A new release from DarkFuse is always highly anticipated by me but it is rare when a DarkFuse book receives more widespread anticipation before it is released. That is exactly what has been happened with DarkFuse’s next scheduled release: “Corrosion” by Jon Bassoff. With a great deal of advance praise and a movie deal already in place, “Corrosion” is one of the most anticipated books ever released by DarkFuse and I could not wait to dig in and see what the hype is all about.
A strange and scarred veteran is sitting in a bar in a strange town and finds himself strangely attracted to a woman, Lilith, who is being harassed by a man. After rescuing her, the two start a torrid affair that becomes sinister when she shows up at his motel room one night battered and bruised by her husband. The two plot against her abusive husband and a plan that will change their lives forever is hatched.
As the story unfolds, so does the identity of the veteran, Joseph Downs, and his mysterious relationship to a man named Benton Faulk. These two are on a collision course that will cause violent shockwaves through Downs’ very identity and shake him to the core of his very being. Is he really in love with Lilith or is it just obsession? Who are Joseph Downs and Benton Faulk? And, maybe most important of all, who is the strange masked preacher and how does he tie into all of this?
“Corrosion” is a very original novel that unraveled in a completely unexpected way. Through the first half of the story, I felt that I was on solid ground and was following the story easily. It was fairly straightforward with only a hint of uncertainty on my part as I knew there was something lying under the surface but was unable to put my finger on it. Still, it was grounded in reality and thrust me through the story while building up sympathy for the veteran as being a pawn in a larger game. Then, the story took a complete twist into the reality and everything that I thought I knew about the story was suddenly turned upside down. The present took a backseat to the past and showed that what I thought I knew about the story was wrong. I was left scratching my head as the story headed into the background of the veteran and the mysterious Benton Faulk. It was a complete turnaround from what appeared to be the solid ground of the real into the shift landscape of the surreal.
“Corrosion” is a very good novel that takes a look deep into the mind of its protagonist and raises the question of what is crazy and what is normal. It also raises questions as to what love really is and the dangerous line between love and obsession. I was surprised at the way the story developed as it kept me on my toes throughout and had me questioning not only what would happen next but what is real versus what is just the construct of a questionable psyche. I am not surprised that the book is receiving a great deal of attention as it is very well written but I do not think that it is the best book to have been published by DarkFuse as some reviews are stating. “Corrosion” is another book that is a cut above almost any other book put out by other publishers, as are most DarkFuse releases, and one that dares to push against the established boundaries of the genre in an attempt to transcend being just a “horror” novel at which it succeeds triumphantly. Much like other DarkFuse books by authors like Greg Gifune and Sandy DeLuca (to name a couple), “Corrosion” is scary as hell not just for its terrifying story but for the disturbing thoughts and questions that it plants in the minds of its readers to keep them awake for many nights to come.
I would like to give a special thank you to DarkFuse and NetGalley for this advanced reading copy. “Corrosion” is scheduled to be released by DarkFuse on October 1, 2013.