Review of The Dead Man, Volume 3: The Beast Within, Fire & Ice, Carnival of Death

SFFaudio Review

The Dead Man Vol. 3The Dead Man, Volume 3: The Beast Within, Fire & Ice, Carnival of Death
By Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin, James Daniels, Jude Hardin, Bill Crider; Performed by Luke Daniels, James Daniels
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
[UNABRIDGED] – 8 hours

Themes: / Horror / Supernatural / Death /

Publisher Summary:

Matt seeks out a paranoid visionary who claims to have defeated an entity just like Mr. Dark. His quest takes him deep into the Michigan woods — and into a bloody siege between warring, paramilitary factions in James Daniels’ THE BEAST WITHIN. In Jude Hardin’s FIRE AND ICE, Matt is trapped inside an industrial plant during a deadly shooting rampage. As the body count rises, the cunning Mr. Dark raises the stakes to horrifying new heights, putting thousands of lives at risk. Matt is working security on the midway in Bill Crider’s CARNIVAL OF DEATH. But when violence breaks out and a fake fortune teller’s dark prophecies suddenly begin coming true, Matt knows that Mr. Dark has arrived and it’s not for the cotton candy…

The Dead Man series of novellas was launched by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin. Originally conceived as television series about Matt Cahill AKA “the Dead Man,” a man who after surviving being frozen for several months returns to life with supernatural abilities. The project creators dusted off their episode ideas and farmed them out to a series of both new and established authors to let them each give their own novella-length take to the story. Past and upcoming authors include Christa Faust, Anthony Neil Smith, James Reasoner, and in this volume Bill Crider just to name a few.

The audiobooks have been packaged together in groups of three, with each novella spanning approximately 2 compact discs with stories averaging  a couple of hours each. First up on Vol. 3 of the series is The Beast Within by James Daniels. In this tale the Dead Man travels thousands of miles to seek answers in small Michigan town and finds himself caught in the middle of a mini-war between rival factions of a militant white supremacist cult. This the second Dead Man novella to be penned by James Daniels. In fact, his first ever published work Ring of Knives can be found as part of the Dead Man, Vol. 1 Audiobook. In both volumes, James Daniels handles narration duties on his own novellas himself, with his brother Luke narrating the other stories. James and Luke Daniels have both narrated other Brilliance audiobooks with Luke having recorded over 100 different titles including works by Ed McBain, Philip K. Dick, and George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series.

The volume’s second contribution is written by author Jude Hardin and is entitled Fire and Ice. Matt Cahill takes a temporary job on one of his itinerant stops and finds Mr. Dark’s hand at work even at factory that produces industrial-strength cleaners. Instead of chapters, the action takes place as the clock ticks away giving the narrative a “real-time” feel that translates very well to the audiobook format leading into the final story of the volume, Bill Crider’s Carnival of Death where the carnage visit the circus environment with all of the obligatory elements: a palm reader, snake lady,and of course Mr. Dark himself. Each author gives their own unique spin on the character and story making for entertaining listening while keeping with the dark and violent nature of this horror series.

“The Dead Man” music video: :

Review by Dan VK.

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