Ghosts of Demons Past by Matt Schiariti, Review


Description:

“Well, Mr. Gabriel. What do you know about…demons?”

For most people, that’s a question that never comes up. Medium Seth Gabriel isn’t most people and for him, it’s another normal day in an abnormal life.

It’s bad enough that his love life has seen better days but his personal problems are only the half of it. Seth’s ghost hunting business, SG Cleaning Services hasn’t seen a client in weeks and he’s desperate for a paycheck. Things look up when two potential clients seek him out.

Courtney Reeves hires Seth to investigate a paranormal disturbance in her home. On the surface it’s a run of the mill cleaning job but when you deal with the dead for a living, there’s no such thing as routine. The close of the case is the start of even bigger problems and Seth will find that, while there’s nothing to fear from the dead, the living are another story.

When the nervous and persistent Evan Gallagher enters his life, Seth sees the promise of a big payday. There’s only one catch. The wealthy lawyer thinks his wife is possessed by a demon. Seth doesn’t believe in demons…not anymore, but the money is too good to turn down. Is Evan crazy or is he one hundred percent sane? As Seth digs deeper, he’ll ask the same question of himself.

For a guy who’s coasted through life on not much more than Greek takeout, tequila, and attitude, Seth’s going to have to dig deep to survive what will turn out to be a very bad week.

Review:

This book was great! The main character, Seth, is both relatable and hilarious. I caught myself literally laughing out loud and getting strange looks from anyone who happened to be nearby. The story is about a guy named Seth Gabriel who can literally talk to ghosts. He kind of coasts along through life while running a ghost hunting business. When a skinny scared rich guy named Evan contacts him, everything changes. Seth has to face things from his past he never thought he would. The story was awesome! From beginning to end I was hooked and could barely put the book down. Matt Schiariti adds enough but not too much detail to his writing. It was very well written and realistic. I felt like Seth was thinking the same thoughts I would in some of the situations. It was very refreshing to read a book where I felt like it could actually have happened. It does have adult language and situations so I would recommend this book to people over 18. All in all, the book was definitely not objectionable!
~Christin



Prologue:

Warning: contains strong language 

Drip.  Drop.

Drip. Drop.

