The Kill Riff
David J. Schow
Lucas Ellington's daughter, Kristen, is crushed to death at a rock concert held by "Whip Hand", the baddest band around. Returning to the world after a year in psychiatric care, Lucas decides to kill the band members one by one.
Readers of this first novel will understand why Schow wins awards for his horror stories. Lucas Ellington seeks to avenge his daughter's death at a rock concert by destroying band members one by one. The last one left alive is forced to live up to a macho image by stalking his stalker in return. Lucas is a sympathetic character at first, but increasingly his craziness is revealed. This novel deals with the dark side of rock music and media exploitation but, in a larger sense, it explores what revenge does to the avenger. Graphic sex, violence, and vulgarity may turn some readers off, but this is otherwise strongly recommended for horror collections.
degree. You're already doing well; why keep adding stuff? You'll overload." "So?" Clearly she was another one who thought she could handle too much. "So… we need a little discretion, love. I can't have the crew laughing at me behind my back." At last, in her eyes, he saw the flash of flame he wanted to see. "Are you telling me who I can and cannot sleep with?" She held the sweet bogus smile firmly in place. She had learned to be extremely camera conscious. She could hold that smile even if a
was no other way out. He was not normally a political person. "They liberate a few K-Marts, break bank windows, open fire hydrants, and kill a cop or two." "And the government is sitting back with folded hands, waiting for that day, waiting for the riots to commence. Because when they do, the Guard can be rolled in with plenty of justification. In one fell swoop, our urban centers can be put under martial law. That freezes the country. Without the connection between the cities and the
steel-jacketed hollow points. He snapped the action, and his eye sought the loaded chamber indicator out of habit. Then he popped out the clip, inserted one replacement round, reloaded, and thumbed the slide lever safety. The shoulder holster had snap pockets for two extra clips. The guns had come into his hands without signatures as well. Every man in every war meets good old boys heavily into ordnance. In Vietnam Lucas had met the sons of such men. A standout was Big John Lawson's second son,
the potential pyre much more impressive, especially for the TV news cameras. Rock'n'roll wasn't the only thing that could distract the impressionable from America's old gods. The police intervened. One officer fought to remain civil as he addressed people he thought of as Nazis in religious drag. He informed the crazy pastor-civilly-that burning records inside the city limits violated ordinances against combustibles emitting noxious fumes, and polyvinyl chloride certainly classified. The pastor
flashes the video news crews a peace sign from within a ring of six Pima County sheriffs who aren't laughing. The cuffs, linked to a steel waistband, restrict the man's reach as he is escorted away. The voice-over labels him a ''right-wing fundamentalist." His story, told by robotic, blown-dry news mannequins (one for each local station) is "a simple one." Eldon Quantrill, of Clifton, Arizona, enthusiastically noted for the record that he was a close personal friend of both the ghetto-blaster