cover image Garbage Man

Garbage Man

Joseph D'Lacey. Beautiful/Bloody (IPG, dist.), $11.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-905636-47-1

The riveting first section of D'Lacey's second horror novel (after Meat) introduces a variety of residents of the English town of Shreve, notably the enigmatic Mason Brand, once an acclaimed photographer who's chosen for obscure reasons to live as a recluse in the Midlands. Cut off from most human contact, Mason communes with the earth in the unlikely venue of a huge landfill, which he views as beneficial and healing, despite its leaking toxins. The dysfunctional relationships and youthful ambitions of the other characters contain sufficient depth to engage the reader. Unfortunately, when the menace that's alluded to early on bursts into the light, the book degenerates into a desperate struggle for survival that's indistinguishable from countless others in the genre. Superior prose compensates only in part for an excess of gore. (May)