That was all I could hear as I came to.  The sounds of liquid splashing were like gunshots in the otherwise quiet room.
I could feel something wet on my face but realized that my wrists were bound behind me when I tried to move them.  The harder I struggled, the more the duct tape cut into my flesh.
Once I was able to get my eyes open, I could see what the dripping noise was. 
The image was fuzzy at first but eventually came into focus.  Liquid was falling from my face, collecting in a shiny crimson pool between my black combat boots. 
Blood.
My blood.
I shook my head to get my shaggy black hair out of my face, but it was stringy and sluggish, like I had a dead octopus made of sweat camping on my dome.  And, damn, did my head hurt like hell.  Every time I moved, it was like someone was exploding C4 inside my skull, making pain resonate all through my body and making my heartbeat ring in my ears.
At least I still had a heartbeat, though. 
I took in my surroundings.  I wasn’t just in a room.  I was on a floor of some giant, abandoned warehouse.  Steel beams and joists showed through the water-damaged ceiling.  The drywall was torn off of most of the walls, exposing old, deteriorating insulation. The floor-to-ceiling windows that lined the walls were painted over, allowing only some weak light to filter in—just enough to show how dingy my surroundings were.  The whole damn room was just varying shades of rust brown.  In between the shadows, it looked like dried blood.  The red pool between my feet would probably fit right in, given some time.
A naked bulb cast a small pool of light in front of me.  Not five feet away was a metal folding chair, just like the one I was sitting in.  Whoever it was there for was nowhere to be seen.
I tried to maneuver myself to get a better look, but my body was just one giant sack of bruised meat.  To make matters worse, I couldn’t even remember how I got here.
“Where the fuck am I?” I asked nobody in particular. 
“You certainly aren’t in Kansas anymore, Mr. Gabriel.”
The reply came from all around me.  The way the sound bounced around the room, I couldn’t tell from where it originated.  It was female, though; that much I could tell. Definitely female. Was that a good thing or a bad thing?  Judging by the fact that I was beat up, bloody, and bound with industrial-strength duct tape, it probably didn’t matter. 
The sound of my blood falling to join the party in the pool at my feet was replaced by the sound of footsteps.  High heels to be exact.  There’s no mistaking the sound of a wooden heel reporting on bare concrete.  They were slow and measured, echoing throughout the massive empty, shadowed space.  Whoever they belonged to was in no rush.
Not a good sign for me.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Mr. Gabriel.”  The deep, yet feminine, voice emanated from the shadows around me.  “Or can I call you Seth?  Yes.  I like the sound of that better, don’t you?  So much more…personal.”  I detected the sound of a smile.  Something told me it wasn’t a pleasant one.
“You just never know when to quit, do you, Ssseth?”  The snake-like voice floated around me in the open space.
“Losing is for losers, and winners play to win,” I grunted.
That was a mistake.
She was on me in an instant.  Her hand connected with my already wrecked face.  The slap sent me reeling back, chair and all.
Note to self.  Never crack wise when you’re tied to a chair in some non-descript abandoned warehouse with an apparent psychopath.
The force of the blow added to the mass of fire that was my face.  Even the cool concrete couldn’t take away the white hot pain, pain so intense it made me throw up. It pooled in front of me, smelling like wet pennies and tequila.
The woman’s leather-clad arm emerged from the shadows and effortlessly set the chair back to rights…with me in it.
“Sseth,” she said, sounding pouty.  I still couldn’t see her face.  Her back was to me as she walked to the chair set up under the naked bulb.  “Why must you make me hurt you so?”
“Would it help if I said I was sorry?” My voice didn’t sound right.  I ran my thick tongue over my lips and found out why; my mouth was a craggy landscape of weeping cuts.  It stung just to lick them.
“No,” she said over her shoulder.  “Nothing short of a miracle can help you now, Seth.”  She didn’t sound too broken up over it either.
She turned her chair around and positioned it so it was fully under the bulb. With the grace and delicacy of a dancer, she threw her leg over the back of it and sat down, resting her arms on the back. I took her in:  long red hair framing a gorgeous face with just the hint of crow’s feet at the corners of her green eyes; full mouth with even white teeth; small, button nose.  Dressed in her black leather biker gear—which was more or less spray-painted onto her lithe body—she’d be the kind of girl I’d like to bang.  A lot. And often.  But as the soupy fog that gripped my brain began to clear, I could see her for what she really was.  I could remember her for what she really was.  I could remember everything.
Her green eyes weren’t green.  They were smoldering, like the color of a sunset just before the great big ball of fire that gives us life surrenders to night.  What would look like even, white teeth to anybody else were actually two rows of razor sharp fangs.
No, the sulfur-smelling thing in front of me wouldn’t win any beauty pageants.  Not anymore.
“What’s wrong, Seth?  You don’t like my human vessel?” She cocked her head at me.  “I will make many men beg in this form.   Beg…and scream.”  Her long forked tongue played over her fangs.
“I like your human vessel just fine.  At least until you squatted in there and fucked it all up.”
Her fiery eyes narrowed.  “I would really hate to further damage your otherwise handsome face, human.”
“Somehow I doubt that.”
“You would be correct.”  She stood up from her chair in a lightning quick motion and hurled it backwards.   The chair blasted through a blacked-out window with a deafening crash, pale moonlight finding its way through the gaping hole.
I’d obviously pissed her off.
Not good.
Very not good.
Her fists were curled into little balls of hate, the sound of her leather riding gloves creaking in the near-soundless room as she stalked towards me.  The leather hugging her hips and chest made it hard not to look.  Luckily I could see her evil-assed face for what it was.  That’s always good for keeping my herculean libido down.
“You and I are going to have some fun, Seth,” she hissed in my face, inches away, her breath saturated with sulfur. 
“Charades? Maybe Uno?” Sometimes I just didn’t learn.  Sure, I sounded brave, but I was shitting my pants.  Whatever she was going to do, I just wished she’d do it.  I’m not a big fan of long torture sessions.  And as I looked into her eyes with the flames dancing chaotically in them, I knew that’s exactly what she had in mind.
She took off a leather glove and revealed dangerously sharp talons.
“I will so enjoy making you bleed, Seth.  I will relish tearing you limb from limb.  Slowly.  You will beg me for death.  You will do anything I want to bring an end to the pain.  But I will not allow it.  Your begging? Your pleading? They will mean nothing to me.  Your pain and your screaming, however…” She threw her head back and laughed.  Her voice went from deep and almost sultry to unearthly and guttural as her demonic face filled my vision and said, “Will be the stuff of legend.”           

My name is Seth Gabriel.  I’m in deep shit.

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1 comments:

Matt Schiariti said...

Great review! Glad you liked Seth's maiden adventure, and thanks for featuring it on your blog. Much appreciated!

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