Romance is Dead, Matt Shaw
Publisher: Matt Shaw
Genre: Psychological Horror
Tags: Horror, Dark Humor
Length: 110 Pages
Purchase At: amazon.com
She had no idea why she killed him. Frying pan to the back of his head. Repeatedly. She just finally snapped at the lack of romance in their marriage. The lack of love. Perhaps her subconscious simply thought, ‘If Romance is dead – why shouldn’t he be dead too?’ It didn’t matter why she did it. The only thing that mattered now was to hide her crime. Easier said than done with her neighbours breathing down her neck, asking awkward questions. That and the fact that, in his death, she was finally starting to realise why she loved him in the first place.
Naomi and Ben don’t have the best of marriages. Sure, it was all nice and sweet early on but as the years have gone by, it’s gotten more than a bit stale. Ben has gone from being a nice, attentive husband to being sarcastic, critical, and just an all around jerk. Don’t get me wrong, Naomi has her moments as well. She nags and nags, and can’t a man catch a break on his one day off? Her cooking is bad, she leaves doors open all the time when he tells her to close them already, and she’s always griping about something. A match made in Heaven, right? *smirk*
This starts with a prologue that sets the story in motion. Naomi and Ben are sitting at their dining room table having dinner and Ben’s thoughts wander, as is his norm when he’s around his wife. Of course this irks Naomi. Hmm… everything irks Naomi. While Ben is having little fantasies of taking care of his loving wife (note the sarcasm), Naomi has decided she has had enough. Can he not even tell her about his day, for God’s sake? It’s like pulling teeth to get more than a one word answer out of the man, and even then, he makes it clear he’s not interested in discussing his day, or anything else, with his wife of about five years.
So, after one too many times of being ignored, Naomi decides to fix things once and for all – with the use of a frying pan.
I said this in one of my updates on Goodreads, but I’ve got to mention it in this review. There is an ongoing running joke between Kazza K and myself about frying pans
and our men. It’s been going on for so long that I bought her a tiny, cast iron, skillet and sent it to her as a gag gift for her birthday last year (all the way to Australia). I plan on reading every story Matt Shaw has written, but when I saw the frying pan in the blurb of Romance is Dead, I knew it would be my next one.
Now back to Naomi and her frying pan….
See, Naomi has not been happy with Ben for awhile and the ignoring her at dinner – after she fixed him this
overcooked steak and under cooked chips wonderful meal, was her final straw. But she didn’t think things through too clearly before she bopped him on the head with the frying pan – over and over again. But he deserved it, she feels, so there’s no remorse at all… until later. She always wanted a pond in her backyard and Ben fought her on it, so she’ll just dig that pond herself and bury Ben in the hole and then tell the neighbors he ran off and left her. She gets so excited over that thought and all the fish she can put in the pond. It will be the perfect plan!
Naomi starts to
lose her mind regret what she did to the hubby. Sure, he deserved it, but suddenly she’s remembering how things used to be with him. There were good times once upon a time, right? Then there’s the fact that well, Ben is dead, and the dead don’t stay, hmm, fresh, and she’s not exactly getting a move on with that pond digging. Who knew it would be so much work? Then there are the perfect neighbors, Liam and Kelly, who are just too close and too nosy for comfort. How is Naomi supposed to bury Ben’s body if Liam and Kelly can look out their back door at any time to see what she’s doing? Throw in the fact that she’s totally convinced that Ben is talking to her – you know, the very dead Ben who is decomposing in the dining room – and Naomi is quickly losing touch with reality.
Then we get to the ending, and no way in hell would I spoil that for anyone, but it was totally not what I was expecting. I read PORN by this author a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve read enough reviews where folks have stated how he is great about throwing out twists at the end of his books. That was definitely the case with Romance is Dead.
I love books with dark humor and I got that in spades with this one. Yes, it’s about a crazy woman who murders her husband, but you can’t read this book and not giggle more than a few times.
Overall, an excellent read. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, and you’ll say what the hell just happened? at the end.
Highly recommended. An easy 5 stars.