Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pg. 69: Dave Zeltserman's "Bad Thoughts"

The latest feature at the Page 69 Test: Dave Zeltserman's Bad Thoughts.

About the book, from the publisher:
When he was thirteen years old, Billy Shannon came home from school one day to find his mother being murdered in their California home. Dying slowly of asphyxia, she drowned in her own blood. Twenty years pass, and Bill Shannon is a cop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living with his wife, Susie and trying to get a handle on the nightmares that have plagued him for most of his adult life. Every year, as the anniversary of his mother's death approaches, the nightmares of his mother's killer get progressively worse until the blackouts come, and then Shannon disappears to return home days later without a clue of what he has done while gone. The twentieth anniversary of his mother's death is quickly approaching and Shannon desperately needs to figure out what he has been doing during his black outs, especially since women have started dying in the same grisly manner as his mother. His nightmares are getting worse and the evidence against him is stacking up ...
Among the praise for Bad Thoughts:
"A compellingly clever wheels-within-wheels thriller. An ingenious plot, skillfully executed"
—Elliott Swanson, Booklist

"This fast-paced, gritty psychological tale balances the fine line between mystery and horror"
Library Journal

"Bad Thoughts is an ambitious genre-bender combining the paranoia and existential dread of the best noir with a liberal dash of The Twilight Zone. Not to be missed."
—Poisoned Pen's Booknews

"Dark, brutal, captivating -- this is one hell of a book, the kind of book that doesn't let go of you once you start it. Dave Zeltserman is clearly the real deal."
—Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-Winning author of A Stolen Season

"...And it's at this point that the genre gets bent. After that, it's a wild ride. I was reminded a little of Blood Dreams, a novel by the late Jack MacLane, published by Zebra just after the era of the knives-in-fresh-fruit covers. Joe Lansdale's Act of Love had one of those covers, come to think of it. Zeltserman's book would rest comfortably on the shelf beside them. If you're looking for a hardboiled anybody-can-die-at-any-time book that's a change of pace from the usual, look no further."
—Bill Crider, Murder among the Owls and A Mammoth Murder

"Bad Thoughts is dark -- Edgar Allan Poe dark, and I put the book down feeling as though I’d just run through a gloomy, damp, filthy alley. Which is exactly what Zeltserman was going for, wasn’t it?"
—James Winter, January Magazine
Read more about Bad Thoughts at the publisher's website and at Zeltserman's website and his blog.

The Page 69 Test: Bad Thoughts.

--Marshal Zeringue