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Crimson Orgy Fiction Review

Posted on November 14, 2008 by Flames


Available at Amazon

Crimson Orgy – Best New Thriller of ’08?” read the headline on Amazon.com’s forums. User C. Avery said, “For my money, this is the best new thriller of 2008 (so far, anyway),” and I, after reading Austin Williams’s debut novel, Crimson Orgy, immediately thought, “publisher plant?”

Dubbed as a thriller, and quite often described as a horror novel, Crimson Orgy follows the filming of a fictional exploitation film of the same name during the 1960s. The intro to the book sets the story up as potentially true (although we know it’s a work of fiction), explaining that the final print never saw the light of day, and it only really exists in the black market of cinema – due to the fact that it is actually the first snuff film ever created.

With Crimson Orgy, Williams brings an interesting premise, but unfortunately a boring execution. The novel follows the creation of Crimson Orgy as it is filmed in a middle-of-nowhere coastal town in Florida, including the obligatory hurricane ravaging the set which are so convenient for the region. For a thriller, and especially for a horror novel, nothing much really happens for the entire book, other than a build of suspense as you, the reader, wait for something to happen. With the promise of murder as early as the book’s preface, the reader is definitely on the edge of their seat, waiting for the murder to happen. After much teasing, however, it becomes obvious that no such event is likely to happen anytime soon – and I was left longing for the book to finally end.

The areas in which Williams does excel in Crimson Orgy are character development and understanding of the subject matter. Each of the characters is extraordinarily believable, lending the book to read well as a (fake) documentary. The inclusion of references to other films of the era, as well as the transition of exploitation cinema from “nature” films to gore, also enforces the story’s credibility.

Still, in the end, Crimson Orgy failed to engage me. Perhaps this was due to incorrect expectations from the novel, but it certainly did not include horror, and it very rarely thrilled me. Williams has knowledge in the area, and knows how to write credible characters, but he ultimately fails in making the reader give a damn.

Review by William Aicher.

Look for downloadable horror fiction at DriveThruHorror.com.

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