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Bloody Puzzle

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Bloody Puzzle is a unique tale of horror that sucks you in and refuses to let you go.

Synopsis

Like 'Dexter' meets 'Zodiac' - but when Daniel comes for you, no one will hear you scream!

Daniel is back, and he’s more evil than EVER!

Oakville is in another panic! The most hideous serial killer the city has ever known has returned with a new theme.
The murders are more violent. The deaths are more gruesome. Where will it all end?
Follow the clues that Daniel leaves at each crime scene, and try to unravel the Bloody Puzzle along with the perplexed detectives hot on his trail.

Are you ready for an insane new spree of blood and gore?

Bloody Puzzle: The Bloody Series Book 2 is a unique tale of horror that provides the reader with a delicious concoction of gore, suspense, and sleuthing. The book follows Daniel - the most hideous serial killer Oakville has ever known - as he wreaks havoc on the town once again. But this time, Daniel's killings follow a new theme, and the detectives chasing him are forced to piece together the clues that he leaves behind with help from the reader.


Bloody Puzzle is part of The Bloody Series, but I read it as a standalone novel. It was enjoyable on its own, and I became hooked with Daniel from the beginning. Andrea Merchak's distinctive voice combines the best elements of a slasher horror with a police investigation that carries with it the air of a black comedy. Throughout my reading of the novel, I could see how Merchak was inspired by the television show "Dexter"; however, they took this inspiration and made it their own. I adore horror novels that incorporate elements from other genres, such as mystery, and Merchak did so seamlessly. I found Daniel to be an irresistible antagonist, and I loved to hate him. As a serial killer he reminded me of Hannibal Lecter in his pursuits, which contributed to my infatuation with the story. Merchak's presentation of gore played out as though I was watching a slasher flick, and it made my imagination run wild.


If you are a fan of horror novels featuring serial killers and the detectives that seek them, then you are going to adore Bloody Puzzle. It is perfect for fans of "Dexter", "Zodiac", and Hannibal Lecter. Andrea Merchak incorporates the best elements of extreme horror with a witty and comedic storyline that is sure to blow you away. While Bloody Puzzle is reminiscent of some of the most classic serial killer stories, it stands on its own. With such a unique voice in the horror genre, you are going to be hooked on Andrea Merchak's writing!

Reviewed by

Ashley Nestler, MSW is a multi-genre author, poet, and mental health expert. She is also an educator in writing and publishing and specializes in romance, science fiction, and horror. Ashley can often be found holed up in her room reading horror romances unapologetically.

Synopsis

Like 'Dexter' meets 'Zodiac' - but when Daniel comes for you, no one will hear you scream!

Daniel is back, and he’s more evil than EVER!

Oakville is in another panic! The most hideous serial killer the city has ever known has returned with a new theme.
The murders are more violent. The deaths are more gruesome. Where will it all end?
Follow the clues that Daniel leaves at each crime scene, and try to unravel the Bloody Puzzle along with the perplexed detectives hot on his trail.

Are you ready for an insane new spree of blood and gore?

HONORING JACK

I need to kill again. And soon! After all, it’s been almost three months since I killed for the last time. After my triumphs as the ‘Perpetrator of Bloody Legends’, I want to do something new. But I haven’t yet decided what my new theme will be. All I know is, it’s going to be both bloodier and more enigmatic, since I have no intention of being captured.

But I need to kill! So until I decide, why not take the opportunity to honor the first serial killer in modern history who was never caught? That would be something new. And in addition, the methods and style of ‘Jack the Ripper’ will allow me to enormously enjoy every moment of what I’m doing.

I’ll choose Norwood for the locale, because that’s where I killed for the first time. I still remember the blood squirting out of that common little whore’s throat! But first I’ll to have to check and see if that alley is still as isolated as it was fourteen years ago. I believe it will be, since that neighborhood is predominantly industrial and it’s still quite cold out, even though winter is almost over.

###

I drive my Jaguar slowly through the streets of Braxton, a picturesque suburb that’s famous for bars and cultural spaces with an eclectic mix of regulars of varied ages and social classes. The car draws attention and ensures that I’m always noticed.

I see three prostitutes standing on a corner. I stop the car and wait until one of them approaches. I offer her exceptionally good money to go with me to the Clover and stay with me until morning. She informs her friends of her plans, and then we’re on our way to the motel.

The Clover is a generic motel, frequented both by people who are married to their lovers and others who pay their companions. I think it’s a dump, but it serves my purposes well.

The motel has only one floor. Many of the guests park on the left side, where it’s more discreet. I always park right in front.

I pay with my own credit card, and choose one of the last rooms that faces the opposite side of the parking lot.

When we get settled in the room, I order the prostitute to do a striptease for me, like she would in a strip club. As she dances, I open a bottle of wine and fill two glasses. Without her noticing, I spike one of them with a strong sedative. Then I tell her to get into the bed, and we drink our wine. I eat her out while I wait for the drug to take effect. She fades too fast to fully appreciate what I’m doing.

