Month: February 2017

Review: Love You to a Pulp by CS DeWildt

Incredibly dark, violent, not infrequently disgusting tale of a glue-sniffing sort-of private eye in the backwoods of Kentucky hired by a man to find his daughter–but, well, this isn’t a book where plot matters much, though there is quite a bit of it. It is more a series of nightmarish, truly horrific scenes of sex, violence, suicide, being trapped underground, having your head bashed in or your arm ruined…and on and on. DeWildt writes well, which is why the book is compelling despite its oppressive darkness. The scenes shift between the present and the private eye’s deprived (and depraved) past, with a whore for a mother, forced to fight for money by his father like a pit bull or fighting cock, and his doomed love for a girl he meets in the woods. If you are repulsed by such things, you wouldn’t have read the review this far, so you might want to just dive right in. But there are better writers of this sort of stuff, such as Anthony Neil Smith, whose plotting is sharper, writing even more compelling, and characters more fleshed out. Also, while DeWildt’s book creates an impressive rural atmosphere, there is no real sense of place. It is supposed to be Kentucky, but it could be any left-behind part of America where primal passions are in charge.

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