Review “Hollywood Dead” by Richard Kadrey


By Richard Kadrey

I have followed Sandman Slim, aka James Stark, since he fought his way out of Hell. He even ruled there for a limited engagement. But, he’s never been dead. I mean really dead, until now.

A year after his death, Stark finds himself not “totally” dead. The Wormwood Organization has resurrected him. Their cold and calculating leader, Eva, demands Stark stop a ritual from being performed by a splinter faction of Wormwood. Once done, she promises she will restore him fully. Stark trusts very little and Eva even less. But, being in this state, his body isn’t healing anymore. He can’t taste anything and his energy wanes much too fast to do anything really important, such as getting back to his life and his girlfriend. So he reluctantly agrees.

He finds that being half-dead is only part of his problem. He doesn’t know where the ritual is going to happen. While visiting some of his old haunts doing recon, he’s dealt another blow. He sees that life went on without him. His favorite Tiki bar has changed, his video store is turning a profit, and his girlfriend is in love with someone else. Reality hits: maybe everyone is better off without him. Maturity hits harder when everyone seems happy and healthy—characteristics not usually used in the same sentence if he’s involved. Stark might not be a hero, but he is the monster that kills monsters, and just what L.A. needs.

Author Richard Kadrey has the unique ability to make magic, gods, and the supernatural real. The dark, gritty L.A. vibe is genuine; the prose and sarcastic humor are real life-speak. He’s the master of his craft!

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