GOD MACHINE by Greg F. Gifune

In a hotel room on Cape Cod, a troubled young prostitute brutally takes her own life, leaving cryptic clues as to why written in blood on the walls. When head of hotel security and former cop Chris Tallo finds her savaged body, he sets out to discover why the woman committed suicide in such a vicious manner. Saddled with a drinking problem, and already emotionally destroyed and grieving the loss of his daughter, killed in Iraq five years earlier, his search lures him into a disturbing underworld populated by those who trade in black magic, pain and death.

The closer Chris gets to the truth, and its ties to a secret occult ritual that took place more than 100 years ago that ended in madness and rumors of demonic possession, the more he struggles with his own history and sanity. And as the forces haunting and manipulating not only him, but reality as he knows it, rise in a tempest of blood and fire, a horrific evil awakens…

The Machine lives.

The IndieMuse Review

Destroyer Meets Rosemary’s Baby

A new novel by Greg F. Gifune is always an event for the horror community. The multiple award-winning, prolific author of over thirty books in the horror and crime genres has consistently delivered raw and suspenseful stories over a career spanning almost twenty years. His new novel, God Machine, is a further reminder, as if one were needed, as to why he is considered one of the finest horror writers working today.

Chris is a former police officer and current hotel security guard working the graveyard shift. Five years ago, he lost his daughter to the war in Iraq and has been unable to pull himself out of the alcohol-fuelled spiral of grief since that day.

When a young runaway comes into the hotel one night, distraught and looking for a place to hide, Chris takes pity on her. When she is found dead the following morning, he is the first to find a gruesome scene of a violent suicide with seemingly occult symbols drawn on the walls in blood. While the police quickly close the case, Chris is unable to let the case go, and he soon finds himself digging deeper into the lives of a dangerous group looking to finish an occult ritual 100 years in the making. Will solving this mystery help him move on with his life, or will it only bring more death, pain and misery, or perhaps something far worse?

God Machine is a tough novel to read at times. It is a story about grief and loss, albeit one wrapped in a supernatural horror package. The main character is a functioning alcoholic so consumed with anguish over the loss of his only child that it completely dominates his life. He is a fascinating protagonist because he is not in control of his feelings and, because of his constant drinking, often his actions. It makes him an unreliable and unpredictable narrator and gives the whole book an unsettlingly surreal vibe. The hints of supernatural horror, black magic and arcane rituals start subtly and build gradually as we get closer to answers, but we are never quite sure what is real, and what is a symptom of Chris’ quickly declining mental state.

The book works well on a lot of different levels. As a story about a man dealing with an unfathomable loss, it is heart-breaking. As a horror novel, it is effortlessly unsettling. The build-up is a slow burn, and there is a constant, foreboding sense of inevitability about the events that ultimately transpire and this only serves to ratchet up the tension to almost unbearable degrees at times.

A surreal, dark and gritty tale of obsession, God Machine is a dizzying, dreamlike book where the lines between reality and nightmares are not only blurred but often irrelevant. Fans of Gifune will be delighted that he has delivered another winner, while new readers have an excellent starting point to discover his work.

RICHARD MARTIN

Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

2 reviews for GOD MACHINE by Greg F. Gifune

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  1. Leif Caron  

    I could not put this book down and ended up reading it in one sitting!

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  2. Portia Evett  

    This was a really entertaining book, I’d highly recommend it. The characters were believable, the plot was interesting.

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