Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review Paradigms of Suffering: Dig the Knife Deeper

By Greg Dixon
Visions Given Life Publishing 2011; 212 pgs; Tp)
Reviewed by Colleen Wanglund

In this fourth installment of the PARADIGMS OF SUFFERING series of books, Greg Dixon has managed to continue his stories of the macabre and extreme.

The first novella-length story entitled “Worked to Death.” Kevin has left his former employer and joined the internship program of the biggest and best property appraisal firm in Florida. Kevin soon discovers the program, as well as the company, is not what he bargained for. Hours are ridiculously long, the workload never ceases to end, and the company seems to be using illegal and unethical tactics to maintain their status and earnings. It is seriously stressed to the interns that they may not go to the second floor, where all of the real action takes place until they have completed their rigorous training. The general consensus is that the firm will work their employees to death. Unfortunately for Kevin, he is about to discover just how true that statement really is.

The second story is “The Family that Preys Together” and begins with a career criminal staking out a home for burglary while the owners are having a yard sale. He plans to return later with an excuse to get into the house and see the layout. Tim has decided that this will be the last job of his crew in the current town because the police are on to them. What Tim doesn’t know is that his potential victim knows who he is. When Tim returns to the house later in the evening he is invited in. What Tim doesn’t realize until it’s too late is that his life of crime is about to come to an abrupt and painful end.

The third and final story is “Tracking Carrie (Next Day Delivery)” and tells the story of Carrie, a girl who just can’t seem to catch a break in her life. She has a job delivering packages, and her father (whom she does not get along with) has recently moved in with her. Carrie is not happy. Carrie has been making regular deliveries to Jonathan, who has taken an interest in Carrie. She thinks he’s creepy but he has convinced her that he’s giving some good advice—a form of therapy. Carrie decides she’s going to leave her hometown and start over again in California, and she’s convinced that it was Jonathan’s therapy that has helped her. Jonathan did not intend for Carrie to make her own changes to her life. He expected to make those changes for her—through death and rebirth. What’s truly horrifying about this one is discovering the people from Carrie’s life who are in collusion with Jonathan’s plans.

I have read Dixon’s previous PARADIGMS OF SUFFERING and this one lives up to all of my expectations. The horror is extreme—just how I like it—and the people and circumstances are truly twisted. Dixon’s writing is poetic and descriptive, allowing for the dark beauty of the gore to shine through. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the POS series of books are all self-published. They are beautifully done and expertly edited. I highly recommend all of the PARADIGMS OF SUFFERING. I, for one, can’t wait to read more by Greg Dixon.

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