There was no doubt that Ryan Harding would bring the first Fucking Scumbags Burn In Hell season to one Hell of a conclusion. But the way Harding expertly ties it all together, bringing us around full circle, defies even the most liberal expectations. The story of Agent John Kessler, celebrity FBI profiler, is a fascinating and convoluted one. The Profile isn’t solely a story about Kessler, though. It’s the tale of an insidious serial murderer we’ll refer to as The Usurper. Of course, it’s also a story about Sonny Hooper. It would hardly be the Hoopiverse without Hoop making an appearance. I can’t say anything more. As much as I’d love to dive into this and provide a more detailed description of the things I loved about this installment–and there is an awful lot–I have to keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone else. I will say that the conclusion of this story is one Hell of a captivating, edge-of-the-seat sequence that will leave the reader breathless and dizzy–desperate for more. Thankfully, we have season two to look forward to, and the paperback collecting the whole of season one–including an additional bit of icing on the cake from Drew Stepek himself and an introduction from the always spectacular Rayne Havok. It’s worth mentioning, of course, that Harding didn’t create this in isolation. None of these phenomenal authors contributing to the Hoopiverse did so without the guidance and tutelage of the maestro, Drew Stepek. As outstanding members of the orchestra, they each brought their own flair and their distinct characters to the page, telling us the stories they developed. Like Hooper himself, Drew worked behind the scenes to help everyone bring the individual scumbags to their fitting conclusions, setting the stage for everything that was to come. I suppose, in the end, we should all just call him Hoop.
This final volume of the first season was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com and you can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
Amy is a spoiled, entitled, petty, and manipulative monster of a woman. It seems only fitting that she’d find her way into the Hoopiverse with Dani Brown’s The Scratching Post. Arguably the worst quality Amy displays is her solipsism. Her inability to recognize other people as independent, separate beings with perspectives that aren’t her own, manifests in a sort of delusionally cynical outlook and a lack of object permanence. For Amy, other people are only ever motivated by the same things that motivate her. That viewpoint might be less pronounced if she didn’t also surround herself with vapid, terrible people who only serve to reinforce the way she sees things. Thus, if everyone is motivated by the same things, it’s altogether too easy for Amy to see others as nothing more than playthings to be used for her perverse amusement. For years, Amy got away with being a god-awful person, catered to by her mourning parents and pandered to by her social circle, but then Hoop moves in next door. As Amy’s carefully constructed world of gaslighting and self-deception crumbles around her, there’s no way a reader won’t take pleasure in the revolting and nefariously appropriate comeuppance she experiences. Dani Brown brings her deliciously wicked and vile imagination to the table in bringing to life what has to be one of the most disgusting miasmas a reader can imagine. You’d be hard-pressed not to smell hints of the corruption wafting from the screen as you read the descriptions she provides. Like the other installments in the Hoopiverse, we get to witness Hooper forcing empathy onto the monstrous people he sets his sights on. While it isn’t true empathy, being subjected to the experiences of those they’ve hurt, it’s a befitting analog that serves the purpose of showing these hideous men and women the harm they’ve caused in the only way they’ll understand, when it’s hurting them. You’ve got to hit the sociopath where it hurts, and Hooper’s got the skills that pay the bills.
You can pick up The Scratching Post as well as the previous installments in the Fucking Scumbags series by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The first season of tales is soon to be collected in a single paperback release if you prefer to wait for a physical book to love and caress with your nasty fingertips, but I recommend picking these up in the meantime. The link is below:
Peter Caffrey brings us a new tale of scumbaggery, and with it, a new glimpse of what Hooper is capable of in Freak Fuck. We meet Doctor Oliver/Doctor Fairweather just as he’s transitioning from one name to another, setting up shop in a new country. Our fly-by-night plastic surgeon dedicates his life to preying on the insecure and vulnerable, promising beauty and restoration of youth, only to take whatever he can swindle from his prospective clients/patients. As the story progresses, we discover that the good doctor has a great many unsavory and horrific appetites, the greatest of which being his desire to experiment on unwilling subjects, crafting monstrous perversions of natural, human beauty. When his accomplice nurse fails to arrive for work, Nurse Hooper arrives in just the nick of time, ready and willing to aid the man in his larceny and misdeeds. This is not the Hooper we’ve come to expect, and, arriving on scene as Hooper does, it sets a whole different tone to the interactions between scumbag and arbiter, showcasing Hooper as one who can adapt to whatever the circumstances require. Caffrey’s addition to the Hoopiverse brings us one of the more extreme and vile scumbags we’ve had the pleasure of seeing meet his fate, and Hooper seems to be a bit more hands-on in the application of judgment this time around. I wasn’t sure how this one would play out, and there were so many directions it could go, but Caffrey provides us with quite the unsettling, yet one of the most well-deserved punishments so far in the series.
This installment of the Fucking Scumbags series was released as part of the http://www.godless.com 31 Days of Godless event. You can procure this–and the other installments–by going to the website or by downloading the app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below: