Paul Lubaczewski, author of the excellent horror novel, I Never Eat… Cheesesteak is back with a new horror story for us to sink our teeth into.
Called ‘A New Life’ and once again based in Philadelphia, the story surrounds Austin. A young homeless man who is running out of options and not exactly loving having his dick sucked for money.
While in a bar, he overhears a conversation between two men, Nicky and Zion and without meaning too gets drawn into their circle. A pair of mobsters, Nicky takes a shine to Austin and offers him a place to stay. A rundown warehouse in a bad part of town, all Austin has to do is watch over it and he can stay there as long as he needs.
It’s a good deal for Austin, a chance to get off the streets and make some money at the same time. All he has to do is stay out of the basement. Easy enough to do, after all a mobster’s business is his own, right?
With the same mix of depressing modern reality and fantastical horror, Lubaczewski has crafted a solid read here. We’re Austin’s companion here, not walking side by side but rather just a step behind where we can witness every bad decision he makes or unfortunate event that befalls him. He’s no hero, just a down on his luck Philly lad.
If the story had stuck to that, we’d be talking a lot more highly of the book but the finale fumbles the ball unfortunately. Rushed and lacking the gravitas it needs, it’s certainly not helped by Austin taking on the role of ‘action hero’ suddenly. He even has a few wise-cracking lines when facing off against the stories’ villain.
Talking of which…
Anticipation is high as we build towards the introduction of this character but when it comes, it just doesn’t hit. A bit bland, lacking detail and certainly not frightening, the desire for a truly horrifying baddie just isn’t sated.
A New Life is still a good read though, thanks to Lubaczewski’s thick helping of reality based horror and ability to write likable leads.
A New Life (Paul Lubaczewski)
The Final Score - 6.5/10