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Judge No. 20, Writer's Digest 23rd Anuual Self-Published Book Awards

I love this jarring little prologue. Beautiful brevity.

Funny passage with the bartender (pure vermouth–yuck!) “like the word of God into the ear of the faithful”–nice! (p. 5)

Your descriptive details are well executed–say, this description of Mauro on p. 17. Enough to get the impression, not so much that it interrupts the flow of the story. The reader also gets a genuine feel for Venice–much appreciated.

I love this flash of strategizing on p. 62 (“Now here was the dilemma”). Your hero has a quick and nimble mind. I also enjoy the little sprinklings of Italian.

I am usually a bit critical of books that move this slowly, but you have a way of creating charming conversations between your characters–I am truly entertained by their company.

You also have an excellent eye for the nuances of things (his fight to critique the art world during his interview without sounding like a bitter prick). Your language is wonderfully musical, to the point where you get away with more adjectives than I can usually take.

You have created an excellent story, partly due to the plausibility of your events. Once they get into the standard vampire formula, however, it’s a little less interesting. Overall, though, some great writing. Congratulations!


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Book Description

A dark and electrifying novel, A Beast in Venice is as powerful and moving as any work of dark fiction or horror today.

While walking the misty streets of Venice one night in search of a good martini, Brigham Stone, former lawyer, now artist living in Venice, sees a man walk through a brick wall. His wife, Rose, thinks it's because he drinks too much. His gondolier friend, Mauro, is convinced that ghoulish creatures known as "shroud eaters" have returned to Venice after a centuries-long absence. 

Brigham struggles to succeed as an artist in Venice, and to gain representation in a gallery in the world of Italian protectionism. Thankfully, he finds a rich new patron, Charles Raymond. Charles seems like a such a kindly old man with money and a taste for art. But he has other, more sinister, tastes lurking behind his nice clothes and friendly manner. 

At the same time, strange things are happening in Venice. Bodies, butchered and devoid of blood, are found floating in the canals. Brigham is attacked by unknown assailants. He meets an alluring young woman who introduces him to the world of underground vampire clubs. 

Drawn into a hidden world of torture, blood, and murder, Brigham must grapple with a hideous evil that on the one hand grants him eternal life, but on the other hand threatens to take his humanity, his marriage, and his life. 

A Beast in Venice is a rich and disturbing horror novel; chilling and unforgettable. It would appeal to fans of Stephen King.

 

Book Viral Review

While walking the misty streets of Venice one night in search of a good martini, Brigham Stone, former lawyer, now artist living in Venice, sees a man walk through a brick wall. His wife, Rose, thinks it's because he drinks too much. His gondolier friend, Mauro, is convinced that ghoulish creatures known as "shroud eaters" have returned to Venice after a centuries-long absence.  At the same time, strange things are happening in Venice. Bodies, butchered and devoid of blood, are found floating in the canals. Brigham is attacked by unknown assailants. He meets an alluring young woman who introduces him to the world of underground vampire clubs.  Drawn into a hidden world of torture, blood, and murder, Brigham must grapple with a hideous evil that on the one hand grants him eternal life, but on the other hand threatens to take his humanity, his marriage, and his life.

A spine-tingling tale of horror filled with suspense and tension throughout, A Beast In Venice from author Michael E Henderson is not easily forgotten. As beguiling as the city in which it is set he’s delivered a meticulously constructed plot that benefits from an intimate knowledge of his chosen setting and from the very first page you know this is one of those books that demands a slow read to be really appreciated. A dark and commanding telling that radiates malevolence, Henderson takes his readers on a harrowing journey that is steeped in originality. Yes, the prevailing tropes of the genre are present, but this is much more that a trite horror fest. Henderson renders his characters with a scrupulous eye for detail and brusque prose whilst a notable sense of timing blunts the edge of predictability to deliver a host of cliff-hanging chapters. He has one aim; it's to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and keep them that way until the very end of the book, and he achieves this with calculated ease.

An enthralling and captivating tale of supernatural horror, A Beast In Venice is sure to be applauded by fans of this ever popular genre whilst garnering a host of enthusiastic new followers for Henderson. Definitely recommended, this is one to add to your reading list!