(dis)Comfort Food

Brad Carter. Post Mortem (www.postmortem-press.com), $16 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-0-615-75379-9
“This story begins with food and death,” says retired housewife Rosie Kirkland as she spins out her tale in a manner alternately folksy and terrifying. Slowly, she reveals how she met the enigmatic Vera Caldwell, whose homemade casseroles are both comforting and inexplicably invigorating. Rosie’s husband succumbs to cancer after requesting a last taste of Vera’s casserole, and Rosie begins to follow Vera’s teachings, learning how to deliver the mercy of death through the power of her cooking. Vera brings her into contact with a secret society of witches, and soon Rosie is entangled in a web of sex, death, food, and revenge, uncovering her husband’s dark secrets and Vera’s own tragic past. Carter (The Big Man of Barlow) offers up an unsettling story that goes from appetizing to nauseating as the narrative plunges from dark fantasy straight into horror, where familiar ingredients bring unexpected results. A graphic scene of torture near the end may put readers off their feed altogether. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/11/2013
Genre: Fiction
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