Review of Bob Williams’ Music City Macabre
Review by: Brittany Adkins
At ConGT this year, I was able to meet the kind-hearted author Bob Williams and get a copy of his book, Music City Macabre. That evening, I came home, opened the cover and began to explore the book. For a writer and an avid reader there is nothing more thrilling than opening a book for the first time to explore the story within. I turned to page one and was immediately introduced to the history of what happened to the world. The take on this world that Williams described, was a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic scene. In today’s film and fiction genre’s there have been so many takes on this scenario, that without careful treading, the story could be lost in the masses of the other post-apocalyptic books. However, this is not true for Williams, he provides a unique perspective that captivates his audience. From the first paragraph I was hooked, and the book wouldn’t let go.
The next chapter we are introduced to man we would later know as Prescott. He was a charming, hell-bent and driven smart ass, who set out to find the one person he truly loved the most, his sister Emily. Prescott is charismatic and his internal monologues are a breath of fresh air in a dark world like his.
William’s not only paints a realistic post–apocalyptic world, he even paints the villains so vividly that you could side with them. One of the villain’s in particular I loved (and hated) was Kade. There was something about him that made me want to follow him as one of his “loyal Freaks.” But, on the other hand he was so vile, that I couldn’t wait to see if he would fall.
The story progressed into the city it was named for, Music City or Nashville. Being a local Tennessean, it was nice to see how well the city played a crucial role in the building of this story. Williams shows us a world that is full of despair, and betrayal. He also shows us with a glimmer of hope and a passionate will to survive, one could just maybe, prevail.
Williams gives us a dark story with a smart-ass hero who acts as comic relief with some of his hilarious one-liners. For example, one of my personal favorites, “You are an a**hole. Who moonlights as someone who pretends to give a s***.”
Williams has given us a book that had a captivating storyline but each chapter was full of a new surprise that made you want to know more! The unexpected twists and turns made each page turn with excitement to know what the future would hold for the characters!
This was a book that was so easy to read, because it held my attention and made me desire to know what happened. Prescott is an easy character to fall in love with and cheer for. This is a book I would gladly read again and again! I can’t wait for volume two!
Link HERE to go directly to Amazon.com’s page featuring this book.
If you'd like more information about Brittany, check out her Facebook page. You can also contact me at Tony@tonywassom.com and I'll gladly pass on any messages to her.
By: Tony Wassom
Kate stood on the business side of the two-way glass. “The arrest clean?” She was nonchalant, browsing through the file folder that held the arrest report.
“Yeah. Warrant was signed, Miranda rights read to her, female escort to the station…it was textbook.” The chief detective, Matt Gray, stood next to the assistant D.A. staring at the woman on the other side of the glass. “Hard to believe what all she’s done.”
“Allegedly done.” Kate didn’t look up from the file. “We still have to convince a jury, though it’s not going to be too hard with all this evidence. What was the last count?”
“Thirteen.” Matt seemed numb when he said it. He had been working on the case from the very first missing boy, nearly three years before. “Look how smug that bitch is. She either thinks we can’t do anything or…”
“…or doesn’t care.” Kate finished the statement for him. “I think it’s the doesn’t care option.” With a heavy sigh, she put both hands on the bottom of the glass wall and peered in at her quarry. Kate loved a good fight and she knew that winning this one could earn her a nomination for District Attorney, next election. She was doing a mental inventory of everything they had on Ms. Rebecca Wilkins, and a little grin appeared on her face. She noticed the grin on the ghost between her and Ms. Wilkins and immediately stood up straight and pulled on the hem of her jacket to make it taut. “All right, Matt. Let’s get started.”
Matt and Kate walked into the interrogation room and approached Wilkins; Matt sat on her left side, Kate sat on her right, both making sure to not block the camera that was on the other side of the mirror.
“Ms. Wilkins,” Kate started, “I’m Assistant District Attorney Katherine McGhee. I believe you’ve met Detective Gray.”
