Is Zoe Making A Comeback?

For those complaining about the violence, what were you expecting from a book from DEATH’S HEAD PRESS coming from their SPLATTER WESTERN line? It’s like you rented HOSTEL expecting PRETTY IN PINK.

I woke up to this wonderful Goodreads review! I’m happy the pseudo-extreme horror fans have moved on to greener pastures and my target audience is allowed to appreciate Zoe for what she truly. A lunatic rant. A warning. A reflection upon my own life disguised in fiction. Special thanks to my newest fans who would’ve only discovered me due to Death’s Head Press taking a chance. I truly don’t know where I’m going from here. I’ve honestly thought about hanging it all up. All of it. No more writing at all. I don’t think my skin is as tough as I once believed but, then again, I’d never encountered such harsh and heartless literary enthusiasts before. Maybe I need a vacation but maybe I need to tell them all to fuck off and get back on the horse. A cross-eyed horse named Poon…

I love all of you. – C

The Review

“Robert “The Jacker” Jack is having none of it; after being forced to fight in the Civil war, he comes home to find that the love of his life, Zoe, has a child albeit without his doing. In a fit of jealous rage, he dumps the baby in well before torturing and leaving Zoe’s body among the thorns of a mesquite tree. But Jack doesn’t know that Zoe’s Native American mother-in-law has a knack for curses, and she turns Zoe into a thing bent on relentless and bloody vengeance.

C. Derick Miller mentions that this book was a result of reading Edward Lee, Hunter S. Thompson, and J.D Salinger in the same week. If I may infer, I add Antonia Bird’s Ravenous (with its superb blend of horror, black comedy, and pathos) and your choice of disgusting Hong Kong black magic revenge horror flick to the list. The results are extraordinary: if you’re not laughing your ass off at the Joe Lansdale-like exaggerations (“She was flowing like synchronized menstruation at the saloon whorehouse”), you are cringing at the gory violence on full display. (your groin will hurt reading a particular scene)

But Miller’s book is not all about mutilation, infanticide, and gory sexual violence. As the novel is told from the perspective of Robert Jack, we get to know how he ended up the way he is, and why he reacts the way he does. Miller doesn’t justify his abhorrent acts, but we get to see how years of nothing but violence, death, and degradation will transform a man into something less of, uh, a man. Miller posits that Robert Jack DOES deserve what happens to him, but he would have been a different person if he had never experienced an extremely harsh and brutal childhood.

My only gripe, believe it or not, is that there should have been more crazy and gory set-pieces. More detailed black magic mythology also wouldn’t hurt. But this is still a violent and gory work.

For those complaining about the violence, what were you expecting from a book from DEATH’S HEAD PRESS coming from their SPLATTER WESTERN line? It’s like you rented HOSTEL expecting PRETTY IN PINK.

I can’t wait to read more from Miller!”

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