Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly Delivers Novel-Length Serial Killer Horror

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Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly H.H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes was a serial killer operating in Chicago nearly a century ago. That's not a fiction -- he actually existed. So now you've learned something.

Building on the points of Holmes' so-called "Murder Castle" hotel built near the 1893 World's Fair Exposition, Jay Sandlin's story takes place in the Gemini Hotel, where another spate of murders has begun to take place, murders that seem to match the methods of Holmes. Has the notorious killer returned from beyond the grave? Is there someone seeking to copycat his infamy? That's what former Chicago Detective, Susan Murphy, must discover. Murphy is the head of hotel security, having left the police force under bizarre circumstances which are revealed in flashbacks; however, those events promise a lot and deliver nothing when it comes to this particular story. Perhaps in a future tale where Murphy is a character we will get some closure to her last peculiar case.

Murphy is joined by an elderly professor, Harold Myers, who forces himself onto the case after recognizing the trend. He's an expert on the Holmes' murders, and finds clues to the new killings with seeming ease -- enough so that Murphy suspects him of knowing much more about these murders than merely their historical mirroring.

The remainder of the story is a labyrinthine exploration of the hidden halls and rooms of the Gemini Hotel, finding the many places this would-be H.H. Holmes had killed others.

Of course, it being Grimm Tales of Terror, one naturally expects there to be a supernatural element involved, so stating that there is one isn't necessarily spoiling the story. However, what the particular element is will have to be discovered by the reader; we won't diminish the shock of it in this review.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0