By Rick R. Reed
Rick R. Reed has been writing his brand of gender bending horror for some time now. Heâs been called the âStephen King of gay horrorâ by Unzipped magazine, and author Douglas Clegg has called his stories "a harrowing ride through cutting-edge psychological horrorâ, which is no small praise. Each one of Reedâs books get better and more polished, and each one tells a different and new story. A welcome departure from several currently popular authors where each book is virtually indistinguishable from the last.
In Deadly Vision, Reed gives us Cass DâAngelo, a single, lesbian mom trying to do right by her son in a small, peaceful town. Her lover ran off some years back so Cass is going it alone, with a little help from her parents, who vividly remember that Cass used to be a bit of a âhellraiserâ and arenât ready to let her forget how they feel about those days.
After suffering a head injury during a storm, Cass wakes up in a hospital bed able to see and know things that she shouldnât, like her nurse is lusting after her daughterâs boyfriend, or that her doctor is new in town and lonely. Cass assumes that sheâs imagining things, or that it is a side effect of the concussion and it will pass. The visions only get stronger and clearer, until Cass is reluctantly forced to involve herself in a series of brutal murders, because she just canât stop seeing the victims, and her desire to give the parents closure is driving her batty.
Once she reveals herself as a psychic, sheâs really in for it. The parents of the missing girls donât altogether believe her, nor do the police, really the only person who takes her seriously is the killer, and the killer doesnât like it one bit. In fact, the killer wants to silence Cass by taking away her most precious possession â her beloved son Max. Now the race is on, use her hated visions to find her son, or lose him forever.
In his Amazon.com blog author Rick Reed says that one of the things he gets asked is â"Hey, gay boy, what makes you so smart you think you can write about lesbians?" His answer to that is âthat, in many ways, gay men, lesbian women, straights, transgendered people, and human beings in general have many universal feelings, such as the desire for love and acceptance, and the importance of family.â This book is successful, not because it has a lesbian heroine, but because it strikes a chord that resonates in the mind of anyone who has ever loved another person as much as Cass loves her son. It is a scary, page turning tale of dark suspense, but it is also a story about love and the bonds of family.
Reviewed by Sarra Borne for Front Street Reviews