It’s Book Review Wednesday, and I’ve got a treat for you! It’s a book I didn’t expect to enjoy, but ended up reading in one sitting. Murder, mystery, tattoos, and weird deaths: a great read!

It Always Bites You In the End

When a DC Homicide detective finds a victim dead from unusual causes, he finds himself drawn down a path of ink and blood.

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When a Washington DC Metro Homicide detective started his shift on a sunny July morning, he was greeted with an unsual victim, an obvious snake bite; not something normally considered a homicide, but a tattoo on the victim sends him down a path he would never have believed. As the week progresses, an increasing number of unexplainable homicides draws Detective MacCallen ever deeper into a world of tattooed nightmares, terrors enacted in the most gruesome ways imaginable.

Can Detective MacCallen stop the murders before they happen again?

My Review: 5 Stars

The body count keeps rising, and only one thing can connect them all: a tattoo.

Mac is your typical detective: cynical, insightful, world-weary. Yet nothing he’s seen could prepare him for one grisly murder after another—a bite from a snake that couldn’t exist, an impossible decapitation, a drowning victim with a body too heavy to lift. Washington DC hasn’t had a spree of deaths like this EVER!

This story has the perfect level of snark and sarcasm, gruesome details, and mind-boggling mystery to make you want to keep reading until you find out what the hell is killing these people. You will have no idea how things are happening up until the climax. But wait, the best part of the entire book takes place in the last two pages!

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book half as much as I did. It’s definitely not my typical genre (mystery), but it hooked me with its off-the-wall narration. A whole lot of fun!

Here’s a Taste:

With a relieved sigh, I slid into the parking lot outside Guido’s and hopped out, taking in the glorious aromas coming from the restaurant. I ran into the package store next door and grabbed a six-pack of Yuengling before heading to the pizza place. I grabbed my pie and, after dropping it into the passenger seat with the beer in the floorboard, I went home to decompress. There is nothing like a cold beer and a couple slices of a deluxe Guido’s New York-style pizza to make you forget about the worries of your day. Okay, there are but this was my flavor of choice, on this day.

I was halfway through my second slice of pizza, as well as a rerun of Friends, when my phone rang. I checked it to find the caller ID showing the number for Forensics. I guess the geeks had some news. So much for dinner. I paused the TV, tossed my slice down in the box and took a deep breath.

I answered the call, “Detective MacCallen, Homicide,” even though I knew who it was. You just have to play professional sometimes.

“Detective MacCallen, this is Michael Williams in Forensics. You said you wanted to know as soon as we have something about the Pfeiffer case. The snake bite.”

“Yeah,” My impatience showing in my voice, hoping to hurry the chief lab rat along so I could get back to my pizza and that cutie, what’s her name, Lisa something…you know, Phoebe.

“We found something really weird. We were able to pull some traces of venom from the wound. It is, simultaneously, a perfect match for an existing venom but unlike anything we have ever seen.”

What the fuck was he talking about? “What do you mean by a perfect match?” I asked, feeling frustrated that I didn’t quite follow.

“Well,” Williams drew a deep breath, “it is a perfect match for the venom in an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. That was the easy part. The downside is much worse. Pfeiffer didn’t own any rattlesnakes, first of all.”

“Aaaaand…” I tried to get him to keep going. The guy seemed to have the verbal momentum of a snail covered in salt.

“Even if he did have one, for a snake to have a venom that concentrated, it would have needed to be a rattlesnake the size of a Metrobus.”

“Ok, so it was a huge fucking snake. So what?”

“Rattlesnakes don’t get anywhere that long. Anacondas perhaps, but rattlers, never. I definitely think you have a homicide. It appears as if someone has found a way to concentrate rattlesnake venom into a much more potent form.”

“That’s more fucked up than a football bat!” I exclaimed. “Why would someone do that? What purpose would that serve other than poisoning people?”

Williams paused for a moment, considering his response. “Perhaps it could be used to formulate a more potent antivenin but I don’t know if it would be worth it. Regular rattlesnake antivenin works well enough.”

“So we have ourselves either a rattlesnake straight out of a Sci-Fi Channel movie or a killer with access to top of the line medical facilities. Neither one really seems very likely to me.”

“It doesn’t to me either. So there must be a third possibility, I don’t care how sharp Occam’s razor is, neither one of those are even somewhat likely. We’ll keep working on it, Detective. I’ll give you a call as soon as we have more.”

“You do that, Pete. I’ll look forward to hearing from you, because it looks like there is some more work you need to do,” I punched the End Call button before he could reply, as the image of a giant rattlesnake sank in.

I leaned back, beer in hand, and gave the case some deep thought. About thirty seconds of deep thought. Then I took a long pull off my beer, grabbed my slice and hit the play button. It can wait until tomorrow, I thought as I took in the sight of the ditsy blonde on the show.

Wrong again.

About the Author:

Michael Fisher, Fish to his friends and family, has worn many hats in his long life. He’s done a little of everything, including US Navy Hospital Corpsman, club DJ, security specialist, psychiatric technician, painter, and currently, father, Mason, author and tattooer, not necessarily in that order. He has a love of ugly Hawaian shirts. He also bears a passing resemblance to Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association.

Michael is an award-winning author, artist and editor with J. Ellington Ashton Press. Awards include JEA Honorable Mention for Short Story of the Year 2013 for the Return of the Devil Fly in Midnight Remains, as well as Top Ten Artist and Top Ten Editor from Critters Workshop Annual Preditors & Editors 2014 Awards and Top Ten Author, Artist, Editor, Book Cover, Nonfiction Article and Short Story from Critters Workshop Annual Preditors & Editors 2015. DC’s Dead was awarded J. Ellington Ashton Press’ Editor’s Choice Award for 2015. He also won runner up for CEO’s Choice Novel of the Year for It Always Bites You In The End and Runner Up Anthology of the Year for Within Stranger Aeons for the JEA Choice Awards, as well as multiple awards for his cover design work.

Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Always-Bites-You-End-ebook/dp/B01LXFP8XU/

Read Fish’s thoughts on his website: http://epicfishtales.com

Connect with him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelFisherAuthor/

See his cover art: https://www.facebook.com/MArtDunkel/