Wilkins nodded, sheepishly looking at Matt, she replied, “Yes ma’am.”
Kate was a little amused by the display, but she didn’t let it affect her position. “Since you have waived your right to a council, I will be sitting in here while Detective Gray questions you.”
“It’s Matt, isn’t it?” Wilkins was slowly turning her body toward Matt, her head was tilted to one side and she looked more like someone on the prowl at the local bar than a suspect in a murder investigation. “Would you be able to get me some water? My lips are so dry.” Wilkins’ tongue slowly parted her lips as she moistened them.
“You can refer to him as Detective Gray or simply Detective.” Kate was firm but did not present as angry. “Do you understand?”
Wilkins turned her head to the right, the smile and big eyes disappeared as she looked at Kate. “Yes, Ma’am.”
“Good.” Kate’s little grin had reappeared letting everyone in the room know she was back in control. “Detective…” Kate nodded at Matt, indicating he was good to start his interview.
Matt opened a manila file folder and began laying out pictures in front of the prisoner. “Do you recognize any of these boys, Ms. Wilkins?” he said as he was placing the last of thirteen pictures on the table.
“Mmm…” Wilkins involuntarily moaned before continuing. She turned her head to the side and used her hand to brush her hair over her ear while she looked at each of the pictures, “I would say these are young men, not boys.”
“Very well,” Matt didn’t skip a beat,” do you recognize any of these young men?”
“Well, I know this one,” Wilkins pointed to one of the pictures, “and, this one.” She pointed at another picture. “Both of these young men were in my class a couple years ago. Are they in some kind of trouble?” She didn’t sound sincere, but it appeared that she didn’t care. Rather, she kept looking at all of the pictures, reaching out to them and running her fingers softly across the glossy paper as if she were gently stroking their faces.
“Every boy on this table is dead, Ms. Wilkins.” Matt was glaring at her; however, years on the force helped him to remain rock-steady. “But, you know that, don’t you?”
“Young men, Matt. These are pictures of young men.”
“Okay,” Matt nearly had to bite his lip, this time, “young men. And you will please call me Detective.”
“I’m sawwy, Detective.” Wilkins was deliberately pouty as she looked up at him, her lips pursed, her shoulders pushed up to her ears giving Matt her best Betty Boop. “I’ll twy to behave.”
Kate was sickened by the display. She felt the overwhelming urge to interject any number of rebukes, but she restrained herself. She knew Matt was a professional and he wouldn’t be swayed by the wiles of this woman. She began thumbing through her own file folder, looking at the highlights and headlines from the last three years:
17 Year Old Boy Found Dead In Car
High School Teammates Discovered Lying In Ravine
Sexual Sadist Strikes, Again: Boy Found Dead After Obvious Sexual Encounter
If the headlines weren’t graphic enough, the stories certainly filled every parent with dread. Descriptions of how police found all of the boys, including how they were restrained and completely clothed except for where their genitals had been exposed.
“Are you going to answer that, Katherine, or just let it continue to ring and interrupt my lovely talk with Matt?”
Kate hadn’t heard her phone. In fact, she was so involved in the pictures and stories in front of her, she had missed the last five minutes of the interview, too. “Sorry, Detective.” She looked at Matt, clenching her teeth and scrunching her face as if to imply how rude she had been. “I forgot to turn it off.” Matt gave her a nod and continued with his interview.
“So you are saying you admit to having sexual relations with every one of these boys?”
“Young men, Matt! Yes, I was able to help each and every young man in these pictures into manhood. It feels so good to have an unspoiled young man in my hands, or my mouth, or underneath me as I straddle him while he feels a woman for the first time. It is exactly why I became a teacher.”
“You became a teacher so that you could rape innocent boys?!” Matt was visibly taken aback with her statement.
