"Resurrection Express" Book Review
Written by Stephen Romano
2012, 448 pages, Fiction
Released on September 18th, 2012
Just like many horror fans, I regularly enjoy reading other genres. In fact thrillers, mysteries, and noir occupy as much space as the scary stuff on my shelves. Knowing that most of us take pleasure in other types of literature, my guess is I'm not the only one who has wondered what would happen if a talented author with dark tendencies decided to take a crack at writing thrillers. Stephen Romano did just that with Resurrection Express, and the result is an action-packed novel with a relentless pace, brutality and buckets of blood.
Elroy Coffin is a computer wizard with a criminal past who spends his days locked in a maximum security prison. The only things that keep him alive are his fighting spirit and the hazy memories of his murdered wife Toni, which brings smells and feelings, but never a face. When a strange woman shows up and tells Elroy his wife is alive and she can get him out in exchange for a job, he agrees, even though his instincts tell him danger awaits.
Once outside, Elroy quickly learns that his new job puts him in the middle of two battling criminal powers, and one of them is a dark shadow from his past that's creeping over him once again. Also, the information he has to steal turns out to be more important than he could've ever guessed, but the pieces of the puzzle are out of Elroy's reach for a while. The job goes a bit awry and Elroy is soon dodging bullets and wondering what he got himself into. What follows is a fast, wild ride in which Elroy will face death many times, watch those around him drop like flies, and slowly unveil the very dangerous secret that lies behind the information he was pulled out of jail to acquire.
Romano, whose artwork has appeared in various horror book covers and film posters, co-wrote a horror novel with the creators of Saw, created art and stories for a collection of nonexistent grind house movies for a graphic tome titled Shock Festival, and adapted Joe R. Lansdale's Incident On And Off A Mountain Road for director Don Coscarelli. In Resurrection Express, his love for action, violence, tension, and gore are fully on display and the narrative moves forward at breakneck speed. Combined with a main character who's interesting and as surprised as the reader as the action unfolds, the novel is a must-read for those who like their thrillers full of adrenaline and unexpected twists.
Resurrection Express combines non-stop action and bloodshed with a unique love story and high-tech discourse. However, its best characteristic is the over-the-top sequences, fights, shootouts, and antagonists. Those elements give the story a truly cinematic feel. In fact, Elroy almost dies and somehow survives so many times that reading this like a movie is the only way to keep that from becoming a joke.
Romano's first solo effort is intense and well constructed. More importantly, it's good enough to make readers want more from him in the same vein. If you're looking for an entertaining, complex thriller that might just include the end of the world, turn off the TV and dig into Resurrection Express.