Don’t let the simplistic title put you off, The City by S.C. Mendes is a deep, though-provoking & horrific tale. A story that blends extreme horror (Clive Barker & Thomas Harris style) with crime, noir style.
Max Elliot is an unstable homicide detective, who six months earlier lost his wife & young daughter in a horrific double murder. He is called into action after a series of murders occur that bear similarities with his families. Victims skinned, bones stolen…nothing but a pile of flesh & organs left behind.
A baffling series of murders that encourage Max to solve the mystery of his wife & daughters’ deaths. However, his quest to find answers will see him enter The City, a hidden world beneath our own. One where anything goes and everything has a price, even the soul.
This is not a bedtime story for your kiddies, not unless you want to give them nightmares. S.C. Mendes has crafted a world that is both fascinating & horrific. Both extreme feelings are shared with Max, a character that is a tortured individual. The loss of his family haunts him but more then that, the guilt as to what he was doing the night they died, haunts him.
His life is no longer important, only that he find answers. His morbid fascination with The City & its ‘pleasures’ reflect our own. Disgusted, ashamed yet drawn in, it’s the exact feelings that you’ll feel as you read on.
S.C. Mendes has a talent for creating imagery that sticks with you. His vivid descriptions of events, as horrifying as they are, is addictive reading. Max is a character that is wholly unrelatable for the most part but you want to see him succeed especially in the latter part of the book.
The City is a slick read, you’re never bored & the anticipation for the next visit to the ancient city is constantly high. Not to say that the crime part of the book is lacking, not at all. In fact, these elements are so well crafted & fit perfectly alongside the horror, they feel so necessary.
The depravity of The City is addictive, you’ll want more & with a semi-open ending what S.C. Mendes does next is well worth keeping an eye on.
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The City (S.C. Mendes)
The Final Score - 8.5/10