I get up and empty what’s left in the wine bottle. Then I open another bottle, dump more than half of it in the sink as well, and pour a little into each glass. When the hooker wakes up, she’ll think we drank all that wine and that’s why she slept.

Then I change into some cheap clothes and put on my fake beard and gloves, which I’d brought in my backpack. I put my hood up and exit the room through a window that opens onto a dimly lit alley. I jump a wall and walk a few blocks to a bus stop. I ride the next bus to another neighborhood, where I’d earlier parked the old Camry I use on these occasions.

###

I drive to Dunster, another suburb known for crime and prostitution. In just a few minutes, I find a lone whore and hire her. She’s young and beautiful, and she reminds me of the first whore I killed. I’ll never forget that expression of terror on her face, the look of surprise when I cut her throat, the blood splashing on my jacket, her despair as she tried in vain to contain the blood that gushed out between her fingers… It was beautiful!

From there, I start driving us to Norwood.

“Where are we going?” the worried prostitute asks.

“Norwood.”

“Norwood? Why? Can’t we just stay in Dunster? Why go so far?”

“It’s not that far. It’s less than a fifteen-minute drive.”

“Well, I’d rather stay here in Dunster.”

“Look, if you want to stay in Dunster, okay. I’ll drop you off and find someone else. I’m married, see, and I have kids, and I’m not going to stick around Dunster and risk being seen with a prostitute. So you decide.”

The slut thinks about it. But luckily for me, these whores only really think about the money. She decides to go along with me.

###

I stop the car at the entrance to the same alley where I killed for the first time. When I came here last week, I was happy to see that it was exactly as it was fourteen years ago. And this time it’s going to be even better, since I’m prepared and I’ll be able to take pictures of every detail.

“Get out of the car,” I order her. “We’re going over behind those boxes.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t tell you to go there, would I? Go on.”

“Look, I don’t really like being here. This alley is too dark.”

“Nonsense. There’s enough light for us to see what matters.” And for me to see every little thing as I gut you!

“But there’s no one in sight anywhere.”

“Right. That’s the idea.”

“I think it’s too isolated.”

“Oh, do you want to put on a show? We can go someplace where there’s a crowd.”

“Of course not! But I’d feel better if we went to a motel or something. Or at least to a less isolated place. There’s no one around.”

“Listen here,” I abruptly interrupt, to indicate impatience. “Not that it’s any of your business, but as I’ve told you, I have a family, and I can’t risk my wife finding out that I go around with whores. Look,” I say, taking her full payment out of my pocket and handing the cash to her, “take this right now. Then you can rest assured that you’re being paid for your services.”

“No, it’s not that,” she says, taking the money nevertheless and putting it in her bag. “I wasn’t suspicious of you, I’m just scared. After all these crimes that have happened, we need to be careful, don’t you think?”

And yet you’ll get into a stranger’s car and prostitute yourself. Very smart!

“I understand. Of course you should be careful. But look at me. Do I look like a killer? Do you think I’m the ‘Perpetrator of Bloody Legends’?” I ask her with a disarming smile.

She smiles back and says, “No, of course not. I just... Oh, all right, I guess I’m just being silly.”

She opens the door and gets out of the car. She starts walking toward the boxes, and I follow right behind her. This time, I leave the car’s headlights on, to shine a little more light on the place where I’m going to eviscerate this bitch.

###

Despite the cold, she’s wearing only a short tight dress, a cheap leather jacket, and those very high heels that prostitutes usually wear.

She turns around and asks me what I want her to do.

“Take off your jacket and put it on the boxes.”

“But it’s cold tonight!”

“If you’re as good as you look, things will soon get hot. Won’t they?” I say, smiling salaciously. “Come on, come on, I want to feel something. You know what I mean!”

Of course, what I really want is for her to take that damn jacket off so I can subdue her more easily.

She sets her purse on top of one of the boxes, takes off her jacket, and places it carefully on top of the bag. Then she raises her eyes and stares at me, waiting for my next order. I like that.

“Let’s see what you can do to make me hard,” I say, laughing.

“Don’t worry, you’ll see. I’ll give you your money’s worth.”

“I know you will,” I say with a dirty look and smile. It’s just not going to be in the way you think.

Then she kneels, opens my zipper, and starts to work. I have to admit, the girl knows what to do with her tongue. After some of that action, I put on a condom while she lifts her dress and pulls down her panties.

When I finish fucking her, I take the condom off, drop it on the ground, and zip up. As she bends down to pull up her panties, I take advantage of her vulnerability and throw her across the boxes. She’s taller than my first whore was, but it’s still easy to dominate her. I pull her arms up and back, holding onto them with one hand while I get the plastic zip ties from my coat pocket. She starts screaming, but I don’t care. Actually, I like it better that way. I lay her over the boxes, zip-tie her wrists together, and turn her over so she can face me.