“No, silly. Each of these young men were eager for my help. They weren’t raped. I didn’t force them to do anything.” Wilkins was explaining herself in such a way that she seemed completely convinced she did nothing wrong. “They were able to learn how to kiss and touch a woman. They were taught control they would have never learned from a little high school girl.”
Kate looked over at Matt and could see he was getting upset. Matt had been on the case since the very first boy. He interviewed the families, read private journals, found blogs that described things about their personal lives and knew each boy so much he almost felt like he was violating them. She was just about to ask him if he would like to take a break and get some coffee when her phone vibrated in her hand. Kate looked down and sent the call to voice mail, but the soft buzz was enough of a distraction for Matt to take a deep breath and gather his senses.
“You know,” Wilkins began and then stopped long enough to take a sip of water from the paper cup the patrolman had just brought into the room, “there’s been more than just the young men in these pictures.”
Matt’s eyes darted across the table and met Kate’s.
“You mean you have raped other underage boys?”
“Matty, you have to stop calling it rape,” Wilkins seemed more in control than she had been up to that time, “and how many times do I have to tell you? Young Men.”
“Ms. Wilkins,” Matt mustered as much calm as he could, “I would appreciate it if you would call me Detective.” He was trying to remain in control, but he also wanted the prisoner to keep confessing. “How many more young men have you helped?”
“I wouldn’t have had to help more than the first few if they could have kept it quiet.” Wilkins reached down and took another sip from her cup. “I knew their friends would be jealous and I like to keep my relationships to myself. That’s why I told each of them to not tell their friends about how we made love. Men are so eager to brag, though.”
Matt saw an opportunity: “So, is that why you killed them? Was it because they told someone about your…” he had a tough time making himself say it, “…your relationship?”
“Yes, but I made sure to do it so the next young man could learn a lesson about respecting a lady’s privacy.”
“You mean by leaving their genitals exposed?”
“Yes. Men are so concerned with how they look down there. I figured if the next young man knew he would end up with his pecker sticking out of a hole ripped in his pants, his arms tied behind his back and a pair of my dirty undies shoved down his throat, he may think twice about blabbing.” Wilkins looked over at Kate, “I guess they just aren’t capable of respecting women, no matter how hard we try to teach them. Right, Katherine?”
Kate looked up from her folder and saw Wilkins looking directly into her eyes. The corners of Wilkins’ mouth were slightly lifted as she tried to hide a shit-eating grin.
Kate’s phone was vibrating in her hand, again, but she couldn’t look away from Wilkins’ stare. “What did you ask me?”
Wilkins leaned back in her chair. She reached one hand down and cupped one of her own breasts, her other hand reached between her legs and started softly rubbing herself through her shorts. “You know, as gentle as he was with me, I have to wonder if someone at home gave him some private lessons. I hope he hasn’t told anyone about us.”
Kate no longer saw Wilkins. She no longer saw Matt, the table, the big two-sided mirror. With her eyes wide open, all Kate could see was a baby crying, naked and covered with amniotic fluid, begging to be back where it was warm and safe. Then the boy that that looked up at her and uttered the word mama. The first time he walked, the first time he ran, the first time he fell off his bike. A whirlwind of pictures and movies from the past sixteen years was flooding Kate’s consciousness.
“Billy!” Kate cried out
Matt was yelling for help as he tried to force Kate’s hands from the Wilkins’ throat. The doors to the interrogation room flew open as patrolmen flooded in, each of them grabbing one of Kate’s limbs trying to pull her off of the prisoner.
“You fucking bitch! What have you done to my son?” Kate was squeezing so hard that Wilkins’ eyes were full of the blood from the vessels that were breaking. “What have you done to my Billy!?”
As she watched the light disappear as if she were going into a tunnel, Wilkins managed to smile before losing consciousness.
This is one of the stories slated to be in my upcoming novel, an anthology of sorts, all stories connected to The Coffeehouse. I would love to have some feedback! Feel free to let me know if you liked it.