Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
The Black Train begins with an assailant severing a prostitute’s hand and using it to provide sexual gratification to his penis. The scene is disgusting and disturbing. It is classic Edward Lee, combining horror and erotica in a quick easy exploitable fashion.
The story of The Black Train focuses on fictional Food Network star, Justin Collier. He is on a quest to record the best beers in America. He has one more stop before completing his book on microbrews: Gast, Tennessee.
Collier has checked into the Branch Landing Inn. The inn, once known as Gast House, has a lurid history. The former owner made a deal with the devil and followed through on paying the debt due. Tales of sexual debauchery and gruesome murders which occurred in the house abound. Those who stay at the inn suffer from terrible nightmares of the acts rumored to occur there. Worse, the spirits that remain seem to be enticing those who reside there now to commit new atrocities.
The theme of The Black Train is temptation. Can Collier resist the pull of Gast House? Maybe. It would help it all of the characters weren’t built like Brazilian swimsuit models and that he was not in the process of going through a messy divorce.
Lee has knack for ghost stories and violent sexual acts. Both of these talents are on display in The Black Train. There is nothing ground-breaking here. All of the characters and locations are fairly reminiscent of other Edward Lee titles, but the author delivers what is expected.
The best bits involve a side-story affair between the innkeeper’s son Jiff and the local historian Mr. Sute. The conclusion of this affair is the stuff of sequels and I would not be surprised if at some pint another Black Train novel appeared.
For those unfamiliar with Lee’s works, caution should be exercised before delving into The Black Train. The story is not for the faint of heart. Lee has no qualms about depicting incest, infanticide, and overt racism, among many other things. Here, you will learn what a Southern Douche is and what a hip-bath is for.
For those who love shock, Edward Lee is a winner. The Black Train will deliver what you crave. However, if you have a more sensitive disposition, you may wish to stay clear of this book.