Written by: Tracy Crockett
In a Sixth Sense meets old school detective noir DEAD AWARE tells the tale of a private dick who can sense the dead. Here’s how this baddie unfolds…..follow along if you will please? As a young man, Dunlavey had a hunger for forbidden knowledge. He sought out occult practices and dark, archaic rituals all over the world. His thirst for arcane wisdom sent him to New Orleans, of all places, the city of the macabre. He meets and falls in love with Myra, a voodoo priestess who performs a sex magic ritual on him. This ritual allowed him to open his mind’s eye, his third eye, and see the dimensional rifts that lie between our world and other places.
During the ceremony, Myra’s husband, Falcon, interceded. He killed Myra, leaving Dunlavey alive and cursed with an opened third eye to deal with things the best he knows how…Fast forward to the present. Dunlavey lives in New York City. He is a private investigator that assists the NYPD with any case that is deemed occult or unusual in nature. Having lived for so long with the curse, Dunlavey has become self-destructive. He is an alcoholic. He also abuses drugs and has relationships with the wrong women.
His curse forces him to constantly see negative energy and spiritual manifestations. Knowing very little of what he’s gotten himself into he sets up protection candles and spells in hopes of covering his ass, if you will. As things unfold Dunlavey is called in to investigate a series of murders involving transients who are being heinously killed and reassembled in a way that Dunlavey has never seen in his researches. As Dunlavey is drawn into the case, he soon realizes that the killer is aware of him, and able to strike out at him through his visions.
Diving deep into the underworld Dunlavey encounters one hot piece of booty in the likes of Roxy Carmichael, the S&M queen with a violent sexual appetite. There is also Sergio, the flamboyant owner of an occult bookstore who often advises Dunlavey. And then there is Gavin, the nerdy superintendent of Dunlavey’s building who has long hounded Dunlavey to collaborate on supernatural books. As Dunlavey and those close to him are terrorized by a demon that can blindside the detective at any given moment, Dunlavey has to fight his own suicidal tendencies to put the killer down, and find a small glimmer of hope in his extremely dark world.
Just when I think this man can’t do anymore he shoots that notion clear out of the water, testicles outside of his pants. He’s done it again folks…In an Emmanuelle meets Deliverance themed story Mr. West does something most literary critics frown upon. Slamming out one hell of a tale in screenplay format he touches so many taboos and straight forwardly kills it!! I’ve read several stories told in such a format, most notably Matt Bushcs’ CRISES and must say I completely adore them. Most critics will say this format doesn’t translate well but of course West shows us it doesn’t matter how you arrive at the punchline as long as you do… DEAD AWARE works. I for one have always made note be it a movie review or a book review that if you keep me entertained throughout and scare me, that that’s all that matters and West has done just that.
Bottom line is if the tale I’m engulfed in heightens my adrenaline and causes any sense of euphoria then it has succeeded. I’m convinced at this point that Terry West can wipe his butt and release it and it’ll sell. DEAD AWARE is an outright sexy scary tale that even after months of reading it sticks to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter. Kudos sir….you are a God amongst men. It’s not often you can see a tale unfold in what could easily be a movie masterpiece, and I highly recommend this to anyone in the mood for some good ol’ scares…just make sure ya keep some laundry detergent handy after reading this one, you’re going to need it……buy it and read it NOW!!!!