“So, you don’t think I’m the ‘Perpetrator of Bloody Legends’? That’s interesting,” I sneer.

“Please, please, no, you don’t look like him! Are you a cop?” she asks me through her tears.

I laugh.

“Who, me? What kind of stupid question is that? Of course I’m not a cop. I am the Perpetrator of Bloody Legends!”

Now her eyeballs look like they’re about to pop out! She screams and cries so much, it seems like she might drown in her own tears while begging me to let her go. But why would I do that? The more terrified she is, the more pleasure I’m going to feel.

“What legend of mine did you like the most? Do you have any idea what legend you’re going to be a part of?” I say with a sadistic laugh.

“No, please don’t kill me! I have children!”

“Really? I always wonder why people like you procreate. Why have kids if you can’t afford to raise them?”

“Please, they’re just little!”

“And why should I care about that?”

“Please... Please, I beg you, don’t kill me!”

“So, do you want to guess which legend I chose for you to die in?”

“No, no, no, no, no! Please don’t!”

“But your death will be epic!”

She starts screaming even more desperately now.

“Please, I beg you! My kids are so young!”

“I told you, I don’t give a shit about that. Don’t you know that I kill kids, too?” I say, without disguising the pleasure I feel as I recall the children I killed in the execution of some of the legends.

“They have no one but me. I beg you, don’t kill me!”

“Damn you!” She’s trying to kick me now. “I’m sure your kids will get much better care in a foster home, no matter how crappy it is or how abusive the people are, than if they continue to be raised by a lousy mother like you.”

I punch her in the face and grab her neck with the same hand. I squeeze it hard, until she almost faints. Then I throw her to the ground and put zip ties on her feet, too.

I run back to the car. I quickly remove my gloves and beard and toss them in the back seat. Then I open the trunk and get some items I’ll need. While I’m doing that, I look over at the whore and see that she’s crawling, trying to get out of the alley. I start to laugh. I pick up everything I need and go back to her.

“What do you think you’re doing? Do you really think you’re going anywhere, bitch?”

“Please... “ she tearfully begs again.

I put on surgical gloves and a leather apron in deference to Jack. After all, the Ripper was also nicknamed Leather Apron for a while. I turn her over again and sit on her pussy, with my legs astride her to hold her still on the ground.

“Can you feel that I’m still excited? You really are worth what you charge,” I laugh evilly.

As I think about everything I’m going to do with her, my excitement increases. I planned everything carefully so I could reproduce as faithfully as possible his attacks on the victims known as the ‘Canonical Five’, the five of the eleven Whitechapel Murders that everyone agrees were committed by the Ripper – and of course, so I can make the most of it before my victim dies. I breathe deeply and rejoice in the sound of her screams. She has no idea how important her screams are at this moment.

To exacerbate her despair, I first show her my beloved Ka-Bar. Then I make a deep cut on the left side of her face, from cheek to chin. Her flesh opens and blood begins to run down her face. She screams even louder, causing the blood to flow more rapidly.

Then I lay the knife along the region below her right ear and pull it, making a straight tear to the mouth. Her face begins to become seriously disfigured. But still, the hooker won’t stop screaming. Even better! I like it this way.

I tear her clothes off and move alongside her. I watch her naked body as she struggles, trying to free herself. Then I stick the knife in her womb.

“You said you have children. There are no scars, so I can see they were normal deliveries. How about trying a C-section this time?”

I make an irregular cut along her lower abdomen. Almost like what Jack did to his first victim, but not too deep, so she won’t lose too much blood and die too fast. I always allow myself some poetic license for my amusement. What fun would it be if she died right away? I also start to make small cuts to her neck, chest, and arms.

When I realize that she’s becoming dangerously weak and her death is imminent, I start making deeper cuts in her abdomen. And then I finally start to gut her. She dies a few minutes later while I’m extracting her kidneys and uterus. I pull her intestines out, and make two cuts that rip her throat open. Then I finish tearing her face apart, and at the end, I remove her heart.

I get up and linger, leisurely enjoying the gruesome scene. Then I pick up a towel and clean my hands. I take several pictures and then put my heart in a glass jar with formaldehyde, since the heart of the Ripper’s last victim was never found. I’ll also take the hooker’s shoes, as they’ll make a perfect relic. I remove my apron and gloves and leave them by the body. Finally, I cut all the zip ties off her and put everything I’m keeping in my bag in the trunk of the car.

I’m sure Detective Evans will know it was the ‘Perpetrator of Bloody Legends’ who did this. I can even see him trying to figure out what legend I’d performed.

Yes, Detective Evans, you’ll know I committed this crime. Just wait patiently for me. I’ll be back soon!

About the author

Andrea loves all things horror. Her stories are dark and gory, and infused with a blend of suspense, mystery, and crime. She loves adding a touch of the erotic and a brush with the supernatural. Writing is her greatest joy, and she'll always find new ways to intrigue and scare the wits out of you. view profile

Published on March 08, 2020

60000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Horror

Reviewed by

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