Cuts You Up, by David Blackwood, is a book that is hard to put down. The Prelude gave me just enough to get to know a little bit about the characters, written from the viewpoint of the main character, Cassandra. They were driving to a metal show, but never made it there.
Years later, Cassandra has become a writer of scary horror stories. She’s become popular enough to do book signings and to be invited to a TV show about books hosted by a man that Cassandra considers “a pompous jackass”. She doesn’t want to do it.
Her manager/bodyguard, Anthony, has traveled with Cassandra during her book signing tour. He is a large, soft spoken, Black man (who likely misses his husband). He doesn’t have to yell to make people do what he is asking them to. Anthony was in the military, and is very good at keeping Cassandra on schedule.
Unfortunately, Cassandra is disabled, due to the horrible incident she survived years ago. Travel hurts, and Cassandra continually has pain caused by what happened to her at the hands of a killer back in the 1990s. The book tour is a struggle for her, both physically and emotionally.
She barely survived, and her friends did not. It appears she thinks about them often. Readers get glimpses into Cassandra’s head in the form of small pieces of writing about her friends. It sounds like part of a fairy tale – the kind that can become gruesome.
Cassandra and her friends were attacked by a near-mythical killer known as The Huntsman. Cassandra has tried very hard to not talk about that in interviews, for obvious reasons. Upon returning home, she becomes aware that there is a stranger out there, who is mimicking The Huntsman (and is using a different name).
Eventually, Cassandra decides to go on the offensive against this man. I’ll leave you to see exactly what she does to make that work. It’s a bit of magic mixed with self-assurance and a reliable weapon.
As you read through the book, there are chapters where Cassandra thinks about the horrific things that happened to her friends and herself. Be prepared for a lot of blood, anxiety, and horror. Fans of the genre, including myself, will quickly become invested in Cassandra.
Many of the chapter titles and references in this book come from songs by: Peter Murphy and Bauhaus, Danzig, Nick Cave and The Birthday Party, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, Souxie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, Screams for Tina, Oingo Boingo, The Smiths, Concrete Blonde, Samhain, Christian Death, and Acid Bath. A lovely mix of moody music!
Cuts You Up – By David Blackwood is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.
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Oooh that has me intrigued – I’ll be adding that to my TBR for sure!
Keep on rocking those book reviews! Glad to have you as part of the Blaugust crew this year!