing. I always had the impression that I was actually seeing them, like watching a movie. Man, I love these two characters! They each have very distinct personalities that play off each other extremely well. If this was a movie, I’d have to say the casting was perfect. Wolfe and Crowe have a terrific chemistry going on.

And monsters? Your want monsters? Demons? Creepy, dangerous, hideous, shape-shifting creatures from Hell that will delight in ripping your beating heart out of your chest and then devour it like sucking down a slimy delicacy and then go looking for seconds? Then watch out. You’ve come to the right place. They’re everywhere, in the woods, in the shadows of back alleys. Hell, they could be your neighbors. Like I said, they’re everywhere. And that’s the problem. That’s what Wolfe and Crowe are all about. They’re demon hunters and they carry big guns, not to mention an assortment of magickal weaponry, bewitching spells and some pretty nifty psychic wizardry that comes in handy when the final showdown explodes across the pages of this exciting, masterfully written and highly intelligent thriller.

Landon Connors: Occult Detective Poster

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , on September 9, 2011 by Occult Detective

Coming Very Soon

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