Friday, 30 October 2015

REVIEW: Erik Hofstatter - Katerina

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Creativia
Publication Date: 30th Sept 2015
Pages: 37


A copy of Katerina was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Erik Hofstatter in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Creativia.

Erik Hofstatter. Probably one of my all-time favourite author names. No idea why. It just makes me smile every time I hear it. I have only read one other thing from Mr Hofstatter in the past and that was another short story called The Pariahs. You can read my review of it here. I loved it so grabbed the chance at reviewing this one.

Kamil is a medieval weapons trader living in the Red Light District in Prague. He hates prostitutes and all they stand for but is attached to his flat so won’t move. He doesn’t normally interact with the street girls. That is until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Katerina.

After a couple of very strange episodes, Kamil realises there is something very strange and mysterious about Katerina. He decides to put aside his hatred of her profession and try and find out exactly what it is about Katerina that won’t let him say no.

Now regular readers of the blog will know I hate sex in a horror story so will be saying why the hell am I reading a story about a man and a prostitute? Well, Mr Hofstatter was aware of this hatred of mine but agreed I should try it anyway and see what I thought. Reading this has also made me want to clarify something. I hate sex in a horror story if there is absolutely no point in it and it is totally irrelevant to the story. This story is about a prostitute so of course there is going to be sex in it right? Well to be honest there was less in this than some of the stuff I have read recently. Anyway. The review.

There are really only the two characters in this. Kamil seems ok. He’s a thirty something man with his own business and seems comfortable and stable enough apart from his hatred of prostitutes. Katerina seems, well, weird. She is obviously a lady of the night but she has some weird characteristics which I can’t tell you about here for fear of spoiling the story. Let’s just say if she did some of the things in my house that she does in this story, she wouldn’t get near my back gate never mind in the house.

So the plot is not one you would see on a regular basis. Customer has sex with a prostitute who turns out to have some very strange traits and then customer decides to find out all they can about the prostitute to see what the hell is going on. Again, I won’t tell you what Katerina actually does but in the beginning there is a lot of blood then a lot of weirdness and a little bit of what the actual…..

This is a short story. You will probably read it in an hour. I liked it. I think. I’m a bit undecided because I’m still trying to process what I actually just read. It’s a bit weird but it’s “I’m not putting this down until I find out what the hell is going on” weird. The only thing that sort of put me off this one was the fact it was so short. It had a bit of a bunny boiler Fatal Attraction feeling about it where there was huge potential for it to be expanded on and beefed up a bit more, with a lot more weirdness and a lot more horror.

Erik Hofstatter can write. That is not in dispute here at all. I like his writing style because it is very to the point. No unnecessary use of fancy language to fill the gaps. No rambling about the history of Prague or prostitution or anything like that to make the story slow down. Straightforward and blunt. Just the way I like it to be. He writes really good characters. Again, to the point. You get what you need to know and nothing more. Characters that you can believe in, even if, in this case, some of the things they do are very weird indeed.

I certainly didn’t get as much from this one as I did from The Pariahs but something kept me reading to the end. It is good writing and worth reading if you have an hour to kill. I just would have liked it longer and beefed up a bit more.

To summarise: a weird tale of a normal everyday man trying to find out what the hell is wrong with his new prostitute friend after she behaves in a mysterious way. Short and blunt but to the point. Could have been longer and could have been scarier but still worth reading.

General rating:

★★★.5 see above.

Horror rating:

★★★ more creepy than scary but needed some more.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer then please consider using the links below to buy Katerina or any other books from Erik or indeed anything at all from Amazon. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Kamil, a thirty-something medieval weapons trader resides in the notorious Red Light District in Prague. Despite his hatred for prostitutes, he accepts an offer from Ginny - a local sex worker.

As their unusual friendship unfolds and Kamil witnesses several bizarre scenarios, he begins to suspect that Ginny might not be an ordinary prostitute...

"Bawdy, salacious and endlessly sweet, this is pure smut with a heart of gold." - Karen Runge (Author of Pseudopod and Shock Totem)

Erik Hofstatter's debut collection 'Moribund Tales' peaked at #2 on Amazon bestseller chart in horror anthologies. Several of these tales have been recorded for a podcast (Wicked Library, Tales To Terrify & Manor House Show) and printed in various magazines and anthologies around the world such as The Literary Hatchet (PearTree Press) Morpheus Tales and Sanitarium Magazine. His novella 'The Pariahs' is available from Creativia Publishing.

He dwells in a beauteous and serenading Garden of England where he can be frequently encountered consuming reckless amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry.

And for more about Erik, visit his site or find him on social media:

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