"Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can't stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.
For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly's true father, and both want their daughter back..."
"The house was like me. Burnt up with enough holes that you could see its insides."
There is so much to like here. First, "A Tale of Urban Horror" could not be more appropriate to describe this story. In addition to the supernatural horror element, there is also a vivid depiction of the real life horror faced by some whose lives are touched by extreme poverty and violence. Of course, that's not to say that everyone who faces poverty also faces certain aspects particular to Lilly's story. But that's one of the things I truly liked about Mr. Matthew's approach. I never once felt that there were generalizations being made, or that the characters came across as caricatures or stereotypes. The circumstances felt unique to these people, while also painting a realistic picture of darker sides of life.
The entire package, the horror story and the realism, made for a very riveting and compelling read. There are some powerful scenes, two in particular come to mind, that made me say wow. The characters are also very well done. They are flawed and very human. In fact, I found each one compelling in their own right.
And then there is the writing. Oh how I love the writing and the style. I wanted to roll around in it. Even the dialogue matches the tone of the story perfectly. Just well done, I say. Well done.
So, if you're looking for a well-written unique story served with a dose of realism, then I highly recommend Milk-Blood.
Final Rating: 4 Stars