By Lucas Mangum
Enthralling and Gut-wrenching
Pregnant with her father’s child, nineteen-year-old Courtney is a girl on the run, willing to do anything to make her way on the road.
When a car accident leaves her wounded by the side of a desolate highway, she is taken in by an environmentalist doomsday cult led by the enigmatic Saint Ambrose, a charismatic preacher and ex-environmental scientist who gave up everything after claiming to see the face of God. When he meets the seemingly vulnerable Courtney, he is taken by her beauty and her wounded soul.
Now, with the promise of salvation hanging in the balance, Courtney must undergo a series of trials, each more painful and humiliating than the last, her incestuously conceived baby growing in her womb, a strange presence visiting her at night and telling her Ambrose has lost his way and it is she who must overthrow him.
I got comfortable with my copy of Saint Sadist by Lucas Mangum and settled in for some light reading. As I opened the cover, I realized I did not have a bookmark handy. Oh well, not the first time. I had no intention of getting up to get one. I was two pages in when a book card fell out of the back of the book, one of the perks of buying a book from the author at a con. How convenient! Now I had an acceptable bookmark. Ultimately, I didn’t need one. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting. And, for the record, it was not light reading.
Saint Sadist is an enthralling story written with the dark style of a flowing classic. The content, however, places the book definitively in Extreme Horror. As indicated in the synopsis, Saint Sadist deals with abuse, incest, and disturbing violence. It is not for everyone despite its deep and impactful storyline.
The story is told in powerful first person. Mangum twists both your mind and gut with the graphic sequences and the psychology of the main character. I was especially taken with the incredible depth of the story as a whole. The uncomfortable realism of the subject matter, the mind of the abuse victim, the way the main character expresses herself: these things are illustrated with horrifying acuity.
I looked at the cover, read the synopsis, and expected a light, general horror read in spite of the author’s words to me when I purchased the book. I was wrong. This is a philosophically deep, gut-wrenching tale of horror.
Mangum has gone a step beyond psychological horror, beyond extreme horror, beyond the comfort zone of explaining things away. Saint Sadist is a shelf-worthy piece I will read again and again.
Get it on Amazon: getbook.at/SaintSadist (global link)
About the Author: Lucas Mangum
Lucas Mangum is the author of several books. His most popular titles are Engines of Ruin, Gods of the Dark Web, and Saint Sadist, but he doesn’t play favorites. He lives in Texas with his family, but can also be found at lucasmangum.com or on Twitter @RealLucasMangum.