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Monday 23 November 2020
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‘Terror Is Our Business’ book review

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Cutting Block Books (May 29, 2018)

Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale make the perfect father-daughter horror literary team. In their upcoming release Terror Is Our Business: Dana Roberts’Casebook Of Horrors we’re introduced to A “Supernormal” investigator named Dana Roberts,her sidekick Jana,and their mission to investigate and eliminate sinister forces.

Sherlock Holmes: arguably the most recognized detective in modern history. As the brains of any investigation, it’s no wonder that the heart of his partner, John Watson, is what rounds out this duo to create a textbook definition of success. This complementary dynamic is at the epicenter of the first-ever collaborative short story collection from Joe R. Lansdale and daughter Kasey Lansdale.
Terror Is Our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horrors introduces readers to the world of Dana Roberts and her frightening career as an investigator of what she calls the “supernormal”. While she doesn’t believe in the supernatural, she does believe in unknown worlds. And teaming up with her Watson-like partner Jana makes solving what can only be described as very unusual mysteries from beyond the veil that much more riveting.

Joe Lansdale is a master storyteller and winner of ten Bram Stoker awards and when it comes to writing exceptional horror stories,he’s one of the best. Recently I received a copy for review of Terror Is Our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horrors and apparently his daughter Kasey Lansdale has the same supernatural thriller gene in her blood.
Terror Is Our Business begins with a great introduction by Joe R. Lansdale as he walks us through the creation of Dana followed by Kasey’s insights (page 103) behind the development of Jana’s character.
The collection starts with four stories by Joe R.Lansdale, The Case of The light House Shambler,The Case Of The Stalking Shadow,The Case Of The Four Acre Haunt, and The Case Of The Angry Traveler. The remaining three, Blind Love, The Case Of The Bleeding Wall and The Case Of The Ragman’s Anguish were a well-written father-daughter collaboration.

To begin,the entire book is one thrilling yet eerie adventure after another. The first story is titled The Case Of The Light House Shambler and without releasing a major spoiler,involves a malevolent spirit known as a Jinn. The collection comes to and end with The Case Of The Ragman’s Anguish a ghostly tale involving a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, and a life and death battle with a vengeful ghost.

In between,readers are treated with gateways to hell, apparitions, and other demonic forces which stem from historical places or events. And armed with only their wits,intelligence and some protection spells, the “supernormal” investigating team of Dana and Jana set out to investigate then eradicate the evil.

From a character development point of view, I found it refreshing to see Dana was created with a steadfast balance of skepticism, class, and professionalism. Make no mistake, Joe Lansdale created a very strong female protagonist. And although Dana’s not out to impress anyone, when it’s time to get down to business, she has the heart and soul of a lion.
But what about Jana you ask? Jana is literally the opposite of Dana, but she’s a quick learner. Although Dana is clearly the expert in these tales, Jana is determined to learn all she can from her mentor. However, while she lacks the demon fighting knowledge and skills it’s taken Dana years to acquire, traits in her personality make her the perfect sidekick.

Those who chose to pick up a copy of Terror Is Our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horrors will find it a real page turner.  From start to finish, it’s loaded with bone-chilling stories and if this collection is an a sample of what Joe and Kasey Lansdale can do together, I’m looking forward to future stories.
Here at Dead, Buried, and Back! we’re giving Terror Is Our Business four stars. It’s a great book to read on a dark, stormy night or when you’re all alone…and that’s why we loved it!  Terror Is Our Business will be available May 29thhttps://www.amazon.com/Terror-Our-Business-Roberts-Casebook/dp/1732009007  

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