Author: Ed Kurtz
No. of pages: 294
Publication date: March 24th 2017
Date read: November 18th 2017
When Walt Blackmore moves into an old gable front house on the outskirts of a small town, things are really looking up for him—he has an adoring girlfriend, a new job, and an altogether bright future. But Walt’s destiny is irreparably changed when a dark red spot appears on the ceiling in the hallway. Bit by bit the spot grows, first into a dripping blood stain and eventually into a grotesque, muttering creature.
As the creature thrives, Walt finds himself more and more interested in fostering its well-being. At first he only feeds it stray animals, but this soon fails to satisfy the monster’s ghastly needs. It is gradually becoming something more, and for that to happen it requires human blood and human flesh. And once Walt has crossed the line from curiosity to murder, there is no going back.
This may just be the most gross horror I’ve ever read. And then I’m not only talking about the blood and gore, but also what Walt eventually does with the creature. Yep, I’m a horror fanatic, but this was definitely horror on a whole different level – Kurtz really exceeds ALL boundaries with Bleed. That’s also what made this horror one I’ll definitely remember for a long time (and maybe even reread someday in the future!).
At the beginning I was really curious what the stain on the ceiling would eventually turn into – a kind of alien creature from outer space, a human, or something entirely unknown to me? Although Walt doesn’t know this either, he’s quite fascinated by the bloody stain. Or maybe “obsession” is a better word for his relationship with it. On the one hand I can understand this fascination, but on the other hand I think I’d just run for the hills, screaming, like Amanda (Walt’s girlfriend) does. I guess that’s the only sane reaction one can have when encountering such a … demonic thing.
The personality development in Bleed was excellent. The story was one big escalation of events and sometimes it was really surprising how Walt, Amanda and even the creature dealt with these events and their outcomes. The climax of the book was a magnificent one, and when I started reading Bleed I didn’t expect it to end like this at all.
All in all: Bleed is one of the most macabre horrors I’ve read and that’s why I loved it. I’d just love to see a film adaptation of this book in the future!
* This book was included in the July box (“The Feast”) from the Nocturnal Reader’s Box, you can see the other book and the goodies included in that box over here *